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3West Chiropractic
#613 - 6081 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2B2


Drs. Brad Kehoe & Heather McLeod

(604) 270-1202

Dr. Lesley Taylor-Hughes

(604) 278-1125



Clinic Hours

Monday - Friday  8:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday*  9:00am - 1:00pm
Closed for lunch from 12:00pm - 1:30pm

*Open the first Saturday of every month.

Neck Adjustment Benefits

Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, surgery-free therapies available for the treatment of back and neck pain, headaches, and other musculo-skeletal conditions. Few other therapies can demonstrate a better safety record for the treatment of spinal pain syndromes.


Of course, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk. Fortunately, the vast majority of adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived. Below are some common questions and answers about Chiropractic:


How safe is neck adjustment?

There is a rare risk of stroke or stroke-like symptoms associated with adjustment of the neck.  The most recent research published in 2001 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal puts the risk at one in 5.85 million adjustments [1].  Reports on the subject over the past 40 years present a range of estimates based on different research methodologies.  However, all of the published studies to date agree that the risk is extremely low.  Overall, a ratio of one to two cases per million neck adjustment represents a conservative and generally recognized estimate [2]. That is less than your risk of getting struck by lightning or of dying while skiing or playing soccer [3]. Most chiropractors do not have a single case of a patient experiencing serious adverse effects during their entire professional lives.



How does that compare to other risk factors?

There are many risk factors for stroke including blood clotting problems, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, use of birth control pills, heart problems and trauma such as sports injuries or blows to the head from accident.  All carry a greater degree of risk than spinal adjustment. Strokes or stroke-like symptoms are also associated with many normal everyday activities such as cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder during a prolonged conversation, having your hair washed at a beauty parlour, dental procedures, painting a ceiling, and turning your head while driving.  Strokes also occur spontaneously in some people for no apparent reason.



What are the risks for other therapies?

Spinal adjustment is significantly safer than other common therapies for back andneck pain and headaches.  Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain cause 1,000 serious complications and 100-200 deaths per million cases.  Surgeries for neck pain and back pain cause 15,600 cases [4] of paralysis or stroke per million cases, and, 6,900 deaths per million [5].



Is neck adjustment a forceful action?

No, it is not.  Neck adjustment is done within the normal range of motion.  This normal range is less than what is required to turn your head when backing up a car.  Adjustment of a joint is a highly skilled procedure which requires relatively little pressure.  This has been clearly demonstrated in studies to determine the degree of physical stress applied during adjustment. It is skill, not strength, that is needed to conduct a safe, effective adjustment.  Chiropractic education in Canada is an intensive four year program following three years of university undergraduate studies.  By the time they graduate, Canadian Chiropractors are among the most skilled in the world.



Why does media attention focus on neck adjustment?

Attention has been recently directed to neck adjustment by a group of neurologists called the Canadian Stroke Consortium.  The Consortium has, on a number of occasions, publicized alarmist data from an incomplete survey based on a questionnaire.  The Consortium has never revealed what method it is using for confirming whether the cases of stroke it reports are in fact associated with neck adjustment.  Until such time as the survey is published in a peer-reviewed medical journal where the survey design and conclusions can be evaluated by medical peers, it should be viewed with skepticism and caution.


Would you like more information on Chiropractic? Order your free informational video from the British Columbia Chiropractic Association,  An excerpt from the video is below:

"Your spine and nervous system have an important role in your daily health. It is known that over 80% of persons will experience a spine or related health condition and that up to 30% of us have a condition on any given day. This video will provide you with information on understanding health matters that include motor vehicle accidents, work place related events, and early accurate diagnosis which can result in faster recovery. We'll educate you on the role that the doctor of chiropractic takes in you and your family's health care."

For more information on the chiropractic profession and chiropractic care visit the Canadian Chiropractic Association website at or the Back Pain Channel at

This document was written and distributed by the Chiropractic Communications Working Group (CCWG).  The CCWG is comprised of representatives of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, Ontario Chiropractic Association, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, and Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association.

[1] Arterial Dissections Following Cervical Manipulation: The Chiropractic Experience, Haldeman S, Carey P, Townsend M, Papadopoulos  C, Canadian Medical  Association Journal, Vol 165, No 7, 905-906, 2001

[2] The appropriateness of Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical spine: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Hurwitz El, Aker PD, Adams AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG, Spine, 21(15); 1746-1760, 1996.  Risk Factors and Precipitating Neck Movements Causing Vertebrobasilar Artery Dissection After Cervical Trauma and Spinal Manipulation, Haldeman S, Kohlbeck FJ, McGregor M. Spine, 24(8);785-794, 1999. Conservative Management of Mechanical Neck Pain: A Systematic Overview and Meta- Analysis, Aker PD, Gross AR, et al. The British Medical Journal, 313: 1291-96, 1996

[3] The Reality and Acceptance of Risk, Dinman JD. Journal of the American Medical Association, 244(1):1226-1228, 1980.

[4] A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation v. NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain, Dabbs V, Lauretti WJ, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18:530-6, 1995.

[5] Ibid