One article on PainSci cites Smith 2003: What Happened To My Barber?
PainSci notes on Smith 2003:
From the abstract: “This case-controlled study of the influence of spinal manipulative therapy and cervical arterial dissection shows that spinal manipulative therapy is independently associated with vertebral arterial dissection, even after controlling for neck pain.” Cervical arterial dissection is when one of the two arteries that wind through the back of the neck to the brain start to tear. The lining of the artery bleeds and forms a blood clot. This clot can easily enter the brain and cause a fatal stroke.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is an independent risk factor for cervical artery dissection.
METHODS: Using a nested case-control design, the authors reviewed all patients under age 60 with cervical arterial dissection (n = 151) and ischemic stroke or TIA from between 1995 and 2000 at two academic stroke centers. Controls (n = 306) were selected to match cases by sex and within age strata. Cases and controls were solicited by mail, and respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The medical records of interviewed patients were reviewed by two blinded neurologists to confirm that the patient had stroke or TIA and to determine whether there was evidence of arterial dissection.
RESULTS: After interview and blinded chart review, 51 patients with dissection (mean age 41 +/-10 years; 59% female) and 100 control patients (44 +/-9 years; 58% female) were studied. In univariate analysis, patients with dissection were more likely to have had SMT within 30 days (14% vs 3%, p = 0.032), to have had neck or head pain preceding stroke or TIA (76% vs 40%, p < 0.001), and to be current consumers of alcohol (76% vs 57%, p = 0.021). In multivariate analysis, vertebral artery dissections were independently associated with SMT within 30 days (OR 6.62, 95% CI 1.4 to 30) and pain before stroke/TIA (OR 3.76, 95% CI 1.3 to 11).
CONCLUSIONS: This case-controlled study of the influence of SMT and cervical arterial dissection shows that SMT is independently associated with vertebral arterial dissection, even after controlling for neck pain. Patients undergoing SMT should be consented for risk of stroke or vascular injury from the procedure. A significant increase in neck pain following spinal manipulative therapy warrants immediate medical evaluation.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- No long-term effects after a three-week open-label placebo treatment for chronic low back pain: a three-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. Kleine-Borgmann 2022 Pain.
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- A double-blinded randomised controlled study of the value of sequential intravenous and oral magnesium therapy in patients with chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component. Yousef 2013 Anaesthesia.
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.