Home > Conditions & Research > Multiple Sclerosis > Case Studies - Multiple Sclerosis
Female, Age 35 years, Multiple Sclerosis
"In November 2002, I was diagnosed with MS. Within 4 days I went from being very active (just competed in the '24 hours of Moab' mountain biking race) to being partially paralyzed on my right side and not being able to keep a thought in my head. I started seeing Dr. Elster two weeks after being diagnosed and she discovered an injury in my upper neck. Keeping a journal I noticed that when my cervical vertebra was out of alignment, my MS symptoms would get worse (even with the MS meds) but when the vertebra was in postion, I would recover. Five years later I am working full time, using both sides of the body, without MS meds and am doing great. With Dr. Elster’s care I have been able to regain my life back without being on long term medical care. A huge thank you to Dr. Elster and her quest for a better way of life. " ~ Marybeth I., age 35, Boulder, CO
Female, Age 30 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 30-year-old female was diagnosed with MS two years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. Her diagnosis had been given after multiple episodes of optic neuritis, fatigue, tingling in her extremities, foot drop, and loss of bladder control. At the time of her initial evaluation, her main symptoms included pain, stiffness, and weakness in her right hip, pelvis, and leg; bladder hesitancy; fatigue; blurred vision; tightness in her neck and shoulders; trouble sleeping; and inability to walk without a cane.
During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was found. She recalled several different possibilities for the injury including a childhood fall that resulted in concussion, her birth via forceps, and an episode of heavy lifting that strained her spine. During the first month of care, she reported sleeping better; feeling more energetic; walking better; less blurred vision; more relaxed shoulders and neck; more relaxed right leg; and feeling clearer headed. By the second month, her symptoms continued to improve and she was able to walk without the cane.
Female, Age 30 years, Multiple Sclerosis
"I spent this past Christmas in a rural log cabin, nestled in the foothills of Montana’s foothills to the Rocky Mountains. For a week, I spent my days snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and reveling in the majesty of winter. This might seem somewhat typical of holiday vacations, especially for someone like me in their early thirties. My contemporaries are highly physically active, running, biking and skiing. However, my activity this winter has been nothing short of miraculous. Six years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was given a bleak dictate at the time, and was advised that my expectations for continued physical activity should be low. At the time I was experiencing numbness and tingling in my lower body. Suffice it to say, I was terrified and angry. Yet something inside of me told me not to give up.
I reflected on the history of my health. In my youth I was optimistic and physical, with only minor childhood maladies. At age 21, I was in a dramatic plane crash. I survived without a visible scratch but did not receive any physical evaluation. As the years progressed, I developed first neck pain, then back pain, then food sensitivities, then anxiety, then dizziness and finally numbness and tingling. Since the onset of symptoms was gradual (over a period of 5-7 years), neither I nor any of my doctors made a connection between the plane accident and my symptoms. I took antidepressants for depression and underwent intensive surgery in my inner ear to try and treat my dizziness. For several years I tried countless non-traditional healing modalities, since I was unwilling to take pharmaceuticals. I tried acupuncture and naturopathy, spiritual healing and Reiki, Blood Type and macrobiotic diets. Each yielded temporary relief to my symptoms, but none resulted in significant change.
After several years of searching, I was referred to Dr. Erin Elster in Boulder by a mutual acquaintance. I read her website, and was immediately compelled by her articles describing her success with MS patients. Initially though, I balked. Living in the Pacific Northwest, it was costly and cumbersome for me to seek treatment from a docto 1500 miles away. I had visited several chiropractors over the years for my back pain, but the adjustments never held. After a history of failed attempts at improving my health, I was afraid that Dr. Elster’s treatment would not yield the success it had for other patients. Ultimately, it was Dr. Elster’s confidence and her track record in treating her patients that gave me the confidence to take the risk.
