Dr. Christine Goertz

Palmer scientist takes American Heart Association to task

On Aug. 7, The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association posted a statement online headlined, “Neck manipulation may be associated with stroke.”

According to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research – the world’s largest chiropractic research center – the statement strongly implies a causal relationship between Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy and stroke – which isn’t substantiated by the best research available.

In an Aug. 8 speech, Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., vice chancellor for research and health policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic, explained that medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic need to be vigilant in assessing patients who may be in the early stages of Vertebral Arterial Dissection (VAD). And it’s also extremely important that the data regarding the risk of VAD is presented to patients in an accurate manner.

“The facts are that VADs are very, very rare events, and there’s absolutely no research that shows a cause-and-effect relationship between chiropractic care and stroke,” said Dr. Goertz. “Doctors need to be careful about how they counsel patients based on misleading statements, like this one from the American Heart Association.”

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) is the largest and most highly funded chiropractic research center in the world. Since 1995, the PCCR has received more than $35 million in grants from sources like the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and the Department of Defense.