Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, potentially debilitating disease that affects the brain, brain stem and spinal cord. MS affects more than one million people around the world. This disease is unpredictable and varies in severity, from a mild illness in some patients to a permanent disability in others. Symptoms typically begin between ages 20 and 40, with women being afflicted twice as often as men. The most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis include numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, difficulty walking, impaired balance, muscle weakness, visual disturbances and memory loss. Your central nervous system contains millions of nerve fibers that carry electrical impulses from your brain and brain stem to almost every tissue, organ and cell within your body. The degenerative process of MS is called demyelination. This is the destruction of the fatty substance, or myelin, which coats and protects the nerve fibers. This fatty substance functions much like to the insulation that shields electrical wires. In patients with MS, the body mistakenly destroys the myelin sheath, which becomes inflamed and swollen and detaches from the nerve fibers; then, firm or hardened (sclerosed) patches of scar tissue form over the fibers. Eventually, this damage slows or even blocks the nerve signals from the brain, brain stem and spinal cord that control muscle coordination, strength, sensation and vision. This results in some of the permanent disabilities that may develop in patients with MS.

Upper Cervical Care & Multiple Sclerosis

Some of the newest and most relevant research on upper cervical care has demonstrated the link between MS and the upper cervical spine. Although upper cervical care is not considered a cure for those with MS, the studies demonstrate the extreme benefits for those suffering with this debilitating neurological disease. A study published in 2005 revealed that 100% of the patients with Multiple Sclerosis had a history of upper cervical injuries whether months old or years old. Another recently published case study has shown that correction of upper neck injuries may reverse the progression of MS. Dr. Erin Elster, an upper cervical chiropractor, performed the research. Through the use of upper cervical care, Elster corrected chronic upper neck injuries in an MS patient, which may have stimulated a reversal of his MS symptoms. These results have been duplicated in upper cervical centers across the country and have shown the same promising results. Elster’s report was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. It stated that, “According to medical research, head and neck injuries have long been considered a cause of Multiple Sclerosis. But this is the first research to show that correction of those injuries can have dramatic effects on reversing MS.” In light of these recent reports, it is absolutely essential, if you have MS, that you have your spine and nervous system examined by an upper cervical doctor.

Medical Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the typical medical treatment for MS includes a variety of Interferon drugs (Avonex®, Rebif® and Betaseron®), Copaxone®, Novantrone® and Tysabri®. For acute relapses, corticosteroids such as Prednisone are used, as well as muscle relaxants, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, central nervous system stimulants and NSAIDS. Multiple Sclerosis & Physical Trauma For more than a century, physicians and scientists have unsuccessfully attempted to determine the exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis. The textbook Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatments states there are many factors, including trauma, that may trigger or precede exacerbations. An article in the European Journal of Neurology concluded that there is a definite sub group of MS patients where trauma, specifically whiplash of the neck, appears to worsen the natural course of MS. In susceptible individuals, these injuries might unleash critical changes in the central nerve system and trigger the onset of MS symptoms. Another expert on Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Charles Poser of The Harvard Medical School, published a similar article entitled “Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques”. A renowned expert, Poser also concluded that trauma to the head, neck, or upper back can act as a trigger for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms in some patients with MS. He further stated that only trauma affecting the brain and/or spinal cord can be considered significant, as is the case in some whiplash injuries. At the very least, these studies have shown that trauma does indeed have a relationship with the aggravation or creation of MS. However, in this particular situation, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis may not develop for days, months, or even years after the injury.