By Drs. Drew and Kanema Clark
Epilepsy is a relatively common condition with approximately 125,000 new diagnoses made annually in the United States alone. Nearly 2.5 million Americans have epilepsy, and about 9% of the general population will have at least one seizure during their lives. Symptoms may include convulsions, staring, muscle spasms, odd feelings, or episodes of impaired consciousness. Seizures that occur more than once are called epilepsy.
A brain out of control
Without constant nerve signals from the brain stem into the cerebrum, the brain becomes useless. This can be a critical factor in the development of seizure disorders. Misalignments in the upper cervical spine (neck) can affect the function of the brain stem and trigger an “electrical storm” within the brain that could develop into seizures.
Epilepsy and seizures are characterized by sudden, spontaneous and abnormal firing of neurons. They can be localized to a specific networks of neurons or can affect the entire brain. In 60% of cases, the causes of seizures is unknown, That means that at best, doctors can only treat the symptoms and not the true causes.
Epileptic seizures take several forms
Epileptic seizures vary in magnitude, ranging from small episodes of absence (where the person loses contact with his environment) that are barely noticeable to full blown crisis where the person loses consciousness, gets rigid and then shaken by severe muscular convulsions. Episodes can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
Intriguing new research
Traditional medical treatment includes medication and, in very severe cases, surgery. But a new line of research has emerged in North America. Doctors can now implant patients with a device that electrically stimulates the Vagus nerve, a nerve that exits the spine right below the skull. Upper Cervical Chiropractors have long known that adjusting the upper cervical spine could have a significant impact on the function of the Vagus nerve. Could it be possible that chiropractic adjustments help seizures and epilepsy through the same mechanism?
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care balances the brain.
There is an increasing amount of research suggesting that upper cervical chiropractic care positively influences the brain. Numerous cases of patient having been helped by upper cervical chiropractic care have been published in the scientific literature. In a 2001 study, published in the Journal Of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, researchers looked at 17 children who had received unsuccessful management with anticonvulsive medications. All 17 patients subsequently received chiropractic care of the upper neck to correct vertebral subluxations, the term chiropractors use to describe abnormal spinal function that results in nerve interference and imbalanced brain function.
88% of the patients (15 out of 17) experienced significant reduction in the frequency and severity of their epileptic seizures. The author concluded that “chiropractic care may represent a non pharmaceutical approach for pediatric epileptic patients”.
If you know someone who is suffering from epilepsy, especially if they are not responding to medication, let them know that upper cervical chiropractic care might be a safe option to look into. For more information call 239-200-7248 today!
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