Chiropractics is a form of treatment that focuses mostly on the musculoskeletal system. Treatments, which are often called adjustments, often involve hands-on manipulation of the spine or other joints. Sometimes a chiropractor can use other instruments during manipulations as well. Usually people will visit a chiropractor when they are suffering from back pain, neck pain, headache or after a trauma or injury.
Individuals who have Multiple Sclerosis often seek out treatment from complementary treatment providers, and chiropractors are included in that list. There are several ways that chiropractic care can help individuals with MS to feel better. It can help with specific areas of the body that are being affected by symptoms. As well as helping to correct any misalignment in the cervical spine.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
When an individual with MS seeks out treatment from a chiropractor for symptom management, they can be helped a number of ways. For example, if someone is experiencing issues with foot drop, a chiropractor can help with adjustments to the hip and ankle. If someone is experiencing issues with low back pain or muscle tightness in a specific area, getting an adjustment may help these symptoms as well. Many individuals have also noticed a decrease in pain, fatigue, spasticity and an increase in range of motion of joints. Obviously a chiropractor cannot reverse any damage that is done to nerves. However, through manipulation of your body they can help to improve gait issues, how your muscles move, balance and strength.
Cervical Spine Subluxations
There is a theory that many MS symptoms, and disease onset, can be related to upper cervical trauma and subluxation. What that means: if you had an injury to the head, neck or cervical spine, such as whiplash, your cervical spine might be misaligned. Subluxation is a slight misalignment of a joint, not a full dislocation, so you are still able to function normally. You might not experience symptoms and might not know this exists for you. There have been several studies that have shown that individuals with both subluxation, as well as MS have been able to experience significant improvement of symptoms when they had adjustments made to their cervical spine. The reason for this is fairly simple. Nerve pathways are not disrupted when the cervical spine is aligned properly.
In one study, the use of chiropractic care to correct upper cervical injuries showed favorable improvement. The researchers gathered data over a five-year period from 44 MS patients. They found that 91% of them showed a decrease in their symptoms. In the same study, researchers also followed 37 patients with Parkinson’s disease who showed the same upper cervical misalignment, and 92% of Parkinson’s patients reported improvement and no further disease progression.
Chiropractic care is a cost-effective and potentially very beneficial treatment for individuals with MS. It can help with a wide variety of symptoms and has the potential to improve quality of life dramatically.