Treating Multiple Sclerosis at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation

Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder that is based on demyelination, or damage to the myelin sheaths that protect the nerve fibers (axons) of the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.

With multiple sclerosis, myelin is damaged in multiple areas, which leaves scar tissue known as scleroses. Sometimes the axon itself is damaged or broken. The ability of the nerves to send messages to and from the brain is disrupted, producing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

The symptoms of this disease tend to occur episodically and usually appear in acute periods of worsening with a gradually progressive deterioration of neurologic function. Multiple sclerosis relapses are often unpredictable, occurring without warning or obvious triggering factors.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

People with multiple sclerosis suffer from a dramatically varied number of possible neurological issues. These can include muscle weakness, vision changes, clumsiness, loss of bladder control, and reduced or abnormal sensation (among many others). In order to diagnose multiple sclerosis, doctors generally look for the most typical symptoms, such as altered eye movements and abnormal pupil response; changes in speech patterns; impaired reflexes and coordination; and spasticity or weakness in the legs and arms.

Multiple sclerosis is a difficult disease to diagnose. There is no single test for the disorder, and a diagnosis cannot be made until there is evidence of two separate episodes of disease activity in the central nervous system. This means that diagnosing multiple sclerosis is often an agonizingly slow process.

Chiropractic and Multiple Sclerosis

The traditional treatment for multiple sclerosis involves a series of powerful drugs (more on this below); given that side effects are part and parcel of being on a regular pharmaceutical regimen, many patients suffering from multiple sclerosis seek out natural, holistic treatment options to lessen or eliminate many neurological symptoms. These can include changes in diet, exercise, and herbal remedies.

Chiropractic treatment for multiple sclerosis is an effective drug free option for patients. A recent study has revealed that the correction of upper neck (cervical) issues can help improve or even reverse the progression of multiple sclerosis. In this study, 91% of patients showed improvement over a five year period.*

This study was the first to confirm the relationship between neck injuries and the development of multiple sclerosis. These types of injuries usually result from accidents in which the individual sustains a sudden force to the head or neck, such as in a car accident or from whiplash. Symptoms of the disease may surface at any point in the months or years following an accident, and individuals are often unaware of the extent of the sustained injury.

Traditional Medical Response

Conventional treatment for multiple sclerosis manages the disease as symptomatic attacks occur. During an acute relapse, high doses of corticosteroids are often administered. This therapy is generally effective in the short term for relieving symptoms, but has no lasting impact on recovery. Corticosteroids are similar to the natural hormone cortisone and are very powerful. The many side effects of corticosteroids are well known, and include increased appetite and weight gain, high blood pressure, decreased immune response, osteoporosis, the destruction of blood vessels, and diabetes.

Beta interferons are also commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis. Beta interferons are genetically engineered copies of proteins that naturally occur in the body. While these medications can reduce disease symptoms, researchers are uncertain of the mechanism that causes this response, and of the long term benefits of use. These drugs do not reverse damage and have not been proven to prevent permanent disability. Many patients are unable to tolerate the flu-like side effects of beta interferons.

Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation

The effects of multiple sclerosis reach much further than wreaking havoc on the body’s nervous system; this disease can destroy a sufferer’s ability to lead a normal, healthy, and productive life. This does not have to be the case.

Chiropractic treatment for multiple sclerosis is a logical choice, given that the disease is neurological in nature, and chiropractic is concerned with finding and eradicating intrusions in the nervous system caused by misalignments in the spine. Our practice uses a variety of chiropractic techniques; the most common of these is an approach known as Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP).

It is important for patients to understand that problems in the nervous system (such as multiple sclerosis) often result from issues in the cervical, or neck, spine. These postural concerns are resolved gently and effectively through CBP because the treatment focuses on the spine as a whole (as opposed to individual vertebral subluxations) to return the nervous system to optimal functionality.

Chiropractic treatment is drug free; this makes it safe to begin treatment even before a formal diagnosis has been made. If you or someone you know is suffering from multiple sclerosis, please contact our office to learn more about Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation.

*Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research August 16, 2004