Chiropractic Care for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. The disorder causes an inflammation of the myelin sheath, the outer covering of the nerves, precipitating a wide variety of symptoms, including muscles weakness, pain, numbness, decreased coordination, spasticity (muscle stiffness) and, when the optic nerve is affected, visual difficulties. Chiropractic care, with its holistic emphasis on correcting spinal misalignments to allow the body to heal itself, is a natural treatment for this disease.

In addition to an enormous number of anecdotal reports of the benefits of chiropractic treatments for MS, a research study done in 1994 demonstrated that 91 percent of participating patients had a significant improvement in their symptoms after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Care for MS

For the most part, chiropractors treating patients with MS focus on manual adjustments of the vertebrae, particularly those of the upper spine. In addition to the secondary gains of decreased pain and stiffness, and the relaxation of muscle spasms provided by chiropractic care, the alignment of the spinal column decompresses nerves throughout the body, providing relief of more serious symptoms of the disease.

Beyond vertebral adjustments, chiropractors offer a variety of other treatment options that may help patients with MS. These encompass

  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Deep muscle massage
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Applied kinesiology

Chiropractors also make recommendations involving lifestyle changes. These may include avoiding smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs, making healthier dietary choices, engaging in an exercise regimen, and getting sufficient sleep.

A variation on traditional chiropractic care, known as The Atlas Orthogonal System, has also been found to be of great value in helping patients with MS. This system, designed to restore balance to the body in order to promote natural healing, uses X-rays to determine precisely where upper cervical spinal corrections should be performed and uses equipment specially manufactured for the purpose. Atlas Orthogonists, who have further postgraduate training after becoming doctors of chiropractic, do not manipulate the spine. There is no twisting or cracking. Only light touches are used to move the spine into correct alignment.

Advantages of Chiropractic Care for MS

Patients with multiple sclerosis experience several advantages when under chiropractic care. For one thing, there are no invasive procedures and no medications to contend with in terms of side effects. Another benefit of chiropractic care is that symptom relief often comes rapidly, or even immediately, after a treatment session.

For patients who see Atlas Orthogonists, the gentle approach may be more relaxing and tension-relieving than typical chiropractic care.

Additional Resources

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