Since the mid-1930’s, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have benefitted from chiropractic care for the management of their symptoms. We talked to Dr. Dean Burchenson, D.C., to find out how chiropractic care has helped reduce his MS-related symptoms.
BW: What is MS and how does it affect the body?
Dr. Dean: MS is a chronic disease where the immune system attacks the body, specifically the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. As a result, the body experiences inflammation, which results in the symptoms of MS.
BW: When were you diagnosed and what symptoms have you experienced?
Dr. Dean: I was diagnosed in 2010. My symptoms included numbness, tingling and weakness in my left leg. I also had vision so blurred that I could not focus my eyes while reading.
BW: What is the traditional treatment for MS symptoms?
Dr. Dean: MS symptoms can be managed any number of ways, from physical therapy to medications to chiropractic care. Proper nutrition and exercise can also have an impact on symptoms and their severity.
BW: What treatments do you use?
Dr. Dean: I rely mainly on chiropractic care. When I talked with my doctor about the medications she would have prescribed to me, we determined that what they would be doing is reducing inflammation in my body. That is exactly what chiropractic does.
BW: How has chiropractic care helped?
Dr. Dean: For one thing, it has helped improve the function of my nervous system. Chiropractic is more of a global way to address MS symptoms. By restoring the natural curvature in my spine, it reduces the stress on nervous system and my body. Since I began getting adjusted regularly, I’ve seen a reduction in my symptoms to the point that I don’t notice them.
BW: What else do you do to reduce your symptoms?
Dr. Dean: I would say that the ‘chiropractic lifestyle’ has helped. Aside for getting adjusting more often and doing traction regularly, I monitor my stress levels and have changed my diet. I follow the Paleo diet, which has really made a difference for me. In fact, if I go a week or two without being adjusted and eating poorly, such as sugars, pastas and bread, I tend to feel the symptoms start to come back.
Another thing I do that has helped me is CrossFit. The workouts are designed to restore balance in the body and push it to the limit. I find myself to be equally strong on both sides of my body now.
I would recommend that anyone with a diagnosis of MS add chiropractic, healthy eating and a regular exercise program to their treatment plan for better results and less pronounced symptoms.