When I arrived at Dr. Elster’s office, I got to see first hand what sets her treatment apart from others. She is trained in an advanced, rare procedure only practiced by specially trained chiropractors. In addition to standard x-ray diagnostics, she used a highly sophisticated scanning device, which enables her to determine if a bone in the neck is out of alignment. Dr. Elster showed me the first hard evidence that I had seen in my entire process of seeking care. A bone in my neck was clearly out of place, which was the culprit for the numerous physiological and neurological problems I had been experiencing. Moments later, Dr. Elster performed my first adjustment. Frightened at first by the idea of someone shifting the bones in my neck, the feeling that ensued can only be described as euphoric. It was as if all of the feeling and sensation that had been blocked for the past 10 years had been allowed to flow once again. I was moved to tears and grateful beyond words. Over time, feeling has been restored to numb and tingly places in my body. I went from relative sedentariness to swimming, then biking, then hiking and now skiing! Dr. Elster refuses to allow me to regard her as a miracle worker, but from my point of view, she is a life-saver. Because of her work, I have a new lease on life, I am gradually getting in better shape and I exercise frequently. More importantly, I have regained my sense of vitality and am now pursuing a graduate degree. I can only hope that more practitioners will be willing to pursue Dr. Elster’s training and many more people can be helped with this miraculous technique. "
~ Zoe K., age 30, Portland, OR
Female, Age 55 years, Multiple Sclerosis
"My main problem was profound fatigue. When I first saw Dr. Elster, my energy was so low, that even my mind and my emotions were adversely affected. I felt like I had the flu all the time. After just a few adjustments, my energy and alertness improved. I feel lighter and clearer and generally healthier. Other have remarked on the improvement. Dr. Elster has helped me so much and I am very grateful." ~ Carole, age 55, Boulder, CO
Female, Age 41 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 41-year-old female suffered a fall one year prior in which she fell down an entire flights of stairs. When she fell, the back of her neck fell directly upon the top stair, causing her head to whiplash backward, before she continued to slide down the remainder of the stairs. She reported that she immediately began to feel a numbing sensation on the back of her head and neck and also suffered from headache. Gradually, her face, jaw, and hands also became numb. She tried to continue working for the next two months but could not due to loss of coordination and balance. On an MRI taken 3 months after the fall, lesions were discovered and she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
At her initial upper cervical evaluation one year after the fall (9 months after her diagnosis), she suffered from the following symptoms: 1) daily headaches originating from the back of her skull that never go away; 2) numbness along her entire right side (arm, leg, hand & foot); 3) numbness on the bottoms of both feet; 4) motion sickness / dizziness; 5) muscle spasms in the back of her head and neck; 6) facial numbness; 7) high blood pressure (did not exist prior to the fall); 8) trouble sleeping. She was taking numerous medications for pain, sleep, dizziness, blood pressure, etc.
Within the first two weeks of upper cervical care, she noticed a marked improvement in all of her symptoms: feeling began to return to her right side, headaches decreased, dizziness decreased, high blood pressure decreased, muscle spasms decreased, and sleep improved. Within two months, all symptoms were absent and all medications were discontinued. When all of her symptoms were resolved, she went back to her neurologist who re-tested her with an MRI-- all MS lesions were absent.
Female, Age 33 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 33-year-old female was assaulted at age 26; she was knocked down and dragged by her hair across the floor. Only three months after the assault, she began experiencing numbness in her right hand and right leg. After testing by her neurologist, she was diagnosed with MS and prescribed intravenous prednisone. She continued to experience MS exacerbations and underwent oral and IV prednisone numerous times over the years. She also tried various MS medications including copaxone but could not tolerate those. At the time of her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, her symptoms were as follows: difficulty walking due to right leg weakness and balance trouble; right arm and hand weakness; curling of right fingers; loss of right grip strength; minor loss of bladder and bowel control; fatigue; and headaches.
During her evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered, which could have been caused by the assault. She received treatment over several months to stabilize her neck injury and reported gradual improvement of her symptoms including 1) improved feeling of wellbeing; 2) improved energy and stamina; 3) improved leg strength, balance, and ability to walk; 4) improved strength in her arm and grip; 5) handwriting improved to normal; 6) bladder and bowel control improved; and 7) headaches absent.
Female, Age 41 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 41-year-old female was diagnosed with MS two years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. Her primary symptoms included pain in her feet, cramping in both legs, loss of balance, pain in her neck and upper back, Lhermitte's sign, widespread joint pain, and twitching in her right eye. These symptoms were present on a daily basis and had been consistent for the previous year and a half. She had been taking MS medications recommended by her neurologist but she was concerned because her symtoms had remained unchanged and she seemed to suffer many side effects.
During her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. When questioned, she recalled four different accidents that had resulted in concussion, that preceded the MS onset. During her initial weeks of upper cervical care, she noticed immediate improvements. All of her symptoms resolved within two months and she was able to discontinue all MS medications.
Male, Age 37 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 37-year-old male was diagnosed with MS three months prior to his seeking help from upper cervical care. He first suffered from symptoms several years before. Finally, at the time of diagnosis, he was suffering from Lhermitte's sign on a daily basis, popping in his spinal joints, and random muscle twitching. He described Lhermitte's sign as being severe and painful and present constantly. An MRI showed numerous active lesions and his neurologist recommended MS medications. This patient chose to undergo upper cervical care first to see his response.
During his initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. When questioned, he did not recall any specific accident that could have caused his neck injury although he had been an avid runner and noticed the onset of his symptoms following a particularly strenuous training schedule. He noticed an immediate reduction in his symptoms following the first adjustment and continued to see improvement in his symptoms during the first months of care. In the fourth month of care, he had a follow-up MRI peformed and all lesions were reduced and inactive compared to the MRI that preceded treatment. Accordingly, his neurologist recommended that he continue with upper cervical chiropractic care and he also recommended against the need for any MS medications.
Male, Age 35 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 35-year-old male was diagnosed with MS one year prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. His primary symptoms included tingling in his hands and feet, fatigue, and leg weakness. All symptoms were constant.
During his initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. When questioned, he recalled several different sports traumas from his past, especially during his college lacrosse career, that preceded the MS onset. During his initial months of upper cervical care, he noticed immediate improvements after each adjustment, and gradual reversal of his symptoms until they were absent. During his follow-up check up appointments, his neck injury remained stabilized and his MS symptoms remained absent.
Male, Age 53 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 53-year-old male was diagnosed with MS one year prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. He reported that he may have experienced some symptoms 10 years prior to his diagnosis, when he had a brief episode of numb arms and legs and a shuffling gait. His current symptoms, which had been present for the past year, included fatigue, tinging in his arms and legs, and Lhermitte's sign. He was referred by his physician for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During his evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. When questioned, he recalled several different accidents from his past that preceded the MS onset, including a horse back riding accident and a motor cycle accident, which both rendered him unconscious. During his initial two months of upper cervical care, he noticed the gradually improvement of his symptoms until they were absent. During his follow-up check up appointments, his neck injury remained stabilized and his MS symptoms remained absent.
Female, Age 35 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 35-year old female was an extremely active, athletic individual, who participated in triathlons and mountain bike races, until she was struck with sudden weakness, resembling paralysis, of her entire right side. The weakness came on suddently, so she was taken to the emergency room and admitted into the hospital for tests. After an MRI and spinal tap, she was diagnosed with MS and immediately prescribed intravenous steroids. After she was released from the hospital, she was still unable to use her right arm or leg, and was brought by her friend to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. It could have been caused by any number of traumas she experienced as an athletic individual, however she recalled a bad mountain bike crash in which she flew over her bike's handle bars three weeks prior to the paralysis onset.
After initiating upper cervical care, she began to notice improvement in her strength and stamina of her right side and slowly began to regain strength, movement, control, and coordination of her right arm and leg. During this time, under recommendation from her neurologist, she underwent drug therapy. Her neurologist first recommended betaseron, which caused her condition to temporarily worsen, so her neurologist switched her to copaxone. The second drug also caused her symptoms to worsen so she decided not to undergo any further drug therapy and continued with the upper cervical care, which was working for her. After her neck injury stabilized, she underwent vigorous rehabilitative training and exercise and was able to bring her strength and coordination back to its original level. Follow-up MRIs showed no new MS lesions and a healing of the original lesions.
Female, Age 47 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 47-year-old female was diagnosed with MS two years before seeking help from upper cervical care. While her spinal tap was negative, an MRI performed at the time of diagnosis showed multiple lesions on her brain. Her primary symptomatic complaints were dizziness and trouble balancing during walking and standing.
During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned, she recalled several different events from her past that could have caused the neck injury included two fenderbenders, one fall while walking on ice, and one concussion. All preceded the onset of MS symptoms. During the initial weeks of upper cervical care, she began to report that she felt more balanced and "less wobbly" while walking. She also described that she previously felt like she would fall off of a chair while sitting or a bed while lying but she no longer felt those symptoms. Eventually, several weeks later, she reported that she felt quite stable while walking and no longer feared walking long distances.
Female, Age 34 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 34-year-old female was diagnosed with MS approximately one year before seeking help from upper cervical care. She had experienced two major flare-ups in the previous year in which her arms had gone numb, her legs had given out, and Lhermitte's sign (numbness upon head flexion) was present. After the second flare-up, she had a 2nd MRI performed which showed worsening of lesions from the previous MRI. She had begun taking an MS drug recommended by her physician but it wasn't helping her and it was causing many unwanted side effects so she discontinued it. Eventually she was referred by a friend for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During her intial evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. She recalled many different traumas to her head and neck that preceded the onset of her MS symptoms including auto accidents, a concussion, and a fall while playing ultimate frisbee in which she hit her head hard on the ground. She surmised any one of these could have caused her neck injury.
During the initial weeks of care, she began experiencing minor fluctuations in her symptoms in that they were no longer constant and appeared to be lessened on certain days. After several more weeks, she noticed definite reversal in symptoms in that Lhermitte's Sign was rarely present and the numbness in her arms was regularly absent. In addition, her legs felt strong so she began exercising frequently. Six months later, she described only "slight" symptoms but in general felt greatly improved and was ecstatic to participate fully in life without worrying about symptoms or side effects from medications.
