I was walking towards a local award ceremony when a women standing outside greeted me by name. She continued,” So the MD’s are at it again trying to discredit chiropractors, did you see the science report on NBC the other night?”
“Yes,” I said, “I caught part of it and I thought one of the M.D’s was honest enough to say that he did think there was not enough proof that chiropractic caused strokes.”
I continued” You know in my practice, I take a detailed medical history looking for hypertension, headaches, bad diet or other factors that I may suspect predispose the patient to a stroke and then in the exam, I include blood pressure, pulse rates, and I do a number of vertebra-basilar tests and have the patient move their head in all ranges of motion, and note any signs of nausea, tinnitus, vertigo, light headaches, slurring of speech, dizziness or nystagmus may indicate vascular compromise or stenosis of the carotid or vertebral arteries
Here’s some more information on some of those tests: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=37567
The second thing that I talk to people about when they ask about chiropractic causing strokes is I ask if they have seen newspaper articles about this and then I ask if they read the complete article. Because I say in every article that I have seen with the headline screaming “Stroke Caused by Chiropractic” it will say, at the end of the article, who did the chiropractic adjustment that supposedly caused the stroke.
And guess what? It’s never a chiropractor.
It’s a personal trainer, a physical therapist or some other person who has not had the training in how to do an adjustment safely.
Chiropractors go through two years of intensive training on how to do adjustments and we practice for those two years on each other before we are allowed to touch a patient in the school clinics for another two years. So that is a total of 4 yrs of practicing how to adjust before we get our licenses.
And the third point that I put across to people is I ask if they know how malpractice insurance premiums are calculated and if they know the difference in premiums between different medical specialties and chiropractic.
Insurance premiums are calculated via actuarial science which is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries; they involve in malpractice the risk of the procedure to cause mortality and injury. group vs. individual practice, involvement w/ an HMO, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_science
A family physician or an internist may have a malpractice premium of $20,000 to $40,000. This premium goes up depending on their specialty; surgeons have the highest premiums.
As a chiropractor in solo practice, not signed up w/ an HMO, my malpractice premium is $3000. So according actuarial science, chiropractic adjustments done by properly trained doctors of chiropractors is a fairly safe procedure.
Who then, I ask, are doing the dangerous procedures??
“Not the chiropractors” said the women. “That’s right, pass it on!” I said, and headed inside to the ceremony.
© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto