MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

In a video, Mr.Darkmoore speaks from a hospital bed and says the cause behind his visit to the emergency room stemmed from a chiropractor’s work on him. Three days ago, he had a ringing in his ear due to a long-term condition he knew as tinnitus. Thus, he decided to visit a chiropractor. “I figured $100 to a chiro, let them adjust a few things, if all else fails, I’ll go to a doctor,” explains Darkmoore.TikToker lands in hospital after going to chiropractor

This $100 visit led to several other complications and doctor’s bills worth thousands of dollars. The day after he was treated by the chiropractor, he experienced a headache that eventually led to dizzy spells. He decided to visit the emergency room where a CT scan was ordered which showed that the chiropractor had dissected an artery in his neck.

Next, Darkmoore was put on blood thinners to avoid blood clots that could result in a stroke or worse. Darkmoore explains that he will be on two blood thinners for the next three months to prevent clotting. If the dissection heals partially, he says he will need to take aspirin every day for the rest of his life. If it doesn’t heal, he claims that he will need surgery.

Many viewers of the video claimed they have had the same “chiropractor gone wrong” experience as Darkmoore.

  • “Wow. How scary. I had a similar thing happen to me. Extremely bad headache after going one time. Haven’t gone since,” one commenter wrote.
  • “I’m so sorry this happened to u,” another user echoed. “My chiropractor also caused an injury which required emergency surgery & I have permanent damage. I’m glad u survived.”

Darkmore captioned his last update video, “I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, I’ll be okay after 3 months of recovery.”

__________________

Let’s hope that he is correct and that he will make a speedy and full recovery.

Of course, chiros will queue up to stress that important details are missing in this case report. To them, I would merely say this:

THERE IS NO GOOD EVIDENCE THAT NECK MANIPULATIONS BRING ANY BENEFIT AND QUITE A BIT OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HARM.

SO, WHY NOT JUST STOP OFFERING THE PROCEDURE?

42 Responses to Never going to a chiropractor again

  • “Three days ago, he had a ringing in his ear… Thus, he decided to visit a chiropractor.”

    “…a CT scan was ordered which showed that the chiropractor had dissected an artery in his neck.”

    How does one time a VAD from a CT scan considering it takes less than a second to do a cSMT?

    “It was concluded that the arterial dissection of the vertebrobasilar system was one of the causes of sudden-onset tinnitus.” M Yokota et al. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 2000.

    EE: Of course, chiros will queue up to stress that important details are missing in this case report.

    You are correct in that important details are missing.

    • thank you for stating that I am correct and trying to distract from the main issue of the post.

      • I am with DC
        The patient was already showing symptoms of a potential neck injury. Neither does the report indicate that the DC performed the dreaded neck jerk.

        “He decided to visit the emergency room where a CT scan was ordered which showed that the chiropractor had dissected an artery in his neck.”
        That is an assumption.

        And that said, I don’t subscribe t neck jerks. So, if the DC did jerk his neck, then there is a much higher chance that he did cause the injury. Just don’t presume guilt where it has not been evidenced.

        • I did not assume anything; I reported the case as it was published and then asked: “THERE IS NO GOOD EVIDENCE THAT NECK MANIPULATIONS BRING ANY BENEFIT AND QUITE A BIT OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HARM. SO, WHY NOT JUST STOP OFFERING THE PROCEDURE?”

          Got it?

          • Common causes of Tinnitus

            Injuries of the head or neck;
            “It’s estimated that more than one in ten cases of chronic tinnitus are related to injuries of the head or neck. Unfortunately, the tinnitus that is associated with head and neck injuries tends to be more severe and the symptoms are worse than other types and causes of tinnitus. Head and neck injuries can cause issues with the blood flow, the nerves, and the muscles of the ear, which can lead to the development of the perception of sound.”

            “I figured $100 to a chiro, let them adjust a few things, if all else fails, I’ll go to a doctor”
            It’s a bit strange to me, the thinking of this patient. I’ve had tinnitus previously. I never thought to seek out treatment from a DC first. However, this might just be one of those patients that has not been served well by MDs but has had some success with CAM.

        • “The patient was already showing symptoms of a potential neck injury. … Just don’t presume guilt where it has not been evidenced.”