Female, Age 40 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 40-year-old female was diagnosed with MS three years before seeking help from upper cervical care. Brain lesions were evident on MRI. Her symptoms included right-sided facial and arm weakness and numbness, and numbness in her big toes. She had tried medications from her neurologist for 16 months but suffered bouts of vertigo and discontinued the medications.
During her initial examination with infrared imaging and cervical x-rays, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned, she recalled several different events from her past that could have caused the neck injury included two fenderbenders and one bike crash. All preceded the onset of MS symptoms. During her upper cervical treatment period, she noticed a gradual lessening of her symptoms until all numbness and weakness was absent from her toes, face, and arm. No further progression of MS was reported.
Female, Age 54 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 54-year-old female was diagnosed with MS approximately 15 years before seeking help from upper cervical care. Because she was unable to receive the necessary care in her state, she traveled to Colorado. At the time of her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, she had been suffering from severe muscle spasticity, weakness, and incoordination of her legs, which primarily confined her to a wheel chair. Her legs were so stiff that force had to be used to bend her legs into a sitting position. She had tried numerous MS medications, including those specifically for muscle spasticity, to no avail.
During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned, she recalled a fall down the stairs in which she hit her head on a tile floor that preceded the onset MS and surmised that must have been the cause of her neck injury. During the first week of care, her muscle spasticity in her legs had reduced approximately 60%, according to her husband, as he no longer had to forcibly bend them in her chair. Gradually, she began to notice increased strength and coordination in her legs and began standing and taking some steps with assistance. Eventually, after vigorous therapy and exercise for many weeks, she could ambulate around her house. For longer distances outside of her home, she used the wheel chair out of ease, but could walk assisted or with a cane for shorter distances.
Female, Age 33 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 33-year-old female was diagnosed with MS approximately 9 months before seeking help from upper cervical care. Her primary symptoms included extreme fatigue, daily headaches, full body numbness, and bladder urgency. Because she was unable to receive the necessary care in her country, she traveled to the United States.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. She recalled two different accidents that could have caused the neck injury. Both preceded the onset of MS symptoms. The first was an auto accident 10 years prior and the second was a rollerskating fall in which she fell backwards and hit her head.
By week four of treatment, she reported that she felt 60% better. The bladder urgency, leg weakness, fatigue, and headaches were all improved.
Female, Age 59 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 59-year-old female was diagnosed with MS approximately one week before seeking help from upper cervical care but had been experiencing symptoms for the previous year. Her main symptoms included numbness/tingling in her arms and legs and frequently the numbness would extend up into her trunk. She also complained of chronic neck and low back pain since age 14, with her neck feeling extremely weak and painful.
During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found. When asked if she recalled any accidents or traumas that could have caused the neck injury, she remembered several accidents: an auto accident in which her car was hit hard enough to spin it around; two concussions; and a fall out of the bathtub.
Within the first month of care, all numbness and tingling was absent; all back pain was absent; and the neck pain was greatly diminished. Many months later, her symptoms remained absent and no further progression of MS occurred.
Female, Age 41 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 41-year-old female was diagnosed with MS two years before seeking help from upper cervical care. Her first symptoms included tingling in both legs. Eventually the tingling spread into her trunk and both hands. She showed evidence of L'hermitte's Sign (tingling in limbs upon neck flexion) and had some walking trouble.
During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from an auto accident she experienced four years before the onset of MS symptoms. During the accident in which she was hit head-on, she slammed her head into the windshield. After two months of upper cervical care, L'hermitte's Sign was completely gone, numbness in her legs and trunk and had been reduced to only a small section in her calf of one leg, and all hand numbness was gone.
Female, Age 45 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 45-year-old female began having MS symptoms 9 years before upper cervical care. The symptoms included tingling in her legs, loss of flexion in her foot, and chronic pain in her neck and back. The symptoms in her leg worsened over this 9-year period until she required a cane to walk. She had very little ability to flex her foot and lift her leg and mostly dragged the leg.
During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from a body surfing accident (two years before her MS diagnosis). Immediately following the accident she experienced blurred vision and foot weakness. After upper cervical care, the spinal pain was corrected, and her walking improved substantially so she no longer required a cane. She had no further flare-ups or progression of MS after starting upper cervical care.
Male, Age 49 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 49-year-old male experienced his first MS symptoms following an auto accident in his 20's. During the accident in which he was rearended at 35-40 mph, he hit the steering wheel so hard that it broke and soon thereafter suffered from blurred vision. Two years later, while horseback riding, he was thrown from his horse directly into a tree and was rendered unconscious. Immediately following this trauma, his vision worsened and he began experiencing headaches, tremors in his hands, and leg weakness. Another two years later (4 years after the auto accident), he began suffering from loss of bladder control. Because his physicians suspected a problem in his neck, he underwent disc surgery in his lower neck. However, his symptoms continued to worsen and he was diagnosed with MS approximately nine years after his auto accident. Over the next two decades, he tried many medications including prednisone, klonopin, avonex and betaseron but eventually became disabled.
