Chiropractors successfully treat a number of neurological conditions commonly thought to require drugs for symptom reduction, or even surgical intervention.
Below is a short list of conditions that have either improved or resolved after treatment in our office:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Slip/Trip and Fall Accidents
- Work-related Injuries
- Arthritic conditions
- Chronic pain
- Headache, migraine and vertebrogenic headaches
- Trigeminal neuralgia – pain across the face and jaw.
- Bell’s Palsy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Lumbar disk disease and herniated disks
- Sciatica - Leg Pain
- Meralgia Paresthetica - Upper Thigh Pain
- Radiculitis – radiation of numbness and tingling down the arms or legs.
- Neuritis – inflammation of any part of a nerve, other than the nerve root.
- Paresthesias – feelings of tingling, hot spots, cold spots, crawling sensations, stinging, and burning.
- Occiptial neuralgia
- Dizziness, or loss of equilibrium/vertigo
Chiropractic should be considered first for anyone seeking conservative care for a neurological disorder. Surgery should be considered only as a measure of last resort, after conservative care has failed and after receiving a second opinion.
Chiropractic care has proven to be very successful in the treatment of several neurological conditions such as, to name a few: sciatica, radiating nerve pain of the arm and upper extremities, and, radiating pain of the legs and lower extremities. When the spinal joints are not aligned or motioning properly, there is almost always some effect on the nerves around that spinal joint. When injury is serious, like in the case of a disc herniation or bulge, or when the nerve involvement becomes severe enough, if can result in radiating pain into the arms, hands, legs, feet, or any other area such as muscles or internal organs supplied by the involved nerves.
Chiropractic has shown to offer amazing results by safely, naturally, and effectively restoring proper joint mobility and alignment, and reducing resulting joint and nerve stress. It is very common to have patients find relief from sciatica, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands, and other radiating leg and foot pain after undergoing a course of chiropractic care.
Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. These disorders include epilepsy, Alzheimer disease and cerebrovascular diseases including stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders stemming from malnutrition. The specific causes of neurological problems may vary, but can include genetic disorders, congenital abnormalities or problems including malnutrition. The problem may start in another body system that interacts with the nervous system. In substantial minority cases of neurological symptoms, no cause can be identified using current testing procedures, and such "idiopathic" conditions can invite different theories about what is occurring.
Chiropractors commonly treat patients with neurological conditions such as: headaches; neuritis (inflammation of any part of a nerve, other than the nerve root) producing sensations called paresthesias (feelings of tingling, hot spots, cold spots, crawling sensations, stinging, and burning); and radiculitis (inflammation of a nerve root as it exits the spine) producing shoulder, arm and hand pain. Loss of equilibrium/vertigo is also a condition sometimes treated by chiropractors.
Because neurological problems can be extremely serious and even life-threatening, these situations often call for a referral or co-management with other health-care professionals.
Chiropractic may also be able to help with many other neurological disorders such as:
- Learning & Behavioural difficulties, Dyslexia
- Attention disorders, ADHD
- Dizziness, Vertigo, Tinnitus, Menieres Disease, Balance disorders
- Developmental disorders (slow, delayed)
- Head injury, Post-stroke Rehabilitation
- Spinal cord and Nerve Injuries
- Nerve entrapment syndromes (Carpal tunnel syndrome, etc)
- Movement disorders, Parkinson's, Dystonia
With respect to neurological impairment, according to Dr. Christopher Kent, DC, Esq. in his paper, Body, Mind and Chiropractic, "the scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the nervous system. Although many chiropractors tend to focus on disorders associated with the physical body, particularly musculoskeletal pain syndromes, abnormal nervous system function may also affect emotional and psychological health. Research is providing chiropractors with information about how the stress response is mediated by the autonomic nervous system1 and how afferent input from the spine affects brain function.2-3" Hence, the body/mind connection.
