A recent study of 81 cases, published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), is the first to show that correction of upper neck injuries may reverse the progression of both Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The research was conducted by Erin Elster, DC, an upper cervical chiropractor in Boulder, CO, who compiled data from 44 MS patients and 37 PD patients treated over the past five years. After treating upper neck injuries in 81 patients, 91% of MS patients and 92% of PD patients improved, suggesting that correction of neck injuries stimulated a reversal of MS and PD.
“According to medical research, head and neck injuries have long been considered a contributing factor for the onset of both Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Elster. “But this is the first research to show that correction of those injuries can have a dramatic effect on improving and reversing MS and PD.”
Matthew McCoy, DC, JVSR editor, commented that, “Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year on research of MS and Parkinson’s ‑‑ none of that money goes to chiropractic research. Hopefully Dr. Elster’s research will get the attention of the government, private foundations and individuals who can earmark money to further research the effects of chiropractic care on these disorders. What motivation does a pharmaceutical company have to look elsewhere for the answers? Clearly, attempting to solve what might be a mechanical problem with chemicals is not the answer.”
The World Chiropractic Alliance, publisher of JVSR issued a press release about Dr. Elster’s research that included basic background information on subluxations and chiropractic.
In the past, JVSR press releases have gained significant attention from the media, resulting in positive coverage in newspapers and television news broadcasts.
Among those that generated the most interest was an earlier report on chiropractic and MS by Elster, published by JVSR in May 2001. That report was a case study of a 47‑year old woman diagnosed by her neurologist with chronic progressive MS. After four months of upper cervical chiropractic care, all MS symptoms were absent. A follow‑up MRI showed no new lesions as well as a reduction in intensity of the original lesions. After a year passed in which the patient remained asymptomatic, another follow‑up MRI was performed. Once again, the MRI showed no new lesions and a continued reduction in intensity of the original lesions. Two years after upper cervical chiropractic care began, all MS symptoms remained absent.
The press release distributed by the WCA on the report was accessed more than 2,000 times on one of several Internet newswire services used to distribute the story. According to the wire service, the average medical news story during this period generated only 141 “hits.” Their statistical report showed that the JVSR report generated nearly five times as much interest as the next most accessed report.
Elster’s other research efforts have focused on migraine and cluster headaches, seizures, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and ADHD, all of which have been linked to head and neck trauma by medical researchers.
Her previous published works on the upper cervical chiropractic management of patients with PD and MS have appeared in Today’s Chiropractic and the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Palmer College of Chiropractic, Iowa, Elster completed post‑graduate upper cervical training with the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association in California. She was named “WCA Researcher of the Year” in 2001.
“When chiropractic research focuses only on back pain, it reinforces the mistaken view that our profession is limited to musculoskeletal conditions,” stated Terry A. Rondberg, DC, WCA president. “On the other hand, when a researcher so clearly shows that subluxations affect all human systems, and that subluxation correction can have far‑reaching affects on health and wellness, it alters the public’s perception about what we can do.”
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