STUDIES: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
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.
Age 32, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
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
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.
Elster is one of the most professional and efficient
practitioners I've ever met and I am forever grateful
for her care." Kristin,
38, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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
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.
20, TMJ, Fibromyalgia
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.
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.
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
Age 11, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, ADHD, Headaches
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.
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
Age 19, Headaches, Insomnia, Fatigue, Fainting Spells
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.
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.
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,
"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
Age 47, Fibromyalgia
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.
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.
Age 56, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue
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.
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.
49, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
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.
43, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
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.
46, Fibromyalgia, Neck Pain
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.
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.
40, Fibromyalgia, Neck and Back Spasms
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.
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.
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.