Stroke-What to Do

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What Should I Do If I Have Any of the Symptoms?
If you, your friend, or a family member is having any symptoms, seek medical care immediately:
  • Dial 911 or have someone take you or your friend to the nearest emergency room. Do NOT let the person with the symptoms drive or stay home.
  • Try to remember the time of onset of your symptoms and what symptoms you’re having. This information will help the treating doctors provide the best possible care for you.
Remember: The sooner you seek emergency medical assistance, the better the chances of minimizing the damage from a stroke. The person with the symptoms should seek medical care even if:
  • Not all symptoms are present.
  • The symptoms go away after a short time.
  • He or she has the symptoms with no real pain.
  • He or she denies the symptoms.
What Is the Treatment for Stroke?
There are generally three separate stages of treatment for stroke: prevention, therapy immediately after stroke, and post-stroke rehabilitation.
Stroke prevention is based on treating underlying risk factors (see tips below). Acute stroke therapies try to stop a stroke while it is happening. These include anticoagulants that help break up or prevent further formation of blood clots and efforts to support the person’s vital functions, such as breathing. Post-stroke rehabilitation helps overcome some of the disabilities that result from the brain damage. For most stroke patients, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy form the base of a rehabilitation program.
Is There Risk of Stroke from Neck Manipulation (a chiropractic adjustment)?
Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. Although some reports have associated upper highvelocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is not yet a clear understanding of the connection. While we don’t know the actual incidence of stroke associated with highvelocity upper neck manipulation, the occurrence does appear to be rare, based upon the clinical reports and scientific studies to date. The chiropractic profession is actively researching stroke and neck manipulation and available safe alternative conservative therapies.
It has also been suggested, for example, that sudden severe upper-neck pain and/or headache, which may indicate a pre-stroke condition, could cause someone to visit a doctor of chiropractic. In addition, some regular everyday activities, such as stargazing, rapidly turning the head while driving, and even having a shampoo in a hair salon may cause aneurysm—a widening of an artery resulting from the weakening of the artery walls— of the neck arteries, resulting in stroke. These events remain very difficult to predict.
If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms, so that he or she can provide the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider. There are various head and neck positions and forms of joint movement. Depending on your clinical condition, joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, soft-tissue techniques, and other therapies can also be recommended. If the issue of stroke concerns you, do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor of chiropractic.
Information from ACA
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