Almost thirty years following his initial symptoms, this patient underwent an upper cervical chiropractic examination. At his initial exam, he was completely confined to a wheelchair and was unable to hold a standing position, even with assistance lifting him there. His wife was concerned that she would no longer be able to keep him at home and care for him because he was unable to assist her at all in moving him. In addition, he suffered from severe tremors and spasticity of his upper body and arms. He required a bladder catheter and was legally blind.
During his initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from both the auto and horse back riding accidents. Immediately following the first upper cervical adjustment, a calming in his upper body tremors was noted. One week later, his wife reported that he showed a slight increase in strength because he could assist her in getting up out of the wheelchair to get into his bed, the car, etc. He also reported improvement in his neck strength and reduction in headaches. Within six months, his strength had improved enough to cause them to enlist the help of a physical therapist. The therapist began working with the patient several times per week and saw improvement in various exercises. He began spending more time out of the wheelchair around the house, using a walker instead. Eighteen months later, his improvements were maintained. He continued to work with a therapist and had no further worsening of MS symptoms.
Female, Age 55 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 55-year-old female first experienced MS symptoms in her 20's. The symptoms included brief episodes of left-sided tingling and numbness. By her 30's, she experienced more frequent relapses of tingling/numbness episodes and also began experiencing vision loss. She was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Soon thereafter, she was involved in a bicycle accident in which she fell and suffered a concussion. After the accident, her MS symptoms progressed rapidly and she was diagnosed with chronic progressive MS. Her symptoms by her late 30's included balance loss, dragging of right leg, bowel and bladder problems, constant tingling in her hands, cold hands and feet, memory loss, Lhermitte's Sign. At the time of her initial upper cervical chiropractic examination, she was confined to a wheelchair due to the weakness/loss of coordination of her right leg. While her neurologist insisted she take MS medications such as avonex or betaseron, she refused because she was afraid of the side effects.
During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found. The patient had guessed that she had a problem with her neck because she had experienced frequent "cracking and popping" for years anytime she turned her head. When questioned as to possible traumas from her past that could have caused the neck injury, she recalled a rollover snowmobile accident that occurred shortly before the onset of her original symptoms in her 20's. She surmised the bike accident in her 30's must have worsened the neck injury since her condition deteriorated so rapidly following that accident.
Within the first month of upper cervical care, all neck "cracking" was eliminated, Lhermitte's Sign was absent, all neck soreness was absent, her balance improved, the tingling in her hands disappeared, and she began to feel more strength and control in her right leg. As a result, she began exercises to work on her leg strength, and slowly began walking around her house with 2 crutches, instead of using the wheelchair.
By the second month of care, she reported that she didn't need to use her glasses as often because her eyesight was improving. Her strength continued to improve so she began to go out without the wheelchair using just a single crutch. Six months later, her improvements continued and she suffered no further worsening of MS.
Female, Age 46 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 46-year-old female was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, approximately two months before she sought help from upper cervical care, after MRI showed multiple active brain lesions. Her first MS symptoms occurred eight months prior when she noticed memory and cognitive problems, especially at work. In addition, she experienced numbness in both legs and her left arm on and off all day long. She felt a slight "rubbery" feeling in her legs indicating less balance and strength. She also noticed loss of bladder control. While her neurologists recommended that she begin betaseron injections, she was skeptical about long-term drug use and opted not to use the drugs until she tried upper cervical care.
During the first week of upper cervical care, her symptoms improved substantially. She noticed an increase in bladder control, less numbness, and less of a rubbery feeling in her legs. After one month, she noticed a marked improvement in her cognitive abilities. The numbness was hardly noticeable and her bladder control was improved. After six months, all symptoms were completely reversed. Two years after the start of upper cervical care, this patient remained symptom-free. Follow-up MRI showed no new lesions and a reduction of the original lesions. No flare-ups or further progression of MS occurred after starting upper cervical care.
Male, Age 33 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 33-year-old male was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis three years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. The MS most severely affected his optic nerves and caused blindness (20/400 on Snellen eye chart). He also complained of L'hermitte's sign (electric shock sensation down extremities upon cervical flexion), loss of bladder control, numbness in his hands, loss of balance, trouble sleeping, sensitivity to heat, and sensitivity to light causing him to wear sunglasses even indoors. When discussing his medical history, he recalled multiple head/neck traumas from years of ski and motorcycle racing.
