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Patients recount their experiences

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TIM CHEVRIER / 45

saw a chiropractor between 1999 and late 2005.

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A few months after the first visit, he suffered dizziness and a massive headache. He went to see a doctor, who thought it was a migraine.

Over the next few years, he suffered three more painful incidents. He received CT scans and other tests, but doctors did not detect the cause of these events.

Then, after an especially bad episode on June 6, 2006, he landed in Health Sciences Centre, where he underwent a number of tests and had another CT scan. At the bottom of the scan, barely noticeable, doctors detected a dissected artery. It appeared, they said, as though it had been there for some time.

Specialists later told him he had probably suffered a series of mini-strokes, he said. They tried to figure out how the dissection had occurred. He underwent a series of tests and was asked whether he had ever been hurt playing sports or been in a serious car accident. He hadn't.

Finally, he said, the specialist asked him one last question: Had he ever been to a chiropractor?

"He just kind of got this little smirk on his face," Chevrier said of the doctor's reaction when he said he had.

WINNIPEGGER BILL NAHERNY / 51

visited a chiropractor for lower back pain in May 2006.

"She twisted my neck three times and that was it," he recalled earlier this year.

The pain in his head was almost immediate. He struggled to get home. "I barely got to the apartment door and I collapsed."

His landlord called an ambulance. Doctors later told him he had had a stroke. For months he was unable to speak.

Naherny used to be a purchasing manager for a local construction company, but he says he can no longer work.

Naherny hired a lawyer intending to sue the chiropractor, who has since died, but he eventually dropped the case because of the anticipated cost. His lawyer estimated the lawsuit would cost $50,000.

What is chiropractic?

"Chiropractic is the science, art and philosophy of natural healing and prevention. It does not use drugs or surgery. It has always been primarily concerned with the treatment of those patients whose problems can be alleviated with spinal manipulation, known within chiropractic as spinal adjustment... "

-- 1987 Manitoba joint review committee, which investigated the relationship between chiropractors and the province

What are its origins?

The profession owes its origins to Daniel David Palmer of Davenport, Iowa, in 1895. Palmer fused a spiritualist approach to healing with the manual manipulation of joints.

Are chiropractors medical doctors?

No. They do not attend medical school, but colleges of chiropractic. In English Canada, chiropractors are trained at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to the college's four-year doctor of chiropractic degree program.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 6, 2012 A6

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