A rare eye health complication of chiropractic care

US researchers report that the high velocity neck manipulation can result in stress in the eye and cause spotty vision


Energetic manipulation of the neck can result in damage to the retina, US scientists have warned.

Writing in American Journal of Ophthalmologyclinicians highlighted that the high velocity movements found in some forms of chiropractic care can place stress on the eye and result in spotty vision.

The authors describe the case of a 59-year-old woman who presented with painless loss of vision.

She noticed the first “tadpole” shaped spot while driving home from a chiropractor appointment, with a further two spots appearing the following day.

During the patient’s chiropractor appointment, she received cervical spinal manipulation using the high-velocity, low-amplitude technique on the back of her neck.

Another technique was performed that involved twisting her neck to the left and to the right.

Slit lamp examination of the right eye demonstrated multiple unilateral preretinal haemorrhages and a shallow, incomplete posterior vitreous detachment.

The patient’s vision improved rapidly over a two-week period. A two-month follow up appointment confirmed that the preretinal haemorrhages had self-resolved.