After his first upper cervical adjustment, he noticed a decrease in L'hermitte's Sign, a decrease in light sensitivity in his eyes, and improved balance. Over the next two months of care, he noticed a complete correction of L'hermitte's Sign, hand numbness, and bladder control and significant improvement in his balance. He took hot showers because the heat didn't bother him anymore and he slept through the night. He also showed an improvement in visual acuity (20/160) and reported that his eyes felt better and were less light sensitive.
"My name is Matthew Bogue, I'm 33 years old and 3 years ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The upper cervical work that Erin Elster has performed on me has been life changing. Before I started seeing her I was having a lot of trouble with my balance, bladder control and eyesight. Also my main problem was L'hermitte's which is an electrical charge that you get through your whole body when you look down which was very scary for me. I'm an athlete who has been getting some media attention due to my MS and the fact that I've made several first descents (skiing) in four continents in the last 2 years. Around March of 1999 Erin's father read an article about me in a local paper regarding my battles with MS and my desire to hike the Colorado trail to raise awareness for MS. She contacted me and told me she wanted to work on my upper cervical spine. I've seen a lot of doctors over the last three years and none of them have heard or understood what I've been saying to them but with Erin it was really different. She listened and fully comprehended my symptoms. Since I've been seeing her the L'hermitte's has disappeared, my balance has made a remarkable turnaround, no more bladder control problems, my eyesight is getting better and I feel like I'm on the road to recovery. I truly believe this is all thanks to Erin's upper cervical work. To anyone who is thinking about seeing her I highly recommend that you do as she has changed my life." ~ Matthew Bogue, age 33, Boulder, CO
Female, Age 53 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 53-year-old female first experienced symptoms of MS in 1977. She was finally diagnosed after a bout of optic neuritis in 1989, which prompted an MRI. She experienced numerous exacerbations over the years but recovered completely each time except for some vision loss after the optic neuritis. The most recent flare-up was during the spring '98 in which she experienced numbness that switched from side to side of her body and finally went away. This time, however, some symptoms remained including tingling in her arms and legs, as well as a positive Lhermitte's sign (shooting numbness and pain down extremities upon cervical flexion.) These symptoms were present for three months before seeking help from upper cervical care. Because she did not have a complete recovery this time, her neurologist recommended drug therapy, but she hoped to avoid the drugs.
After the first upper cervical adjustment, the shooting pain and tingling upon cervical flexion was corrected. A week later, all of the numbness in her arms and legs had also healed. Three years later, she is still symptom-free. Because of her excellent response to upper cervical care, she was able to avoid the drug therapy recommended by her neurologist. Her current treatment plan is to continue with upper cervical care, having adjustments as needed, to prevent future exacerbations of her condition.
"I am a 53 year old woman who has had MS for 21 years. Although my symptoms have been mild over the years, it was still annoying when a recent exacerbation occurred and did not go away. I heard about Dr. Elster through an article in the paper, which talked about her expertise in helping people with various problems including allergies. My daughter went to her for an allergy problem and had great success. I went to Dr. Elster to help alleviate MS symptoms, which had been present for several months. My neurologist had recommended medications such as avonex or betaseron, which I wanted to avoid having to take. The symptoms included tingling and buzzing down extremities, especially when I tipped my head forward. (Lhermitte's Sign.) With one adjustment, these symptoms disappeared. Now, when I tip my head, there is still no tingling. Upon reexamination by my neurologist, she no longer recommended medication. While MS is a puzzling affliction, I do believe Dr. Elster helped me in correcting those symptoms and hopefully will make it possible not to ever have to go on medication." ~ Jean, age 53, Denver, CO
Female, Age 48 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 48-year-old female suffered from MS for 25 years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. The initial MS symptoms began shortly after a 3-year stint on a Colorado ski team in which she experienced numerous ski falls, blows to the head and neck, etc. At her initial upper cervical chiropractic examination, she was confined to a wheelchair. During the previous year, her condition had deteriorated from being able to move about with a single cane, down to needing two canes, and finally being restricted to the wheelchair. Additional symptoms included slurred speech, loss of bladder control and frequent accidents, and neck and back pain and stiffness. Both her arms and cognitive ability had remained unaffected.
During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her numerous ski falls. Within the first month of care, she reported experiencing better bladder control and fewer accidents. She also noticed increased strength in her legs and was able to do some walking with the assistance of crutches. She also noticed her speech improve, and others remarked on the absence of slurring. Six months later, she maintained her improvements and suffered no further worsening of MS.
Female, Age 41 years, Multiple Sclerosis
"I was a physically active, healthy, 41-year-old woman at the time of an accident at work. I fell down a flight of stairs and sustained a massive blow to my head and neck on the stair landing. Besides contusions to my neck, back, and shoulder blade areas, I also sprained my knee and hip. At the time of the fall, I blacked out, and then couldn’t see. I sat on the floor until my vision returned and then I went home early from work.
