Chiropractic correction may help reverse multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease

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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 performed by Erin Elster, D.C., an Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Boulder, Colorado, 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 Dr. Elster, traumas to the head, neck, and upper spine can result in vertebral subluxations that occur when vertebrae (the small interlocking bones of the spinal column) misalign or become stuck and interfere with the function of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). By aligning the first two upper vertebrae with the skull, nerve pathways traveling between the brain and spinal cord became less obstructed. This may help improve and/or reverse both 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 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."

Upper neck injuries frequently occur during traumas in which an individual sustains a blow to the head, whiplash, or concussion, such as during a fall, auto accident, or sporting accident. The injury can precede the onset of MS and PD by months, years, or even decades. In many cases, an individual is completely unaware that he or she has sustained such an injury. "An examination would need to be performed in each individual’s case to determine whether a neck injury is contributing to his or her health problem," Elster noted.

Dr. Matthew McCoy, 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.”

This research comes on the heels of other publications by Elster in which upper neck injuries were corrected in patients with migraine and cluster headaches, seizures, bipolar disorder, Tourette Syndrome and ADHD, all of which have been linked to head and neck trauma by medical researchers.

JVSR is a peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to subluxation based chiropractic research affiliated with the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), an international organization representing doctors of chiropractic and promoting the traditional, drug-free and non-invasive form of chiropractic as a means of correcting vertebral subluxations that cause nerve interference.


  1. Che Che United States says:

    I would like to see where the research is that links neck injuries to MS or PD or other symptoms related to these diseases.

    • Here's your research Here's your research United States says:

      And in the conclusion it does state "Further study in a controlled, experimental environment with a larger sample size is recommended."

      Research Abstract

      Eighty-One Patients with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxation: A Retrospective Analysis Erin L. Elster, D.C. Bio [August 2, 2004, pp 1-9]

      Objective: The objective of this article is threefold: to examine the role of head and neck trauma as a contributing factor to the onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD); to explore the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-induced injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of protocol developed by the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (IUCCA); and to investigate the potential for improving and arresting MS and PD through the correction of traumainduced upper cervical injury. Data from 81 MS and PD patients who recalled prior trauma, presented with upper cervical injuries, and received care according to the above protocol are reviewed.

      Clinical Features: Each patient was examined and cared for in the author’s private practice in an uncontrolled, non-randomized environment over a five-year period. Of the 81 MS and PD patients, 78 recalled that they had experienced at least one head or neck trauma prior to the onset of the disease. In order of frequency, patients reported that they were involved in auto accidents (39 patients); sporting accidents, such as skiing, horseback riding, cycling, and football (29 patients); or falls on icy sidewalks or down stairs (16 patients). The duration between the traumatic event and disease onset varied from two months to 30 years.

      Intervention and Outcome: Two diagnostic tests, paraspinal digital infrared imaging and laser-aligned radiography, were performed according to IUCCA protocol. These tests objectively identify trauma-induced upper cervical subluxations (misalignment of the upper cervical spine from the neural canal) and resulting neuropathophysiology. Upper cervical subluxations were found in all 81 cases. After administering treatment to correct their upper cervical injuries, 40 of 44 (91%) MS cases and 34 of 37 (92%) PD cases showed symptomatic improvement and no further disease progression during the care period.

      Conclusion: A causal link between trauma-induced upper cervical injury and disease onset for both MS and PD appears to exist. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA protocol may arrest and reverse the progression of both MS and PD. Further study in a controlled, experimental environment with a larger sample size is recommended.


  2. Jonathan hughes Jonathan hughes United States says:

    This is la no brainier to me. when there is a log jam of information from the brain to the body all kinds of problems will occur.The body will over time slowly  twist,and bend loosing the healthy curve of the spine.  This is why early detection of an imbalance in the spine is paramount. upper cervical specific only care doctors scientific objective instrumentation is the only way to detect such imbalance.,and are two good sites Erin Elster is good too. She does knee chest technique.She adjusts on the posterior arch of the atlas. A plethora of problems can be helped,but prevention and, periodic monitoring of the structure and nervious system of the body is the best thing for over all health. With extreme precision and, a gentle light touch the atlas can be repositioned in  infants that would need an adjustment.Duff Method is a good choise to learn Sherman College teaches this. Please avoid cavitating chiropractors.

  3. Moira Roche-King Moira Roche-King United Kingdom says:

    How can i get involved in the research, PLEASE. I am convinced that my MS is linked to a neck injury. My neck causes pain all the time and I have said for 8 years that it is the source of the problem.  I am 41 years old and I cannot live the life my children need me to live - please can i help with research.  Thank you

  4. Andrew Government Andrew Government Canada says:

    Let's be perfectly clear

    1) JVSR is a junk science publication that is not indexed in PubMed or any other high quality scientific search engine

    2) The conclusions ignore other potential confounding variables as doctor/patient interactions, biopsychosocial variables, expectation/belief of the patient, etc.

    3) Thus, while neck injury could further aggravate or 'wake up' dormant/indolent MS or PD, to suggest that spinal biomechanical dysfunction (subluxation) is causative is not supported by the study.  Misalignments have been disproven (unless we are talking about antero, retrolisthesis and other visible deviations) while abnormal MOVEMENT of the joints is much better reflected in various studies

    4) If you really want to be legit about research and doing high quality research, publish outside JVSR.  Otherwise, it's a McCoy publishing rag that publishes "research" with severe errors in methodology, literature review, study design, discussion and therefore conclusion.

    • Richard Melvin Richard Melvin United States says:

      The group PD & MS patients were not randomly chosen nor was there a control group.  When you hand pick PD & MS patients who all have neck problems you may have a contributory factor to the respective disease, but not a cause of the disease.  They need to try and adjust Parkinson's/MS patients with who have no history of neck trauma to see  if there is any improvement of their conditions.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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