From Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to our neighbors’ front lawn, it seems people everywhere are taking the ALS “ice bucket” challenge in an effort to raise awareness and money to help fight ALS. Raising more than $100 million to date, the challenge has been a huge success for the ALS Association, backed by celebrities and a powerful voice through social media. But how many people really understand ALS and what to do if diagnosed?
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord, and then on to the muscles in the body. ALS leads to the degeneration and eventual death of the motor neurons, inhibiting the brain’s ability to control muscle movement. Symptoms of ALS include increasing muscle weakness, especially in the arms, legs, and where speech, swallowing and breathing are concerned. Typically presenting in patients between the ages of 30 to 60, ALS is difficult to diagnose and although there is no cure for ALS today, there are methods to help patients with the pain and mobility problems associated with ALS.
One treatment option to help patients with the symptoms of ALS is Chiropractic Neurology. Experts in the brain and nervous system function, Chiropractic Neurologists use non-invasive and non-drug therapies to optimize the function of the body in a safe and effective way. Chiropractic neurology is becoming a preferred treatment for patients with many different conditions from sports injury to traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease, dystonia and much more.
For ALS patients in particular, spinal adjustments have shown to be incredibly effective in reducing pain and discomfort. One study at Life Chiropractic College West Health Center centered around an ALS patient in a wheelchair. After receiving spinal adjustments once a week, and then every other week, the patient showed increased range of motion in all directions as well as less complaint of pain. And ALS patients can benefit in other ways as well. Chiropractic Neurology employs additional techniques such as electronic stimulation that can help ease pain in the spine and joints through increased blood flow, as well as helping the patient with techniques that help with emotional health, calming the nerves and increasing their overall comfort level.
As more awareness is raised through efforts such as the “ice bucket challenge” and research continues, ALS is becoming more understood by many and treatments continue to progress, though there is a long way to go. If you or a loved one are suffering from symptoms of ALS or any other muscle or neurological disease and would like to find out more about how a Chiropractic Neurology treatment plan can help, please contact Dr. Marc Ellis at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.