I went to the emergency room the next morning when I was barely able to move getting out of bed and I had a severe headache. I was seen by a doctor in the hospital who x-rayed me and sent me home to continue with ice/heat treatments to the head and neck and he put me on light duty at work. I continued weekly visits with the doctor but by the third week after the fall, my head, legs and feet started going numb, plus I started losing grip strength in my right hand. In addition, my blood pressure went up to 170/110 where previously I always had normal blood pressure.
In another month, I began having balance problems due to the lack of feeling in my feet and legs and my right arm and hand continued to be numb. My head was also numb and I had no feeling when I brushed my hair. I decided to change doctors and went to an orthopedic doctor for a second opinion. The new doctor ordered x-rays and MRI's of my head, neck and back. There were no broken bones but the MRI showed 4 lesions—2 on my brain where I sustained the blow to my head and 2 in my upper cervical neck area. I was also referred to a neurologist who ordered tests for Multiple Sclerosis— spinal, eye test, heart— and he also ordered a stress test since my blood pressure was still reading high. He put me on blood pressure medicine (which never did reduce my blood pressure) and he diagnosed me with MS. By this time, I was numb with no feeling in my legs/feet and my entire right side and I was losing control of my bodily functions. The orthopedic doctor sent me to a chiropractor and a physical therapist three times per week during this time (which never helped me.) I was started on pain medication/valium combination every 4-6 hours. At this point, my symptoms included severe headache and pressure in my neck like it was going to explode; no feeling in the right side of my body and my legs/feet; no coordination/balance (I had to hold on to something to walk); and severe motion sickness.
In another month (5 months after the accident), my condition continued to deteriorate so the neurologist ordered a home IV for a week (medication to reduce the swelling in my brain) and started me on MS injections three times per week. I continued chiropractic care and physical therapy with no improvement.
Eight months after the accident, I was hospitalized due to the total loss of bodily functions and was unable to stand up. My neck and back felt like they were going to explode and I still had a continuous headache since the day of the fall. I was kept sedated on pain medicine. I was eventually released from the hospital when I could walk and go to the bathroom on my own. Eventually I required more home IV’s for swelling of the brain/neck areas.
Approximately 11 months after the accident, I was given an article from a chiropractic magazine about Dr. Erin Elster from Boulder, CO and upper cervical chiropractic care and how her treatments had helped other people. We were living in Indiana at the time so my husband and I decided to go to Colorado and made an appointment for the next month.
One year after my accident, I had my first visit with Dr. Elster. She performed tests using Paraspinal Digital Infrared Imaging and Laser Aligned X-ray. These tests showed that my first cervical vertebrae was displaced and that my head was not sitting on my neck. She did the first treatment (adjusted my head/neck alignment) and I had instant relief of the pressure in my neck and head areas. Within 2 weeks of treatments, the headaches that I had on daily basis since the fall were gone. I also started getting sensations back in my leg/feet areas and my right arm/hand area. I had no more motion sickness. After a month, my blood pressure returned to normal. I quit taking all of the medications for motion sickness, blood pressure, and the MS injections as they were making me sick. A few months later, a new MRI showed that my MS lesions were completely gone. I can never thank Dr. Elster enough for giving me my life back— I am now able to function as a person again!"
~ Jill R. Denver,CO
Female, Age 39 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 39-year-old female was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 37. Her symptoms began with numbness from the waist down and progressed to difficulty walking, loss of balance, and difficulty writing. She had been an avid snowboarder and horseback rider and had undergone numerous falls and blows to the head and neck. She suspected that a neck injury might be the cause of her MS so she sought help from upper cervical care.
During her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, a neck injury was discovered. Over the course of treatment to stabilize her neck injury - approximately 6 months - her symptoms gradually healed. All numbness, walking difficulty, and handwriting problems recovered and she was symptom-free. She was able to begin exercising again to regain the strength and fitness she had lost while being ill.
Female, Age 31 years, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Neck Pain
This 31-year-old female was involved in an auto accident at age 20 in which she was thrown headfirst into the dashboard. She began suffering from neck pain as well as frequent popping in her neck continuously for the next decade. Approximately a decade after the accident, she experienced the sudden onset of double vision, tingling in her face, and arm pain and tightness. An MRI confirmed demyelinating lesions and she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Because she had a chronic neck injury that was never resolved, she suspected her neck was related to the MS onset so she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care immediately following the diagnosis.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an injury stemming from the upper cervical spine was discovered. The injury was most likely generated from the auto accident she had suffered a decade prior. She underwent treatment to correct her upper cervical injury and felt her symptoms gradually resolve over the first two months of treatment. At the end of four months of treatment - after her neck had become quite stable - she underwent a follow-up MRI. This MRI showed that all previous MS lesions had resolved and that no new lesions had formed. Her case was deemed stable by her neurologist and she continued to undergo check-ups for her cervical spine to maintain her neck's stability.
