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Eighty-One Patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis

by Erin L. Elster, DC. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. August 2004.

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this article is threefold: to examine the role of head and neck trauma as a contributing factor to the onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD); to explore the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-induced injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of protocol developed by the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (IUCCA); and to investigate the potential for improving and arresting MS and PD through the correction of traumainduced upper cervical injury. Data from 81 MS and PD patients who recalled prior trauma, presented with upper cervical injuries, and received care according to the above protocol are reviewed.

Clinical Features: Each patient was examined and cared for in the author’s private practice in an uncontrolled, non-randomized environment over a five-year period. Of the 81 MS and PD patients, 78 recalled that they had experienced at least one head or neck trauma prior to the onset of the disease. In order of frequency, patients reported that they were involved in auto accidents (39 patients); sporting accidents, such as skiing, horseback riding, cycling, and football (29 patients); or falls on icy sidewalks or down stairs (16 patients). The duration between the traumatic event and disease onset varied from two months to 30 years.

Intervention and Outcome: Two diagnostic tests, paraspinal digital infrared imaging and laser-aligned radiography, were performed according to IUCCA protocol. These tests objectively identify trauma-induced upper cervical subluxations (misalignment of the upper cervical spine from the neural canal) and resulting neuropathophysiology. Upper cervical subluxations were found in all 81 cases. After administering treatment to correct their upper cervical injuries, 40 of 44 (91%) MS cases and 34 of 37 (92%) PD cases showed symptomatic improvement and no further disease progression during the care period.

Conclusion: A causal link between trauma-induced upper cervical injury and disease onset for both MS and PD appears to exist. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA protocol may arrest and reverse the progression of both MS and PD. Further study in a controlled, experimental environment with a larger sample size is recommended.

Key Indexing Terms: upper cervical spine, chiropractic, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, trauma