Research Shows Parkinson's Helped with Chiropractic Care

Research News Staff
Research Shows Parkinson's Helped with Chiropractic Care

Removing Interference to the Nervous System is Focus

Recent research reported in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research regarding improvement in a 76 year old man with Parkinson's undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic could play an important role in managing brain related neurological disorders such as Parkinson's. The research discussed a case of a man diagnosed with Parkinson's whose problems improved following chiropractic care. “Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age and that this continues throughout our lives.”


Research has shown not only that the developing brain relies on normal spinal structural integrity, balance and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to adapt to their environment are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “The brain constantly needs and wants to know where our body is in space and what is going on relative to all functions of the body. If there is interference with the neurological communication between the spine and the brain all sorts of malfunctions can occur and this can lead to symptoms such as those seen in Parkinsons.”

Researchers studying the connection between chiropractic, brain stem compression and neurological disorders believe that these types of functional disorders can be caused by even slight misalignments of the bones in the upper part of the neck for example.

“There are very important functional relationships between the upper cervical spine and the brain that if disturbed can result in a host of problems with how the brain functions” remarked McCoy. He added “If there is dysfunction of the upper part of the spinal cord from abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxation, that chiropractors correct.”

The man reported on in the study not only had vertebral subluxations but also had been diagnosed with Parkinson's. He needed a walker, had right-sided tremors, memory loss, balance issues, constant leg pain, occasional poor circulation, and decreased muscular strength and medications did not appear to be helping. He patient was formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease by his neurologist. He was examined by his chiropractor who found vertebral subluxations in the upper neck and related postural distortions.

After the initial chiropractic adjustment, the patient no longer needed his walker for assistance with movement and his tremors were decreased. Symptoms of his Parkinson’s continued to regress and decrease steadily. Through consultation with his neurologist, he has reduced the amount of medication he was taking by half.

There are over 10 million cases of Parkinson’s disease worldwide with 60,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the US with annual costs in the US of $24 billion a year. The authors of the study called for more research on the role of chiropractic care in these types of disorders.

Contact Information:
Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

McCoy Press