Over 1.5 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, a degenerative condition of the central nervous system that often impairs motor skills, speech, and other functions. Common Parkinson’s symptoms include rigid muscles, tremors, slow movement, gait disturbance, and postural instability. Celebrities with the disease include Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox.
According to a recent study, people who suffer head injury are 400% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The study also found that this risk increases 8-fold for people with a head trauma requiring hospitalization and 11-fold for those with a severe head injury involving loss of consciousness. Lead author Dr. James Bower, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, says: “I was surprised by the strength of the association and was also surprised that the average head trauma was about 20-years before the start of the disease.”
New Idea Magazine printed the results of an Australian study in 2005 stating, “If you are knocked unconscious, your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases 32%. If you’re knocked out twice, that risk increases to 174%.”
Upper Cervical Chiropractors have a great deal of experience caring for patients with head & neck injuries. I’ve helped a number of Parkinson’s sufferers, and interestingly enough, evidence of head or neck injuries was found in every single one of them. While not all could recollect specific incidences of trauma, many were able to recall incidences like auto accidents, falls, or concussions that may have caused their upper cervical injury.
A noteworthy chiropractic study in 2000 demonstrated that eight out of ten Parkinson’s patients who received a unique Upper Cervical procedure noted improvements within the first 30 days of the program. Participants in this study further reported increased energy level and sleep, and showed a decrease in spinal pain and rigidity as well. 50% of the patients also had better balance, more fluid walking, improved hand agility, clearer speech, improved facial expression, and better strength, among other improvements.
While medical science has not determined the exact cause(s) of Parkinson’s Disease, sufferers are encouraged to visit an Upper Cervical Chiropractor for evaluation.