Realigning Upper Vertebrae Can Relieve MS Symptoms, Chiropractic Studies Suggest

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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The Blair Chiropractic Technique may ease multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, studies indicate.

The technique involves adjusting the spinal column’s upper cervical vertebrae. These bones can misalign, interfering with the neck-area connection between the brainstem and neural canal.

Manipulating this area can alleviate MS symptoms in many patients, chiropractic studies have suggested. In fact, 91 percent of MS patients treated this way showed improvements in their symptoms, according to a study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

The Blair technique pays special attention to the first two cervical vertebrae, the atlas and axis. They are the most moveable vertebrae in the spinal column and the ones most commonly misaligned.

MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The disease results from the inflammation and subsequent deterioration of the protective myelin sheath around neurons. Ultimately, myelin is replaced by scar tissue, and the affected neurons can no longer communicate with each other.

Additional signal transmission complications among neurons can result from misalignments in the vertebrae. In fact, studies indicate that neck injuries have caused alignment problems in some MS patients.

Robert Clarke of Health First Chiropractic in Marysville, Washington,  is an advocate of the Blair Technique.

“Many MS symptoms can be relieved by the application of chiropractic treatment,” Clarke said in a news release. “Cervical treatment has been shown to be particularly effective. In this treatment, the vertebrae in the cervical region – the upper neck – are realigned to eliminate issues that can further interfere with nerve transmission. These vertebrae are especially important for MS treatment because of their proximity to the brain.”

Founded by Dr. B. J. Palmer, chiropractic is based on the notion that the entire body can be affected by problems at the base of the skull, since all nerves pass through this region to reach the brain.

While chiropractic won’t cure MS, it can complement treatment in many patients, its advocates contend.

Elissa Holzman, a columnist at MS News Today, wrote an article last year about how complementary care such as chiropractic helps her manage her MS.


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