Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping patients following a stroke. The research reports on a 40-year-old male stroke patient who improved under chiropractic care.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy added “A stroke is a result of a blood flow problems within the brain and when intricate blood vessels are blocked or rupture the effects can be devastating as the brain tissue deteriorates resulting in symptoms like sudden paralysis.”

“That chiropractic helped him makes perfect sense when you think about it” added Dr. McCoy. “If there is interference with the neurological communication between the spine and the brain all sorts of malfunctions can occur.”  According to McCoy “The nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.”

The patient reported on in this study was a 40-year-old male who had a 7-year history of right-side lower leg weakness following a stroke.  He completed eight months of rehabilitation and botox injections, with no improvement in the lower back and leg weakness.  He tried to be as active as possible by attending the gym despite the deficits.

The chiropractor examined him and found postural changes, decreased range of motion of the hip, and structural shifts in his neck, low back, pelvis, and sacrum. Orthopedic tests, muscle testing, and other tests revealed areas of decreased strength and function.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

The man was adjusted by the chiropractor and by the third visit he reported awareness of greater strength in his right leg.  His balance, posture, and hip range of motion all improved.  He was able to increase weight at the gym on his leg exercise.

The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients.