Upper cervical chiropractic management of a patient with Parkinson's disease: A case report

Upper cervical chiropractic management of a patient with Parkinson's disease: A case report
Revised 14 December 1999. Available online 9 May 2002.
Erin L. Elster DC *
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Volume 23, Issue 8, October 2000

Copyright © 2000 JMPT. All rights reserved.

*Private practice of chiropractic, Boulder, Colo.


Objective: To discuss the use of upper cervical chiropractic management in managing a single patient with Parkinson's disease and to describe the clinical picture of the disease. Clinical Features: A 60-year-old man was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 53 after a twitch developed in his left fifth finger. He later developed rigidity in his left leg, body tremor, slurring of speech, and memory loss among other findings. Intervention and Outcome: This subject was managed with upper cervical chiropractic care for 9 months. Analysis of precision upper cervical radiographs determined upper cervical mis-alignment. Neurophysiology was monitored with paraspinal digital infrared imaging. This patient was placed on a specially designed knee-chest table for adjustment, which was delivered by hand to the first cervical vertebrae, according to radiographic findings. Evaluation of Parkinson's symptoms occurred by doctor's observation, the patient's subjective description of symptoms, and use of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. Reevaluations demonstrated a marked improvement in both subjective and objective findings. Conclusion: Upper cervical chiropractic care aided by cervical radiographs and thermal imaging had a successful outcome for a patient with Parkinson's disease. Further investigation into upper cervical injury as a contributing factor to Parkinson's disease should be considered. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:573-7)

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