Among Rome’s conclusions: “It is the emphasis on a localized Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) connection with the spine which would differentiate the chiropractic health care profession from others in the manipulative and manual therapies field. It must be appreciated that this association implies more than a musculoskeletal connection, and thereby may have the potential to influence neurophysiology and consequently homeostasis, which could contribute to overall patient well-being.”5
There is a small, but growing body of evidence concerning the relationship of the spine, vertebral subluxation, chiropractic care, and psychological and emotional health. The following sampling is not a comprehensive review; it is merely to whet your appetite on the subject. A systematic review examined psychological outcomes in randomized controlled trials of spinal manipulation. The study concluded: “There was some evidence that spinal manipulation improved psychological outcomes compared with verbal interventions … The clinical implications are that physical treatments, such as spinal manipulation have psychological benefits.”6
Everything we experience is processed through our nervous system. When our perception of the world is distorted by nerve interference, it compromises our ability to respond appropriately. He noted that in addition to damaging our physical health, it could result in impaired psychological and emotional function as well. Finally, he opined that when this happened to a significant number of people in a society, a sick society would result.
Chiropractic care is concerned with the totality of the human experience. By analyzing and correcting vertebral subluxations (misaligned vertebrae pinching nerves), a patient is placed on a more optimum physiological path. This brings the individual closer to the definition of health promulgated by the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”16
1. Lee R. “The New Pandemic: Superstress?” Explore, 2010;6(1):7-10.
2. Carrick FR. Changes in brain function after manipulation of the cervical spine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1997;20(8):529-45.
3. Kelly DD, Murphy BA, Backhouse DP. Use of a mental rotation reaction-time paradigm to measure the effects of upper cervical adjustments on cortical processing: a pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2000;23(4):246-51.
4. Rome PL. Neurovertebral influence upon the autonomic nervous system: some of the somato-autonomic evidence to date. Chiropr J Aust, 2009;39(1):2-17.
5. Rome PL. Neurovertebral influence on visceral and ANS function: some of the evidence to date, part II: somatovisceral. Chiropr J Aust, 2010;40(1):9-29.
6. Williams NH, Hendry M, Lewis R, et al. Psychological response in spinal manipulation (PRISM): a systematic review or psychological outcomes in randomized controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2007;15:271-283.
7. Genthner GC, Friedman HL, Studley CF. Improvement in depression following reduction of upper cervical vertebral subluxation using orthospinology technique.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Nov. 7, 2005.
8. Holder JM, Duncan Robert C, Gissen M, Miller M, Blum K. Increasing retention rates among the chemically dependent in residential treatment: auriculotherapy and (in a separate study) subluxation-based chiropractic care. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, March 2001;6(suppl 1).
9. Desaulniers AMJ. Effect of subluxation-based chiropractic care on quality of life in a patient with major depression. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 23, 2008.
10. Lovett L, Blum CL. Behavioral and learning changes secondary to chiropractic care to reduce subluxations in a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a case study. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Oct. 4, 2006.
11. Khorshid KA, Sweat RW, Zemba DA, Zemba BN. Clinical efficacy of upper cervical versus full spine chiropractic care on children with autism: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, March 9, 2006.
12. Pauli Y. The effects of chiropractic care on individuals suffering from learning disabilities and dyslexia: a review of the literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Jan. 15, 2007.
13. Blanks RHI, Dobson M. A study regarding measures of general health status in patients using the Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique: a follow up study. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research,1999;3(2):1.
14. McAllister W, Boone WR. Changes in physical state and self-perceptions in domains of health related quality of life among public safety personnel undergoing chiropractic care. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Aug. 6, 2007.
15. Monti DA, Stoner ME, Zivin G, Schlesinger M. Short term correlates of the Neuro Emotional Technique for cancer-related traumatic stress symptoms: a pilot case series. J Cancer Surviv, 2007;1:161-166.
16. World Heath Organization definition of health. www.who.int/about/definition/e...