This Model Died After a Trip To the Chiropractor. Could It Happen To You? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

This Model Died After a Trip To the Chiropractor. Could It Happen To You?



Well, this is disturbing.


Former Playboy model and Queen of Snapchat Katie May died unexpectedly last February from a stroke. Now, new details from her death certificate show that Katies stroke was caused by a routine trip to the chiropractor.


The certificate states that the 34-year-old experienced a blunt force injury while receiving a neck manipulation by a chiropractor”. That injury resulted in the left vertebral artery in her neck being torn, which cut off blood flow to her brain and caused her stroke.


Yes, this is actually possible.


Studies have shown that high-velocity or high-force manipulation of the neck can be associated with injuries to the blood vessels in your neck, particularly in people under 45, says Dr Darria Long Gillespie, an emergency room physician.


Those vessels are crucial for blood flow to the brain, and damage to them leads to a stroke.


May’s tweets from January suggest she was seeking chiropractic treatment after pinching a nerve in her neck during a photo shoot. After suffering the stroke, she was put on life support for several days until her death. Her death was ruled accidental and theres no word yet on whether her family will pursue legal action.


But how worried should you be that something like this could happen to you?


Well, it seems pretty rare. Research published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found there have been only 26 deaths linked to chiropractic spinal manipulation reported in the history of medical literature, though the research acknowledges that many more might have remained unpublished”.


According to the Mayo Clinic, serious complications from visiting your chiropractor are rare, but other risks besides stroke include a herniated disk and compression of the nerves in the lower spine.


You should avoid seeing a chiropractor if you know youre at an increased risk of stroke, experience numbness in your arm or leg or have osteoperosis. 


The bottom line: Gillespie says its important to be aware of the risks when you visit a chiropractor. I would advise patients to be cautious before receiving manipulation of the neck, especially in any way thats a high-force or high-speed manipulation.





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