On November 9, 2017, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research journal published the results of a case study of a woman suffering with long-term multiple sclerosis (MS) being helped by chiropractic. Although rarely fatal, MS is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that can range from a mild course of symptoms to steadily worsening or even disabling condition.
The study authors report that “Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurological disease of young adults.” Although there is no way to know what course this disease will take with any given individual, most patients seem to experience short periods of exacerbation of their symptoms followed by long periods of relief.
According to the study authors, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms associated with MS. These include numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occur on one side of the body at a time, tingling or pain in parts of the body, electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements especially bending the neck forward, tremors, lack of coordination or unsteady gait, slurred speech, fatigue, dizziness, partial or complete loss of vision often with pain during eye movement, prolonged double vision, and problems with bowel and bladder function.
In this case, a 39-year-old woman presented herself to a chiropractic office accompanied by her parents and an aide. Her first symptoms of MS began at age 19, when she first became partially blind in one eye. She was partially blind for several months and nearly lost her ability to see. She was then diagnosed with MS by a neurologist and confirmed by an MRI which showed active plaque formation. The woman was given prednisone which seemed to help for a while. One year later, the woman began to lose her ability to walk. Her legs continued to feel weak and she started feeling fewer sensations in the legs, upper body, hands and arms.
The woman’s condition continued to deteriorate to where she was in her apartment and her legs just gave way. She fell down and was stranded in her apartment for a couple of days until someone found her. From that point, forward she never regained the ability to walk, leaving her wheelchair bound without the ability to move her legs. Her condition continued to worsen, as she became unable to sit up in her wheelchair without assistance or hold her head up for more than a short period of time.
Chiropractic x-rays were taken specifically of her neck. Significant subluxations were noted and specific forms of chiropractic care were started multiple times per day along with physical rehabilitation. Over the course of a year of chiropractic care, the woman steadily showed improvement. Another MRI was performed that now showed no active plaques in the woman’s brain. The study also reports that her neurological signs also were improving.
Over the course of a year, the woman continued to show improvement and she began to regain sensations to her legs, which was followed with improvements in the movement of her toes and feet. Additionally she started to have control of her upper body where she was able to hold herself upright in her wheelchair, feed herself, comb her hair, put on make-up and put her own clothes on. She eventually improved to the point to where she was able to leave her wheelchair and walk using a walker.
Many of the woman’s other symptoms also improved including her partial blindness in one eye. Additionally, her abnormal skin sensations improved, she had no more migraine headaches, and she regained full function of her bladder and bowels.
In their conclusion, the authors summed up the success of this case by saying, “In this case study of a 39-year old female patient with a 20-year history of MS, subluxation-based chiropractic care decreased the neurological interference, which resulted in reduction of MS symptomatology and resolution of the active plaques and mass lesion in the post-MRI of the brain. Overall, the patient’s quality of life was improved based on the patient’s functional goals that were reached.”