Multiple Sclerosis and Chiropractic Care
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that can cause long-term physical impairment. The disease is often characterized by arm or leg numbness, visual changes, uncoordinated gait, balance difficulties, speech impairment, and incontinence. Symptoms sometimes wax and wane, but the more frequent they become, the greater the possibility for continuing challenges. Some individuals with MS experience only a few troublesome episodes in their lifetime while others seem fraught with ongoing problems.
People suspected to have MS are typically under the care of a neurologist, and an MRI is frequently ordered. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and sometimes spine may show one or more lesions when MS is present. Another common test is the examination of cerebrospinal fluid. Nonetheless, MS is considered by many to be a clinical diagnosis; therefore, no one test can determine whether or not an individual has the disease. Instead, findings are based on symptoms as well as test results.
An important question frequently asked of MS patients is, “Have you ever suffered an injury or trauma to the head or cervical spine (e.g., whiplash)?” The reason for the inquiry? Subluxation, misalignment of the spine, in the neck region can compromise the proper functioning of the central nervous system. Certain studies have shown that individuals with upper cervical misalignment and an MS diagnosis have realized substantial improvement and even reversal of symptoms when chiropractic adjustments are made. What is the theory behind this exciting discovery? Nerve pathways are less hindered when the cervical spine is properly aligned. No one knows for certain what causes multiple sclerosis, but some in the medical field believe that a genetic component may be attached. Even if this is the case, an injury or trauma to the cervical spine might place asymptomatic people in an active state of the disease because of an upset to the central nervous system.
Several studies examining the efficacy of chiropractic treatments in MS patients have been very encouraging. In one such study comprised of 44 MS patients, chiropractic care improved symptoms in 91% of the individuals. Chiropractic care also improved symptoms in 92% of the 37 Parkinson’s disease patients evaluated. To repeat this extremely impressive finding, proper alignment of the upper cervical spine through chiropractic adjustments and/or manipulation has show great promise in improving and even reversing MS and Parkinson’s disease symptoms. In addition to a reduction in symptoms, current lesions in MS patients sometimes appeared less vivid one to two years after the onset of chiropractic care (and in some cases, no new lesions developed!).
An upper neck injury can be a serious condition, particularly in people with MS. Chiropractic adjustments work to properly align the cervical spine, thereby improving the functioning of the central nervous system. So, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chiropractic evaluation is likely in order. Why suffer from debilitating symptoms when there is a natural therapy that can help?