          Don’t presume a pre-existing condition where it has not been evidenced. In other words:

          DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM

          • I would take you seriously if I detected a hint of good-faith curiosity on your part.
            Dr Ernst made a very reasonable statement advising against chiro neck manipulation. You’ll need to do better if you want to counter that.

          • @Brenda Hill,

            What on earth are you on about — I was countering the two sentences that I quoted from commentator ‘John’.

            I am sick and tired of quacks and quackacolytes blaming the victims of quackery (directly or indirectly), which is a tactic deployed in many branches of SCAM; it’s notorious in chiropractic.

            In case you still don’t understand, or you’re just trolling…

            DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM in this particular case means:

            DON’T BLAME Mr. Darkmoore

        • What we don’t know are the details of what may have happened three days (or more) prior to visiting the chiropractor plus other important details.

          Is this another example of post hoc ergo propter hoc?

          • is this another example of distraction of the issue at hand?
            “THERE IS NO GOOD EVIDENCE THAT NECK MANIPULATIONS BRING ANY BENEFIT AND QUITE A BIT OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HARM. SO, WHY NOT JUST STOP OFFERING THE PROCEDURE?”

          • Perhaps next time you will provide better evidence for the “main issue”.

          • alternatively you could try to produce less BS.

          • Ah, so it’s BS to call out BS.

            “…where a CT scan was ordered which showed that the chiropractor had dissected an artery in his neck.”

          • it’s BS to frantically distract from the main issue.

        • The patient was already showing symptoms of a potential neck injury

          That constitutes an absolute contraindication against any kind of manipulation.

          • The patient was showing a sign of potentially several different conditions.

            Regardless, PTs tend to use mobilization for cervicogenic somatic tinnitus. Cervical epidurals have been studied as well as occipital nerve blocks (and others).

            Of course a solid history and exam should precede any course of treatment.

            And, there is not enough information provide in the above case to claim cSMT caused the VAD.

          • What do you mean by

            …a sign of potentially several different conditions

            ?

  • Hey doc, my neck hurts, can you twist and twerk it?

    • Perhaps, depending on your history and exam findings. However, i typically use a multimodal approach and there is some evidence that it may the best option for some conditions.

      “There is strong evidence of benefit favouring a multimodal care approach of exercise combined with mobilisations or manipulations for subacute and chronic MND with or with headache in the short and long term.” Cochrane Review 20 July 2005.

      • it does not conclude BEST OPTION at all!

        • Gee, I wonder why I put the word “may” in there?

          • because you are an idiot?

          • Nope, because I look at the evidence of options. Do you?

            “The major limitations are the lack of replication of the findings and sufficiently large trials. There is moderate evidence for the benefit of intravenous methylprednisolone given within eight hours of acute whiplash, from a single trial. Lidocaine injection into myofascial trigger points appears effective in two trials. There is moderate evidence that Botulinum toxin A is not superior to saline injection for chronic MND. Muscle relaxants, analgesics and NSAIDs had limited evidence and unclear benefits.”.

            Cochrane Review 18 July 2007

            “While in general there is a lack of evidence for most pharmacological interventions, current evidence is against botulinum toxin-A for chronic neck pain or subacute/chronic whiplash; against medial branch block with steroids for chronic facet joint pain; but in favour of the muscle relaxant eperison hydrochloride for chronic neck pain.”

            Pharmacological Interventions Including Medical Injections for Neck Pain: An Overview as Part of the ICON§ Project The Open Orthopaedics Journal, 2013, 7, (Suppl 4: M8) 473-493

            Interventions: Neck Pain with Mobility Deficits

            Clinicians should provide thoracic manipulation, a program of neck ROM exercises, and scapulothoracic and upper extremity strengthening to enhance program adherence.

            Clinicians may provide cervical manipulation and/or mobilization.

            Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
            Published Online:June 30, 2017Volume47Issue7PagesA1-A83

            “Cervical manipulation for acute/subacute neck pain was more effective than varied combinations of analgesics, muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for improving pain and function at up to long-term follow-up.”

            Cochrane Review 23 September 2015

          • yes, you do look – but just occasionally, you should take your chiro-blinkers off

          • Re chiro‑troll’s quote mining on Sunday 23 July 2023 at 12:01

            First quote … Cochrane Review 18 July 2007
            Medicinal and injection therapies for mechanical neck disorders
            DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000319.pub5
            ⚠️This review has been withdrawn

            Final quote … Cochrane Review 23 September 2015
            Manipulation and mobilisation for neck pain contrasted against an inactive control or another active treatment
            DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004249.pub4
            Quality of the evidence
            No high‐quality evidence was found, so uncertainty about the effectiveness of mobilisation or manipulation for neck pain remains.

