A case study published in the research periodical the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on Dec. 9, 2013, documents a case of a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) being helped with chiropractic care. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease.
In this case, a 68-year-old woman was involved in a car accident three years before going to a chiropractor. The case history records that the woman was traveling in a car going approximately 10 miles per hour (mph) and decelerating when her vehicle was rear-ended by a car traveling roughly 65 mph. After the accident she was experiencing neck stiffness, pain radiating into the left arm, and low back pain. She also started experiencing tremors which were diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease a year later.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, spinal range of motion tests, functional leg length testing, gait analysis, thermography, and surface electromyography (sEMG). Spinal x-rays were also taken to evaluate spinal position and to determine the presence of pathology or contraindication to chiropractic care. The results of the examination showed significant reduction in certain spinal ranges of motion, as well as positive findings in the thermography and sEMG studies. Palpation also showed areas of concern in the spine. The x-rays revealed multiple areas of decreased disc space in the cervical spine (neck) and a reversal of the neck curve.
Based upon the findings of subluxations, specific chiropractic care began with the woman being initially seen twice per week for 2 months. At that point, the patient underwent a re-examination. During this exam she reported a decrease in hand tremors, and an improved range of motion in her neck. She also reported a reduction in her back pain, and an increase in her energy levels.
In addition, the study noted that the woman reported improved mental acuity, a sharper vocabulary, and a renewed passion for life. She went on to explain that since beginning chiropractic care, her health had actually improved. She had seen no negative changes in her balance. She reported improvements in motor abilities, and a clearer mental state.
Spinal subluxation may be a contributing factor in the symptomatic expression of Parkinson’s disease, the study authors note in their conclusion. This case report adds to the growing body of evidence that chiropractic care can be used as a means of alternative treatment in lessening the side effects experienced by Parkinson’s disease patients.