A young, healthy woman suffered a life-threatening stroke after a chiropractor broke her neck.
Maria Bond, 29, visited a chiropractor for the first time in April 2021 – who she hoped would cure her stiff neck.
But after a routine treatment, which involved “cracking” her neck in both directions she became “very dizzy”.
“Then I started throwing up and I couldn’t stop, it was constant,” added Maria from New Mexico, US.
When her husband came to pick her up, the dental assistant’s hand began tingling and the chiropractor advised her to go to urgent care.
Scans revealed that Maria had suffered a stroke in the cerebellum – a part of the brain involved in coordination of movement and balance.
More than 100,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the UK and they are responsible for more than 38,000 deaths.
According to the Stroke Association, there are 1.3 million people living in the UK who have survived a stroke – many with disabilities.
In the United States, more than 795,000 people have a stroke each year, of which 610,000 are new or first strokes, according to the CDC.
Maria explained that when a chiropractor twisted her neck, it caused her artery to rupture, so her brain didn’t bleed.
“I was shocked because I’m so young and you don’t really hear about young people getting strokes, especially from chiropractors.”
The stroke left Maria in hospital for five days, while she was monitored, given aspirin and told to rest to help the ship recover.
She said, “I couldn’t walk properly or use my hands properly to eat, it was like I was a child, it was very strange, my brain was there but I couldn’t do it.”
After two months of physical therapy, “strong-willed” Maria was finally able to walk normally again and received the good news that Vessel had made a full recovery last June.
“I had a recent neurosurgery appointment and he cleared me, but he said I had to take aspirin for the rest of my life, just in case.”
Since the injury, Maria has vowed never to visit a chiropractor again and is keen to raise awareness of the risks their adjustments can cause.
“I’ve already told a million people not to,” she said. “Just don’t go or at least don’t let them do your neck.”
What are the symptoms?
The FAST method – which stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time – is the easiest way to remember the most common symptoms of a stroke:
F = facial drooping – If one side of the person’s face is droopy or numb, ask them to smile, if it’s uneven then ask for help.
a Arm Weakness – If one arm is weak or numb, ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm drifts downward, you may need to get help
s = Difficulty speaking – If a person’s speech is slurred, this may be a sign of a stroke
t = Time to call 999 – If the person has the above signs, you need to call 999 in the UK or 911 in the US for emergency care.
Other symptoms include:
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Difficulty finding words
- Sudden blurred vision or vision loss
- Sudden confusion, dizziness, or unsteadiness
- Sudden and severe headache
- Difficulty understanding what others are saying
- Difficulty swallowing
If any of these symptoms occur for less than a few hours, you may be experiencing a transient ischemic attack (TIA), according to the NHS.
Sometimes called a “mini-stroke,” this attack indicates a problem with the blood supply to the brain.
It is important that you contact your GP or local hospital if you are experiencing these symptoms, as they may increase your risk of stroke in the near future.
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