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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Chiropractic

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). The brain and spinal cord have a protective covering called the ‘myelin sheath’ which helps send signals. Multiple Sclerosis is when your immune system attacks the myelin and causes damage and scarring to the spinal cord and nerves. Think of an electrical cord with the outer covering being chewed on by a pet.  With the damage from the pet, the electrical signal sent from the outlet does not travel to its destination smoothly. Scars/plaques/lesions build up after the damage is done and they inhibit our nerves from sending and receiving signals. Without being able to work properly, the nervous system becomes inflamed. Subluxations (bones being out of place) can also irritate/inflame nerves and myelin and they can be corrected with one of our many types of adjustments. Why wouldn’t we try to eliminate the damage done by subluxations AND MS?

ribbon-1402015_640The majority of people who have MS suffer from pain. Most people initiate chiropractic care due to pain. I found multiple anecdotes supporting the benefits of chiropractic care from pain due to MS and joint restriction due to decreased activity from complications of MS. If your joints aren’t moving with correct alignment, how is your body supposed to move freely? Chiropractic allows for proper alignment and decreased pain to encourage increased range of motion.

Multiple sclerosis is complicated because it is hard to diagnose. It has a variety of symptoms that can affect the eyes, sensation and strength in the limbs, bowel and bladder issues, pain syndromes, and emotional and cognitive (thinking and reasoning) changes. Not everyone who has MS has all of these symptoms, and others who have MS do have all of them.  As of right now, there is no cure for MS. We have to settle for ‘managing’ the disease and slowing the progression. Being as MS is complicated, it is best managed with comprehensive care. Medications are prescribed that modify the disease and reduce inflammation caused by attacks, physical therapy addresses mobility, occupational therapy is related to leisure and employment activities, cognitive rehabilitation is useful when reasoning, concentrating, and memory changes are noted, and chiropractic care aids  in reducing the progression of spinal degeneration, inflammation, pain, and improving mobility.

Keep your spine and nervous system healthy,

-Dr.  Tonya

 

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