A YOUNG, healthy woman suffered a life-threatening stroke after a chiropractor broke her neck.
Mariah Bond, 29, first visited a chiropractor in April 2021 – which she hoped would cure her stiff neck.
But after routine treatment, during which her neck was “cracked” in both directions, she became “super dizzy”.
“Then I started throwing up and I couldn’t stop, it was just constant,” added Maria from New Mexico, USA.
When her husband came to pick her up, the dental assistant’s hand began to tingle and the chiropractor advised her to go to the emergency room.
Scans revealed that Maria had suffered a stroke in her cerebellum – a part of the brain involved in coordinating movement and balance.
More than 100,000 people suffer a stroke in the UK each year and are responsible for more than 38,000 deaths.
According to the Stroke Association, there are 1.3 million stroke survivors living in the UK – many living with a disability.
More than 795,000 people have a stroke each year in the U.S., of which 610,000 are new or first strokes, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Maria explained that when the chiropractor twisted her neck, her vein ruptured, so her brain was not getting any blood.
“I was shocked because I’m so young and you don’t really hear about young people having strokes, especially from the chiropractor.”
The stroke left Maria in the hospital for five days while she was monitored, given aspirin and told to rest to help the blood vessel heal.
“I couldn’t walk properly or use my hands correctly to eat. It was like being a kid. It was really weird. My brain was there, but I couldn’t,” she said.
After two months of physical therapy, “strong-willed” Mariah was finally able to walk normally again and received the good news last June that the vessel had completely healed.
“I had my last neurosurgical appointment and he cleared me, but told me 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 eager to raise awareness of the risks their adjustments can pose.
“I’ve already told a million people not to do it,” 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, Time – is the easiest way to remember the most common stroke symptoms:
F = Drooping face – if one side of someone’s face is limp or numb, ask to smile, if it’s uneven, get help.
A = Arm weakness – if one arm is weak or numb, ask the person to raise both arms. If one arm floats down, you may need help
S = Speech difficulties – if a person’s speech is slurred, it could be a sign of a stroke
T = Time to call 999 – if a person has the above signs, you should 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 blurry vision or loss of vision
- sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
- a sudden and severe headache
- difficulty understanding what others are saying
- Difficulty swallowing
If any of these symptoms last for less than a few hours, you could be suffering from a transient ischemic attack (TIA), the NHS states.
This seizure, also known as a “mini-stroke,” indicates that there is a problem with the blood supply to your brain.
It is important to contact your GP or local hospital if you experience these symptoms as they may increase your risk of having a stroke in the near future.