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ACA Response to AHA Statement on Neck Manipulation

American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President Anthony Hamm, DC, issued the following comment today in response to publication of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association scientific statement, “Cervical Arterial Dissections and Association with Cervical Manipulative Therapy:”
“The chiropractic profession shares the American Heart Association’s public health goal to reduce the number of strokes; however we have concerns about its statement on cervical manipulative therapy. The real message to all healthcare providers attending to patients with headaches or neck pain is to be vigilant for neurological problems that could be the early signs of stroke.
The largest and most credible study, Cassidy et al., found that a patient is as likely to have seen a primary care medical doctor as a doctor of chiropractic prior to experiencing a cervical arterial dissection (CD).
Neck manipulation is a safe, conservative treatment option for neck pain and headache. The evidence presented in the AHA paper fails to show that neck manipulation is a significant risk factor in CD. In addition, the paper fails to put into context risks associated with other neck pain treatments such as neck surgery, steroid injections and prescription drugs.
DCs are trained to perform a complete examination, develop a diagnosis and treatment plan, and provide informed consent. ACA members are committed to mitigate the low incidence of CD through education initiatives.”
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, VA, is the largest professional association in the United States advocating for more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic students. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit us at www.acatoday.org.
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