Chiropractic & Acupuncture and Epilepsy/Seizures
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder marked by problems in the normal functioning of the brain. These problems can produce seizures, unusual body movements, loss of consciousness or changes in consciousness, as well as mental problems or problems with the senses. A seizure is the outward sign of a malfunction in the electrical system in the brain. Seizures that occur more than once, without a special cause, are called epilepsy. Seizures may be convulsions, brief stares, muscle spasms, odd sensations, or episodes of automatic behavior and altered consciousness.
How Chiropractic Care Relates to Seizures
Chiropractic care works by locating and correcting subluxations (spinal misalignments), which cause interference to the proper functioning of the nervous system. Subluxations are problem areas of the spine that affect the entire nervous system. In these problem areas the spinal bones are misaligned or have lost their normal range of movement. This can irritate or put pressure on local nerves, which may interfere with the communication between your brain and body. Chiropractic adjustments work to remove the interference to the sensory nerve fibres.
The chiropractor does not treat epilepsy or the seizures directly, but rather corrects the spinal nerve stress (vertebral subluxations). Without spinal nerve stress, the body functions better. It has been suggested that when a vertebral subluxations occurs, there will be a pathophysiological change in the nerve, muscle, ligaments, vascular and connective tissue. This causes aberrant nerve impulses from groups of nerve cells, resulting in a seizure. Chiropractic adjustment reduces the aberrant nerve impulses which lead to a decrease or cessation of the seizure activity.
Research has shown that there is a correlation between the removal of the vertebral subluxations and the reduction and/or cessation of some seizure disorders. Spinal damage has been related to many neurological conditions and physical trauma is noted as one of the causes of epilepsy that is seen in all age groups. It is thought that trauma may produce a lesion in the brain stem or upper spinal cord which may, in turn, cause seizures to originate in the spine and its immediate connections. Therefore, it is suggested that anyone with a neurological disorder, including epilepsy, polio, cerebral palsy, deafness or a learning disorder, see a doctor or chiropractor to ensure that his/her spine is free form vertebral subluxations or spinal nerve stress.
Several single case studies have shown that chiropractic adjustment helps to decrease the frequency of a patient's seizures, as well as decrease the severity and duration of seizures. Chiropractic care has also been found to lead to the disappearance of seizures. Careful investigation into each case may reveal possible avenues that may eventually help the patient reduce or, in some cases, entirely eliminate the need for drug therapy.