            Well done!

          • “No high‐quality evidence was found”

            Is is because the criteria to be considered high-quality is not really feasible with these types of studies?

            Another Pete failure.

          • as far as the withdrawal, when Cochrane changed their policy in 2014 they withdrew prior papers that didn’t meet their new policy.

            Is this the best Pete can come up with. Yawn.

          • “Is is because the criteria to be considered high-quality is not really feasible with these types of studies?”

            The promotion and practise of quackery has never required high-quality studies. Indeed, out-of-date systematic reviews are preferred to the current versions WHENEVER THEY CONTAIN SNIPPETS THAT SEEMINGLY SUPPORT THE QUACK’S AGENDA. As you have recently demonstrated.

      • chiro‑troll quote mined “There is strong evidence of benefit favouring a multimodal care approach of exercise combined with mobilisations or manipulations for subacute and chronic MND with or with headache in the short and long term.”
        Cochrane Review 20 July 2005.

        Obviously, chiro‑troll didn’t bother to actually read that quote, let alone the entire article. He copied the typo present in the abstract “MND with or with headache”, which is absent from the corresponding sentence in the discussion section “MND with or without headache”.

        We learnt long ago that the omission of a URL is an attempt to hide something. Here’s the link
        DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004250.pub3
        Exercises for mechanical neck disorders
        Version published: 20 July 2005, 18 years ago.

        With what are we greeted when we open this document?

        ⚠️This is not the most recent version
        → view the current version 28 January 2015

        DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004250.pub5

        In fact, here’s the document version history:
        2015 Jan 28
        2012 Aug 15
        2005 Jul 20
        2003 Jul 21
        2003 Apr 22

        So, chiro‑troll managed to combine:
        quote mining
        lying by omission
        cherry picking
        from the version history

        Well done!

        • The most current paper on exercise for mechanical neck pain didn’t include approaches like manipulation.

          Pete failed again.

          • You are telling us that you are guided by and/or promoting that out-of-date version of the systematic review entitled Exercises for mechanical neck disorders.

            What is it that you failed to comprehend, especially my third bullet point, in

            QUOTE
            So, chiro‑troll managed to combine:
            quote mining
            lying by omission
            cherry picking
            from the version history

            Well done!
            END of QUOTE

            “Cherry-picking is more a deliberate act of deception than a logical fallacy, but nevertheless an extremely common tactic.”

            Intelligent converse is impossible. You do not discuss, you gibber.
            — Sheliak

          • Apparently inclusion/exclusion criteria escapes you.

            I am content to let you wallow in your ignorance.

          • Thank you for confirming that you are guided by and/or promoting that out-of-date (2005) version of the systematic review entitled Exercises for mechanical neck disorders — because the current version doesn’t include chiropractic signature “approaches like manipulation”, which has a terrifyingly close association with:
            • cervical and vertebral artery dissection
            • paralysis
            • death

            My sympathies are with Mr Darkmoore. You can vend your putrid red herrings somewhere else.

          • In order to take DC seriously, one has to undergo a thorough chiro-brainwashing; otherwise he is just a joke, in my view.

          • It was a simple question.

            “He decided to visit the emergency room where a CT scan was ordered which showed that the chiropractor had dissected an artery in his neck.”

            How does one time a VAD from a CT scan considering it takes less than a second to do a cSMT?

          • firstly, the question begs the question whether you are able to write proper English.
            secondly, the fact that many details are missing from this report – which is not a medical case report – is emphacized in my post.
            thirdly, you are using your pseudo-argument as a distraction to the question I pose.
            forthly, you have been wingeing long enough about this.

          • Fine, I will leave with this.

            IMO I think tinnitus should be listed as a relative contraindication to cSMT.

            “The 134 patients with brain ischemia or SAH had head and/or neck pain in 118 (88%) and pulsatile tinnitus in seven (5%) patients.”

            For me, that is the “main issue” of this anecdote.

            https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.STR.0000240493.88473.39

  • Dear DC,

    Why did you train as a chiropractor and not as an MD?

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