Multiple Sclerosis-How Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow is Critical

Posted in Nervous System Disorders on Jan 21, 2016

There are a number of really interesting studies going on in the world demonstrating how Upper Cervical Chiropractic care may be able to help people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). One such study, which has been led by Dr. Scott Rosa since 2011, has used upright functional MRIs to examine how specific chiropractic adjustments affect the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which has been implicated as a major contributing factor towards MS symptoms.1,2,3 A preliminary study revealed that misalignments of the top 3 cervical vertebrae—C1, C2, and C3—impaired the flow of CSF.

Like stepping your foot on a hose, this backup created abnormal pressure to build up within the brain, causing CSF to leak and also causing swelling (aka plaquing or demyelination) on the brain, which is the diagnostic criterion for MS. 2 The follow up to this study has been following the work of Dr. Rosa, who is an Upper Cervical Specific chiropractor, as he identifies and adjusts misalignments of the atlas (C1) vertebra.

The study then examines changes in CSF flow patterns pre-and post-adjustment. The results of one of the first patient in this study, a 41-year-old woman diagnosed with MS, are found at the following link:

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To summarise a few key points, prior to the adjustment, the patient reported that she experienced severe vertigo, and nausea when lying down and that she would routinely stumble over her legs when walking. The MRI revealed also that there were ‘jets’ of high-pressure CSF flow, which are caused when there are CSF blockages.

Dr. Rosa detected a 5-6 degree rotatory misalignment from C1-C3 and performed an Upper Cervical adjustment. Thereafter, all of these symptoms disappeared. The subsequent MRI revealed marked reductions in these CSF flows, thus indicating a return to normal flow.

Although the patient was not cured of a single adjustment and requires ongoing care, her one case—the first of many in this study—is amazing for many reasons. The most important reason is how the use of high-tech diagnostic imaging (alas, so few chiropractors or patients in Australia have access to it) clearly demonstrates the genuine effectiveness of the Upper Cervical procedure and that it can have a real impact to help people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. For more information, visit the following 

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Indeed, there are many factors that can influence or cause MS, and this early research indicates that an Atlas adjustment may be one of the most important things required as part of the healing/recovery process. Atlas Specific chiropractic care is a non-manipulative approach to healthcare that restores integrity to the brain and brainstem so that the body is able to function and health at its optimum.

If you or a loved one suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and would like to schedule a free consultation, give us a ring at the office: 07 3188 9329. We will be delighted to help you.

  1. Flanagan M. The downside of upright posture: the anatomical causes of Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. Minneapolis, MN. Two Harbors Press. 2010.
  2. Killinger LZ, Azad A. Multiple sclerosis patients under chiropractic care: a retrospective study. Palmer Res J, 1997;2(4):96-100.
  3. Elster E. Eighty-one patients with multiple sclerosis & Parkinson's diseases undergoing chiropractic care. J Vertebral Subluxation Res. 2 Aug 2004
  4. Eriksen K. Upper cervical subluxation complex: a review of the chiropractic and
  5. medical literature. Baltimore, MD. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins. 2004.
  6. Damadian R and Chu D. The possible role of cranio-cervical trauma and abnormal CSF hydrodynamics in the genesis of multiple sclerosis. Physiol Chem and Physics and Medical NMR. 20 Sept 2011;41:1-17.
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