Parkinson's Disease and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Chiropractic Research Results for Parkinson's Disease

Chiropractic Care of Parkinson's Disease and Deformity
J Med Life 2022 (May); 15 (5): 717–722 ~ FULL TEXT

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease characterized by muscle stiffness, tremor, slowness of movement, and difficulties with posture and walking. Muscle and joint pain are frequent non-motor symptoms of PD. Pain associated with PD is mainly caused by a combination of truncal dystonia, stooped posture, and muscle rigidity. However, PD deformities were rarely discussed in the literature. A 68-year-old Asian female with PD treated with Levodopa for six years complained of progressive neck pain, contractures, and subluxation of both hands in the last two years. A positron emission tomography (PET) scan revealed decreased rostrocaudal gradient uptake in both posterior putamen. After 9 months of multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation, the patient had significant improvement in symptoms, including pain resolution as per the numeric rating scale and physical and mental improvement as per the PD questionnaire. Radiographic measurement showed significantly improved postural alignment and stability. Measurement of joint motion and angles showed an improvement in hand deformity. Although PD is a neurodegenerative disease that is not curable, multimodal rehabilitation may improve neurological and musculoskeletal functions by inducing proprioceptive balance, motor strength, and joint movement. The current study may illustrate multimodal rehabilitation addressing orthopedic deformity associated with symptoms in a PD patient.

Chiropractic Management of an 81-Year-Old Man With
Parkinson Disease Signs and Symptoms

J Chiropractic Medicine 2014 (Jun); 13 (2): 116–120 ~ FULL TEXT

This case report describes the responses of a patient with PD who was treated with blue-lensed glasses, vibration stimulation therapy, spinal manipulation, and eye-movement exercises. No definitive conclusions can be drawn from this case; however, it does suggest that the use of chiropractic care may benefit a patient with PD.

Reduction in Symptoms Related to Parkinson's Disease
Concomitant with Subluxation Reduction Following
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

J Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research 2011 (Mar 14); 18–21

A 67 year-old female patient presenting to a private practice with an atlas subluxation complex as well as signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that include weakness, tremors, scoliosis and rigidity. Over a period of 6 months, the patient was seen 19 times and was adjusted 12 times following the NUCCA protocol. Improvements in radiographic measurements, paraspinal thermography, and sEMG were recorded. Patient self-reported improvements in weakness, tremors, rigidity, and overall mobility. Conclusion:   The upper cervical subluxation may be a contributing factor to the symptomatic expression of Parkinson’s disease. Reduction of the subluxation with specific vectored correction may be a plausible, safe, and effective approach for managing PD. More research is warranted investigating the effects of upper cervical care and Parkinson’s Disease.


Other Management Approaches for Parkinson's Disease

Coffee Deters Parkinson's Disease
Nutrition Science News (October 2000)

Webster Ross, M.D., of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine, explored the connection between caffeine and Parkinson's disease using data from the prospective longitudinal Honolulu Heart Program. In this study, Ross followed 8,004 men of Japanese ancestry living in Honolulu from 1968 to 1996. At the beginning of the study, the average age was 53 years. Consumption of coffee and noncoffee caffeine sources were assessed at the beginning of the study and again in the early 1970s. During the 30 years of follow-up, 102 men developed Parkinson's disease at an average age of 74 years. Coffee drinkers were much less apt to develop the condition, and the more cups of coffee they drank a day, the lower their risk fell. Noncoffee drinkers' risk of Parkinson's disease was more than five times that of men drinking 28 ounces or more of coffee daily. This finding is independent of other dietary factors such as smoking, consumption of milk and sugar, alcohol, and nutrients in coffee besides caffeine. Noncoffee caffeine consumption also lowered Parkinson's disease risk.

Parkinson's Disease as Multifactorial Oxidative Neurodegeneration:
Implications for Integrative Management

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Dec); 5 (6): 502–545 ~ FULL TEXT

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common movement pathology, severely afflicting dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra (SN) along with non-dopaminergic, extra-nigral projection bundles that control circuits for sensory, associative, premotor, and motor pathways. Clinical, experimental, microanatomic, and biochemical evidence suggests PD involves multifactorial, oxidative neurodegeneration, and that levodopa therapy adds to the oxidative burden. The SN is uniquely vulnerable to oxidative damage, having a high content of oxidizable dopamine, neuromelanin, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and iron, and relatively low antioxidant complement with high metabolic rate. Oxidative phosphorylation abnormalities impair energetics in the SN mitochondria, also intensifying oxygen free radical generation. These pro-oxidative factors combine within the SN dopaminergic neurons to create extreme vulnerability to oxidative challenge. Epidemiologic studies and long-term tracking of victims of MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6,-tetrahydropyridine) poisoning, suggest oxidative stress compounded by exogenous toxins may trigger the neurodegenerative progression of PD. Rational, integrative management of PD requires: (1) dietary revision, especially to lower calories; (2) rebalancing of essential fatty acid intake away from pro-inflammatory and toward anti-inflammatory prostaglandins; (3) aggressive repletion of glutathione and other nutrient antioxidants and cofactors; (4) energy nutrients acetyl L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, NADH, and the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS); (5) chelation as necessary for heavy metals; and (6) liver P450 detoxification support.


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