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Conditions: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
 
 


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CASE STUDIES: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

Please note: Case studies summarizing patients’ responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.

Female, Age 32, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"I'm a patient from Europe who would like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Elster for her outstanding chiropractic care during the last 7 months. I sustained a neck injury after a skiing accident 3 years ago, and experienced debilitating symptoms like chronic fatigue, excessive need for sleep, excruciating headaches, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, muscular tensions, noise and light sensitivity. I had been to several neurologists, doctors and physiotherapists, all to no avail. The MRIs were negative and my doctors told me that nothing was really wrong with me, but I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. The symptoms prevented me from being able to work at all and I had to rely on welfare benefits, being awake only a few painful hours every day.

I found Dr. Elsteršs website accidentally on the internet and emailed her immediately after reading about her upper cervical care. Since I'm from Norway, Europe, it was a big decision for me to take the chance and go to Boulder to see Dr. Elster. I had to borrow money to be able to go, and at the time I went to the States my symptoms had worsened, so the long journey was very hard on me. Dr. Elster was able to pinpoint the injury no other doctor had found and she started her care immediately after the initial assessment. I had cleared 4 months to stay in Boulder but after only 6-7 weeks I was getting so much better (and restless) that I began to travel the world again, doing the things I love to do, photography and scuba diving. I've been able to travel between Boulder and foreign countries, staying in Boulder regularly for treatments and check-ups in between my travels. I will soon start working again as a clinical psychologist only 7 months after the treatment started.

I'm ashamed to admit I was rather sceptical that Dr. Elster would be able to cure me, since I had so many debilitating symptoms and I'd been sick for so long. I am extremely happy I took the chance and went to the States to see Dr. Elster. My recovery feels like a miracle. If you are experiencing symptoms related to an upper neck injury, take the chance and go to see her. If she's able to help you, it'll be well worth the cost and effort.

Dr. Elster is one of the most professional and efficient practitioners I've ever met and I am forever grateful for her care." Kristin, January 2007

Female, 38, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This 38-year-old female was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, following two different accidents: an auto accident and a scuba diving accident in which she suffered decompression sickness. She described her symptoms as including extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, "brain fog", disorientation, dizziness, ringing in ears, stiff neck & joints, and visual disturbances. These symptoms had been present for the past 2 years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care and had worsened considerably to the point of being debilitating in the last four months. She had been out of work for some time since the symptoms began because of their severity and thought she would have to move home and live with her parents because she could no longer support nor take care of herself. Her neurologist had performed an MRI and a spinal tap, which both came back negative.

During her initial upper cervical evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which likely stemmed from the auto accident and/or scuba accident. During the first six months of upper cervical care, her symptoms gradually lessened to the point that she began to sleep better, felt better energy, experienced less "brain fog", and felt well enough to go back to work. By the end of a year, all symptoms were absent.

Female, 20, TMJ, Fibromyalgia

This 20-year-old female suffered from several health problems following an accident in which she was hit by a wave while swimming in the ocean. The wave caught her off guard and knocked her to the ground. She described how her face and jaw hit the ground first, and then her legs rolled up and over her head from the force of the water, severely "pinching" her neck. Immediately following the impact, her jaw "locked up" and emergency room physicians "forced open" her jaw in order to take x-rays of her neck. No fractures were found.

Subsequent to the accident, she developed chronic problems with her jaw. Her jaw frequently "locked up" and while she wore a mouth splint regularly, the jaw problems continued. In addition, she suffered with pain and muscle spasms throughout her spine and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She described all of her muscles as being painful and weak.

After no success with multiple different therapies and treatments, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care. During her evaluation, a spinal injury stemming from her upper neck was found. During her upper cervical care period, her symptoms gradually lessened. She was able to go without wearing the jaw splint and was able to close her mouth completely and open and shut it without having it lock up on her. In addition, all of her pain decreased dramatically and she was able to get back to a regular exercise, work, and school schedule.

Male, Age 11, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, ADHD, Headaches

This 11-year-old male suffered with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Headaches for many years. He experienced constant muscular pain throughout his body and had trouble participating in sports or exercise due to pain and muscle spasms. He couldn't even wear a watch due to pain around his wrists. He frequently took hot baths or used a heating pad to relax his muscles. In addition, he was home-schooled due to frustration and difficulty in school. Headaches occurred twice per week, sometimes severe. His sleep was extremely irregular-- he usually awakened every few hours. Frequently he would be in bed for 13 hours and still wake up fatigued.

During this 11-year-old's upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found. When questioning his mother about the boy's medical history, she recalled that he fell out of a grocery cart at age 3 months. After only 1 month of upper cervical care, all symptoms were greatly improved. He was able to participate in sports without pain; he no longer had muscle spasms; all headaches were gone; school work improved in that he had less frustration and better attention span; he slept through the night and had energy upon awakening; and all fatigue was gone.

Female, Age 19, Headaches, Insomnia, Fatigue, Fainting Spells

At age 15, this 19-year-old female was struck by several large waves while on vacation with her family. After the waves hit her and knocked her face-down against the ocean floor, she ran out of the water with severe pain in her neck and back. While she appeared to recover, when she returned home at the end of the vacation, she began having fainting spells, where she would wake up in strange locations, not knowing what had happened. One fainting spell occurred while she was driving her car, causing her to run a red light and get hit by a bus traveling the opposite direction. After this incident, she was no longer allowed to drive. In addition to the fainting spells, she also began suffering from headaches, which escalated into a constant, daily occurrence, as well as frequent insomnia, which lead to extreme fatigue.

