Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Group wants limits set on chiropractors

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A group of Manitobans wants the province to ban certain neck manipulations by chiropractors, claiming the procedures can cause strokes.

It also wants the government to stop subsidizing the cost of chiropractic treatments.

More than a half-dozen members of the group, including three who say they suffered strokes after having their necks manipulated by a chiropractor, met for an hour with Health Minister Theresa Oswald on Thursday.

"I thought it was a very favourable meeting, a very positive meeting," said Pat Chevrier, whose son Tim had a stroke in 2006, which he blames on chiropractic neck manipulations.

The Manitoba Chiropractic Association disputes the allegation that chiropractic treatments can cause a stroke. A spokesman for the group said in a recent interview that a study showed people were as likely to have a stroke after seeing a medical doctor as after a visit to a chiropractor.

Manitoba is the only province that provides universal chiropractic coverage. Anyone with a Manitoba Health card gets $11.20 of the cost of a visit paid for by the government. Adjustments to the spinal column, pelvis and extremities are covered.

The group also complained to Oswald that many chiropractors say they can treat colic and bedwetting through manipulating the spine of children.

After the meeting, Oswald said she would look into the group's concerns about neck manipulations.

"I'm going to work to seek more information from my own department and from other experts."

She said her department has no plan to delist chiropractic treatments as a service covered by Manitoba Health, but she didn't dismiss the group's complaints.

"I want you to hear loud and clear that I took very seriously what these folks said to me today and the questions that they asked me," Oswald said.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

In Saturday's Free Press

Neurologists warn patients that neck manipulation by chiropractors has caused strokes in some people.

Chiropractors say research shows chiropractic care and exercise is superior to medications for neck pain.

Manitoba is the only province in Canada that provides universal chiropractic care.

In Saturday's Free Press, reporter Larry Kusch will investigate the growing debate about the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care and its future in Manitoba.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 5, 2012 $sourceSection0

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