Katie May was a successful model, with spreads in Playboy and Sports Illustrated, plus a huge Instagram and Snapchat following. Last week, the 34-year old woman died after experiencing several strokes. She was young and seemed to be in good health, so what happened?
Her family told TMZ that May had a torn carotid artery, according to her doctors. The family said it may have occurred due to a fall she experienced two weeks prior. But it’s worth noting that May visited a chiropractor just a few hours before being rushed to the hospital, according to her own Tweets and a report from her close friend, who told the press that the nurse assisting May told her that chiropractic-induced strokes happen all the time.
I am not a doctor, and even if I was, it would be wholly unprofessional to state with any degree of certainty about what exactly happened in this specific case. But I can tell you what we know about chiropractors.
First of all, chiropractic care was invented with the belief that you could cure pretty much any ailment in the body by adjusting the spine. Stomach ache? Spinal adjustment. Heart problems? Spinal adjustment. Burst appendix? Let’s just wiggle that spine around a little more. Needless to say, all this is bullshit.
Some chiropractors (but probably not most) don’t believe that anymore, but they continue to believe that spinal adjustments can help with any ailment related to posture, headaches, backaches, or other muscle aches.
The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that when it comes to backaches, chiropractic is equal to or not quite as good as simple massage therapy.
When it comes to headaches and neck aches, it’s bullshit. And not only that, but it’s dangerous bullshit.
Chiropractors in the US are not doctors, meaning they do not have to go to medical school prior to calling themselves chiropractors and offering to snap your neck for zero benefit. And fucking around with the neck is incredibly dangerous. Dr. Edzard Ernst, formerly a champion of alternative medicine, published a study in 2010 examining the results of chiropractic neck treatments and found that the benefits of it don’t outweigh the very clear risk of death due to stroke following “treatment.”
In other words, chiropractic is a 19th century practice with no unique benefits that offers a small risk of an untimely death.
Did chiropractic kill Katie May? I don’t know. But I do know that there’s enough there that I hope her family considers getting the authorities involved to investigate the chiropractor who adjusted her neck just hours prior to her death. It’s a tragic case, but apparently we need a high-profile disaster before the world starts to really pay attention to the dangerous quackery of chiropractic.