The July 30, 2012, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the improvement of a Parkinson’s patient using chiropractic care.
The author of the study begins by reporting that in the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are diagnosed each year. It is estimated that over one million people currently suffer from this chronic and progressive disorder.
According to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. What this means is that individuals with PD will be living with PD for twenty years or more from the time of diagnosis. While Parkinson’s disease itself is not fatal, the Centers for Disease Control rated complications from the disease as the 14th top cause of death in the United State.”
In this case, a 63-year-old male pastoral counselor complaining of resting tremors of the right hand, anxiety and stabbing middle back pain, went to the chiropractor. His complaints started a year and a half earlier and seemed to start shortly after he suffered a severe case of the flu that lasted 2-3 weeks which caused him to lose 15 pounds. Due to his symptoms, he was diagnosed by a neurologist with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
At the time the pastoral counselor presented himself for a chiropractic evaluation, he appeared frail, had a low tone of voice, and had reduced facial expressions. He stated that he also works as a marriage counselor which increases his daily stress level, and he had been experiencing restless leg syndrome at least twice a week for the past two years which affected his ability to get quality sleep.
Multiple chiropractic examination procedures and x-rays confirmed the presence of spinal subluxations, most notably at the level of the top bone in the neck, the atlas. A specific course of corrective adjustments was initiated to correct the atlas subluxation.
Following his first adjustment, the man noted an improvement in his tremors. After a week of care, he also reported an increase in energy. The study records that by the end of the second week of care, he had a greater range of motion in his neck and higher level of energy, allowing him to complete his week of work and participate in extra activities on that weekend. Shortly afterwards, his mid back pain also stopped.
In his conclusion the author wrote, “We conclude that improvement of the Atlas alignment was associated with reduction of most of his Parkinson’s symptoms including decrease in frequency and intensity of his middle back pain, improvement in his quality of life and improvement in his motor function.”