Do you seek chiropractic care for back pain relief? Beware, the alternative to medicine that treats problems with the musculoskeletal system could result in vision problems and bleeding inside the eye, a study claims.
The word chiropractic comes from Greek words "cheir" (hands) and "praxis" (practice). As the name suggests, it is a hands-on therapy.
Chiropractic manipulation is the application of pressure to a person's spine or other parts of their body by a qualified chiropractic doctor, or chiropractor. This pressure allows a chiropractor to adjust and correct alignment.
The study, led by a team from the University of Michigan, focussed on a 59-year-old woman who experienced a "tadpole" shaped spot in her vision while driving home from a chiropractor visit, with her sight worsening the next day.
It's the first reported case of chiropractic care leading to multiple preretinal hemorrhages, said researchers including Yannis Paulus, a retina specialist at the varsity.
The study, reported in the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case, noted that the energetic thrusts and rotations sometimes performed in high-velocity neck manipulation have been linked to damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
It can also result in stress on the eye and lead to spotty vision as well as abnormal bleeding inside the eye, which may also cause vision loss.
In this case, the high-velocity technique may have induced a posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD, which occurs when the vitreous humour pulls away from the retina.
Other possible complications are disrupting the vitreous humour -- the clear, gel-like substance that fills the eye between the lens and the retina.
High-velocity neck manipulation has been previously associated with a certain type of stroke or vertebral artery dissection, which led the American Heart Association to issue a warning statement in 2014.
The short, rapid movements of neck manipulation may cause a small tear in the artery walls in the neck. The artery wall injury can result in a stroke if a blood clot forms at the site and later breaks free to block a blood vessel in the brain.