Male, Age 30 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 30-year-old male was involved in an auto accident at age 27; he was a passenger in a car that rolled over. Eight months later, he began experiencing tingling in his right hand. By the next year, he experienced severe dizziness that turned into vision loss in his left eye for two months. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 29. By age 30, he experienced a constant headache focused around his left eye as well as perpheral vision loss in that eye for four months. He heard about upper cervical care from a friend and decided to undergo an evaluation.
During his upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, a neck injury was discovered. In addition to the auto accident, which could have caused the injury, he also reported numerous other head / neck traumas from skateboarding, hockey, soccer, and mountain biking. Any of these traumas (or a combination of several) could have caused the cervical injury that lead to the Multiple Sclerosis onset.
Within one week of his first upper cervical adjustment, he reported that the headache was completely gone and that his eyesight was greatly improved. By the second week, all dizziness, visual problems, and fatigue were also absent. He underwent check-up appointment for the next 6 months, requiring treatment on some of those visits. Any minor return of symptoms was corrected soon after treatment. As he is an avid athlete, his active lifestyle does cause his neck to mis-align on occassion; however, he undergoes treatment when necessary to maintain his good health. His case remains stable and all symptoms are absent.
Female, Age 29 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 29-year-old female was a competitive ice skater from age 10 to 15 years. She recalled two major falls - one in which she fractured two ribs and another in which she fractured her tailbone - although she took numerous falls on the ice over the years, too many to count. She was also involved in three different auto accidents during her late teens and early twenties. At age 25, she suffered her first attack of dizziness and fatigue. After additional attacks and an MRI, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The attacks continued and worsened with additional neurological symptoms including weakness in her extremities and electric shock sensations. In addition, she also suffered with chronic back pain since junior high. She was referred by a family member for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During her evaluation, an injury (misalignment) in her upper cervical spine was discovered. The joint injury could have been caused by any of her auto accidents or ice skating falls. She began upper cervical treatment and within 6 months, all symptoms (MS and back pain) were resolved. She currently undergoes an upper cervical check-up appointment every 1-2 months to maintain her spine's stability.
Female, Age 32 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 32-year-old female was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 27. Her first symptoms occurred at age 20 when she began having bladder problems and numbness in her feet. Because her symptoms came and went in the beginning, she was not diagnosed for a number of years. Three years prior to the onset of her first symptoms, she was involved in an auto accident in which her car was hit from the side at approximately 30 mph. She suffered no obvious symptoms in the beginning but her health gradually declined during the subsequent years. After the MS diagnosis, she began having MRI's performed once per year to monitor the MS progression. Each year, the MRI showed an increase in the number of lesions and her symptoms continued to worsen. She decided to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation to see whether the auto accident had caused a neck injury that was affecting her health. At the time of her evaluation, her symptoms included leg weakness, loss of balance, spasticity, and numbness in the palms of her hands.
During her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered which could have stemmed from the auto accident many years prior. She began treatment immediately and started to notice some symptomatic improvement within the initial weeks of care. After six months, she reported greater energy and better balance, leg strength, and walking. She began an exercise program to recover more leg strength and she was also able to start working part time. One year after initiating treatment, she underwent her annual MRI with her neurologist and it was reported that the number of MS lesions had decreased and that the remaining lesions were no longer active.
Female, Age 34 years, Multiple Sclerosis
This 34-year-old female had been experiencing neurological symptoms for four weeks prior to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Because she was interested in seeking alternative treatments and because she suspected cervical involvement, she made an appointment to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation immediately upon her MS diagnosis. Her neurological symptoms included numbness in both feet and legs, extending all the way up to her abdomen. The numbness included the soles of her feet so she felt as though she was walking on balls. She also reported trouble concentrating for the previous 6 months and middle back pain for the past month. Her MRI showed approximately 20 MS lesions.
During her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper cervical injury was found. She reported several different neck traumas that had occurred during her 20's which could have contributed to her neck injury: one auto accident in which she was rear-ended and numerous skiing and snowboarding falls in which she hit her head.
After her first upper cervical adjustment, she reported lessening in the numbness of the lower half of her body within a week. One month later, all numbness in her legs and abdomen had resolved. Two months later, all symptoms were still absent and her neck was stable. Unfortunately, at approximately 4 months since treatment began, an auto accident occurred in which she was rear-ended. The accident re-injured her neck and caused some of her neurological symptoms to return. However, only a single adjustment was necessary to re-stablize her neck, and all neurological symptoms resolved once again.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials 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.