Multiple Sclerosis Treatment in Westminster Denver Colorado
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
- In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerve fibers.
- Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely between patients and depend on the location and severity of nerve fiber damage in the central nevous system. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or ambulate at all. Other individuals may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms depending on the type of MS they have.
- There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, there are treatments to help speed the recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms may differ greatly from person to person and over the course of the disease depending on the location of affected nerve fibers.
Common symptoms include:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
- Lack of coordination
- Unsteady gait or inability to walk
- Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
- Prolonged double vision
- Blurry vision
- Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
- Slurred speech
- Cognitive problems
- Mood disturbances
- Most people with MS have a relapsing-remitting disease course. They experience periods of new symptoms or relapses that develop over days or weeks and usually improve partially or completely. These relapses are followed by quiet periods of disease remission that can last months or even years.
- Small increases in body temperature can temporarily worsen signs and symptoms of MS. These aren’t considered true disease relapses but pseudorelapses.
- At least 20% to 40% of those with relapsing-remitting MS can eventually develop a steady progression of symptoms, with or without periods of remission, within 10 to 20 years from disease onset. This is known as secondary-progressive MS.
- The worsening of symptoms usually includes problems with mobility and gait. The rate of disease progression varies greatly among people with secondary-progressive MS.
- Some people with MS experience a gradual onset and steady progression of signs and symptoms without any relapses, known as primary-progressive MS.
- The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It’s considered an immune mediated disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In the case of MS, this immune system malfunction destroys the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord (myelin).
- Myelin can be compared to the insulation coating on electrical wires. When the protective myelin is damaged and the nerve fiber is exposed, the messages that travel along that nerve fiber may be slowed or blocked.
- It isn’t clear why MS develops in some people and not others. A combination of genetics and environmental factors appears to be responsible.
These factors may increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis:
- MS can occur at any age, but onset usually occurs around 20 and 40 years of age. However, younger and older people can be affected.
- Women are more than 2 to 3 times as likely as men are to have relapsing-remitting MS.
- Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has had MS, you are at higher risk of developing the disease.
- Certain infections. A variety of viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis.
- White people, particularly those of Northern European descent, are at highest risk of developing MS. People of Asian, African or Native American descent have the lowest risk. A recent study suggests that the number of Black and Hispanic young adults with multiple sclerosis may be greater than previously thought.
- MS is far more common in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia and Europe. Your birth month may also affect the chances of developing multiple sclerosis, since exposure to the sun when a mother is pregnant seems to decrease later development of multiple sclerosis in these children.
- Vitamin D. Having low levels of vitamin D and low exposure to sunlight is associated with a greater risk of MS.
- Your genes. A gene on chromosome 6p21 has been found to be associated with multiple sclerosis.
- An association with obesity and multiple sclerosis has been found in females. This is especially true for female childhood and adolescent obesity.
- Certain autoimmune diseases. You have a slightly higher risk of developing MS if you have other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, psoriasis, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Smokers who experience an initial symptom that may signal MS are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a second event that confirms relapsing-remitting MS.
People with multiple sclerosis may also develop:
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Severe weakness or paralysis, typically in the legs
- Problems with bladder, bowel or sexual function
- Cognitive problems, like forgetfulness or word finding difficulties
- Mood problems, such as depression, anxiety or mood swings
- Seizures, though very rare
- There are no specific tests for MS. Instead, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis often relies on ruling out other conditions that might produce similar signs and symptoms, known as a differential diagnosis.
- Your doctor is likely to start with a thorough medical history and examination.
Your doctor may then recommend:
- Blood tests, to help rule out other diseases with symptoms like MS. Tests to check for specific biomarkers associated with MS are currently under development and may also aid in diagnosing the disease.
- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture), in which a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid is removed from your spinal canal for laboratory analysis. This sample can show abnormalities in antibodies that are associated with MS. A spinal tap can also help rule out infections and other conditions with symptoms like MS. A new antibody test (for kappa free light chains) may be faster and less expensive than previous spinal fluid tests for multiple sclerosis.
- MRI, which can reveal areas of MS (lesions) on your brain, cervical and thoracic spinal cord. You may receive an intravenous injection of a contrast material to highlight lesions that indicate your disease is in an active phase.
- Evoked potential tests that record the electrical signals produced by your nervous system in response to stimuli may be done. An evoked potential test may use visual stimuli or electrical stimuli. In these tests, you watch a moving visual pattern, as short electrical impulses are applied to nerves in your legs or arms. Electrodes measure how quickly the information travels down your nerve pathways.
- In most people with relapsing-remitting MS, the diagnosis is straightforward and based on a pattern of symptoms consistent with the disease and confirmed by brain imaging scans, such as an MRI.
- Diagnosing MS can be more difficult in people with unusual symptoms or progressive disease. In these cases, further testing with spinal fluid analysis, evoked potentials and additional imaging may be needed.
- There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatment typically focuses on speeding recovery from attacks, reducing new radiographic and clinical relapses, slowing the progression of the disease, and managing MS Some people have such mild symptoms that no treatment is necessary.
Chiropractic has shown great results in the past with helping MS patients and their symptoms. Recently two research articles were brought to my attention regarding other treatments/therapies for MS patients. One is vibration platform treatment and the other is PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) Therapy. Both of which we have here in the office.Pulsed PEMF therapy sends magnetic energy into the body. These energy waves work with your body’s natural magnetic field to improve healing. The magnetic fields help you to increase electrolytes and ions. This naturally influences electrical changes on a cellular level and influences cellular metabolism. It works with your body’s own recovery processes to help relieve chronic pain. Best of all, it’s entirely safe. After reviewing the current research it seems these therapies in conjunction with each other have shown amazing results with helping to control MS symptoms in patients.