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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Neck manipulation by chiropractor....should I be scared???

 planoTX - Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:52 am

I just went to a chiropractor for the first time today to get a massage for neck pain. I had no intention of having anything "cracked" because it didn't appeal to me, I don't believe it actually does anything and it seemed dangerous. The chirpractor (who bills herself as a board certified chiropractic neurologist) wanted to discuss it with me and told me that she would explain how it all worked while I was laying down. She then felt my neck, explained how she was feeling my pressure points and then turned my head and cracked it. It popped. She then did the other side which did not pop. This all happened very quickly. I didn't feel any pain or any symptoms of anything following the procedure, but as soon as I got home I started reading up on the dangers of neck manipulation and I'm now petrified that in the next few days I could experience a stroke! Please help! Should I see a neurologist tomorrow to do any tests to make sure there are no clots or "vascular dissection" from the procedure?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:13 pm

User avatar Hi there -- While some chiropractic "adjustment" can be extremely helpful and relaxing and some chiropractors are very well educated as to not only anatomy but also disease process, I hate to give the industry a bum rap. However, I am extremely leery of neck cracking. As you've discovered, there is a potential for extremely serious injury, although to put your mind at ease, in almost all instances of these (rare, but some are recorded every year here in the States) the injury makes itself known anywhere between the moment it happens and the first hour. You've likely not sustained any injury, especially if you've had no symptoms as yet. Again, these things almost always manifest very early on, sometimes immediately.

While I have been known to enjoy an adjustment myself, I'm always very careful to decline any neck cracking or even simple neck "adjustment" because there is a risk I consider signiricant enough to not be worth it. I know this will irritate many very good (and the occasional not-so-good) chiropractitioner, but it safe medical advice. I'm not a fan of neck adjustment, just my personal observation, for what it's worth. And again, I seriously doubt you have any reason to be concerned. You'd have known pretty quickly.

Good luck to you. Please follow up with us here as needed.

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