After consulting with several local doctors and undergoing numerous tests, including an MRI, her physicians could not find anything wrong with her and could only conclude that she had migraines and possibly psychological problems. Not accepting this, this patient and her parents searched the internet for additional help and decided to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was likely caused by the trauma from the waves. Because this patient had traveled from a distance to undergo the evaluation, her family decided to have her stay in the area for 7 weeks to be treated. After her first upper cervical adjustment, the fainting stopped. By the second week of care, her headaches began to diminish. In addition, she began to sleep better and felt more energetic. At the end of seven weeks, all fainting, headaches, and insomnia were absent. She felt healthy, happy, and energetic.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"Dear Dr. Elster, After several weeks back at home, my daughter is still feeling well. She has not had any headaches or fainting and she feels happy and healthy. We had a party the week after she came home and all of her friends and family were excited to see her eyes so bright and full of energy. My wife and I want to thank you so much for what you did for her and for your enthusiasm and encouragement. We can hardly believe the changes in our daughter!" Ton, about his daughter, Sept '02

Female, Age 47, Fibromyalgia

This 47-year-old female suffered from fibromyalgia for four years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. Her symptoms began one month following an auto accident in which her head whipped back and forth (whiplash). She felt the pain most often in her back, neck, shoulders, chest, and hands. The pain in her chest became so strong at times that it hurt to breathe.

During her initial exam, myofascial trigger points were palpable throughout her back, neck, chest, and legs. Her hands were so painful that she had difficulty opening them or making fists. She rated the pain as an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most severe. She tried many drugs including amitriptyline to reduce the pain enough to help her sleep at night. Her upper cervical exam revealed an upper neck injury, which most likely occurred during her auto accident. After 6 months of upper cervical care, she routinely reported the pain being down at a tolerable "3" level-- a level which no longer ruled her life. She was able to discontinue medications. She had not had pain during breathing and participated more actively in life with minimal discomfort.

Female, Age 56, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue

This 56-year-old female suffered from chronic neck pain, headaches, and fatigue for years. She thought the problems may have started sometime after an auto accident she experienced 14 years before. During the accident, she was hit head-on and totaled her car. The pain bothered her on and off for years-- sometimes on a daily basis and other times a month would go by without pain. She tried many practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors and received some relief but still the problem continued year after year. Finally, after struggling over a decade, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her auto accident. Unfortunately the injury had never been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After only 3 upper cervical adjustments, her neck injury was corrected. All neck pain, headaches, and fatigue healed and never returned.

Female, 49, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This 49-year-old female suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for approximately four years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. She tried many therapies, including vitamins, herbs, and chelation with no results. She also suffered with neck pain and stiffness for four years as well.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned as to traumatic events in her past that could have caused the neck injury, she recalled a fall down the stairs in which she fractured her tailbone. The fall preceded the onset of chronic fatigue by just a few months. After only one month of upper cervical care, the neck pain and fatigue were absent.

Female, 43, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This 43-year-old female suffered with chronic pain and fatigue for over two decades before finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She tried physical therapy, water therapy, medications, and massage to no avail. Her pain and fatigue levels had caused her to quit work as a seamstress because lifting bolts of fabric, etc. had been too painful for her.

During her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. She was questioned as to past traumatic accidents and remember two severe auto accidents that preceded the onset of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms-one rollover auto accident and one in which she was rear-ended at 70 mph. After two months of upper cervical care, due to the fact that her sleep had improved tremendously, her energy was increased, and her pain levels were greatly reduced, she was able to return to work as a seamstress without pain.

Female, 46, Fibromyalgia, Neck Pain

This 46-year-old female suffered from chronic pain in her neck, arms, shoulders, and legs for seven years before seeking help from upper cervical care. Her fibromyalgia diagnosis followed closely after an accident in which a 22-pound briefcase fell from an overhead bin in an airplane and landed on her head. Because she worked at a computer all day, her work was greatly impaired by pain in her neck and arms. She was forced to work reduced hours, suffered in pain on a daily basis, and took many pain and sleep medications to combat the pain.

During her upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her overhead bin luggage accident. After several months of upper cervical care, her pain was greatly reduced and she was able to return to full hours at work. On days where she did not work at the computer at all, she was pain-free.

Female, 40, Fibromyalgia, Neck and Back Spasms

After suffering for 16 years with chronic neck and back pain, this 40-year-old female was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Her neck and back spasmed frequently so that she was forced to stop whatever she was doing, lie down, apply ice, and take painkillers. Sometimes she was bedridden due to the pain and spasms. Also, she frequently had trouble sleeping and could lie awake for hours every night.

At this patient's initial consultation, she claimed she had always believed her problems were coming from her neck because she had sustained several injuries to her neck prior to the onset of her symptoms. She had suffered a whiplash auto accident, a fall on a waterslide, and a sledding accident. She had tried numerous practitioners over the years to fix her neck injury but nothing was successful. Finally she was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic examination.

During her upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was still present despite her previous treatments and therapies. During her first two months of care, the pain levels lessened and spasm episodes decreased. In addition, she began to sleep through the night and felt increased energy and well being. Several months later, she was free of pain and muscle spasms.

 
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