Monday, February 14, 2011

Upper Cervical Care and MS: Case 1

Editor's Note: This is the second of a seven post series where we will be sharing five case reports on patients with MS that received upper cervical care and the results that occurred. The full article with all the reports can be read at length here.


History: This 54-year-old female was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 44 after a bout of optic neuritis, which prompted an MRI (MS plaques were visible). Over the next nine years, she experienced a minimum of one exacerbation per year lasting an average of one month. She recovered completely each time except for partial vision loss resulting from optic neuritis. The most recent flare-up occurred at age 53 when she experienced numbness that switched from side-to-side in her body. With this exacerbation, no remission occurred. Symptoms included tingling in her arms, hands, legs, and feet as well as a positive L'hermitte's Sign (pain, numbness, tingling down extremities upon cervical flexion). After these symptoms were present for three months, this subject's neurologist surmised her condition was worsening and recommended drug therapy. Due to her concerns over long-term drug use, this patient chose to undergo upper cervical chiropractic care first.

Exam: During her initial chiropractic examination, this subject showed reduced sensitivity bilaterally in her arms, hands, legs, and feet. L'hermitte's Sign was present during cervical flexion and right lateral flexion compression was positive. The subject reported experiencing these symptoms constantly for the three months prior to her chiropractic exam. Cervical ranges of motion were reduced during left lateral bending and left rotation. She reported visual loss from previous optic neuritis episodes. Computerized thermal imaging showed thermal asymmetries as high as 1.0 ÂșC. Analysis of cervical radiographs revealed left laterality and left anterior rotation of atlas.

Outcome: Immediately following this subject's first upper cervical adjustment, Lhermitte's Sign was no longer present. During the following week, normal sensation returned to her extremities. After two weeks of upper cervical care, cervical ranges of motion no longer produced pain and cervical compression tests were negative. At the end of week four, this patient reported improved vision in her left eye (which had been damaged by the episode of optic neuritis ten years earlier). After four weeks of upper cervical care, this subject's neurologist reexamined her and no longer recommended drug therapy. Two years after beginning upper cervical care, this subject remained symptom-free.

Summary: This patient experienced a minimum of one relapse per year for the ten years prior to upper cervical care. After upper cervical intervention, two years passed without reoccurrence of symptoms.

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