Home > Conditions & Research > Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome > Case Studies - Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Male, Age 11 years, Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, ADHD, Headaches, Sleep Disorder
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 8 years, Sensory Integration Disorder, Fatigue, Trouble Sleeping, Headaches
This 8-year-old female was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder at age 7. Her mother described her sensitivity to noises (especially outside noise) and lights since birth. Her mother also remarked her slowness to develop normal muscle tone as an infant. She had been undergoing occupational therapy for the past year prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. This child also suffered from headaches and severe fatigue. The fatigue was attributed to her inability to sleep. Almost every night, she awakened in the middle of the night and went to her parents' room (which was also exhausting for her parents). This child's health history also included chronic ear infections (8 per year for her first 3 years of life, which were eventually lessened through homeopathic treatment). Because of the sensory integration issues and fatigue, this child had difficulty making friends or participating in social situations and preferred to be home alone in her room. Her mother described her as "being unhappy" most of the time.
During this child's initial upper cervical evaluation, an upper neck injury was found. When questioned as to past traumatic events, her mother described the birth itself as seemingly normal, except it occurred 5 weeks premature. She also remember that her daughter fell off of a counter at 6 month's old and had several falls while learning to walk.
Within the first month of upper cervical care, this child began to sleep through the night without awakening. Her mother reported a gradual improvement in her energy level and mood. By the second month, all headaches were absent and her mother stated that her daughter's behavior was improving, along with her energy and mood. Six months later, her mother reported that her daughter was consistently happy and energetic, which was the first time in 8 years. One year later, during a reexamination by her occupational therapist, her therapist no longer found evidence of sensory integration issues and released her from occupational therapy.
Female, Age 47 years, Sleep Disorder, Fatigue, Depression
This 47-year-old female suffered from a sleep disorder since her daughter's birth 12 years prior. She had been unable to get a good night's sleep since and as a result was extremely fatigued. She also described trouble with depression and mood swings because of her extreme lack of sleep. She described most nights with frequent awakening without any consistent sleep hours in a row.
During her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. It was postulated that going through the birthing process was enough to cause injury in her case since the development of the sleep disorder coincided with her daughter's birth. One week after the initiation of upper cervical care, she began sleeping and reported several nights where she slept between 7 and 10 hours without awakening. This continued consistently and she felt her energy and her happy mood return. Eventually she was able to discontinue all sleep and anti-depression medications.
Female, Age 12 years, Chronic Fatigue, Migraine Headaches, Dizzy Spells, Stomach Aches, Allergies, Frequent Colds and Infections
This 12-year-old female was brought in by her mother for an upper cervical evaluation. Her mother reported that her daughter had been chronically ill for the previous two years. Her illness started with pneumonia for which she was hospitalized two years prior. She reported that her daughter never regained her health - that she seemed to catch every infection and cold; that she was constantly tired; and even that she had stopped growing. Her mother also reported that her daughter would have 'spells' in which she got a headaches, dizziness, and stomach aches all at once and that the color would drain from her face. These spells had been increasing in frequency and her mother was very concerned about her daughter's future and whether she would ever regain her health.
During the girl's upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned, her mother recalled three different traumas that could have caused her daughter's neck injury - a fall from the monkey bars in which she landed on her back and head; an auto accident; and another fall in which she took a hard blow to the head. After one week of treatment for her neck injury, the mother reported that her daughter's health was improved - that the spells of headache, dizziness, and stomach ache had greatly decreased and that her daughter appeared to have more energy. One month later, all symptoms were greatly reduced. Six months later, all symptoms had been absent for several months and the girl had not succumbed to any colds or infections for the past three months. One year later, all symptoms continued to be absent; no infections had occurred; and the girl had resumed growing like any other normal teenager.
Female, Age 32 years, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
"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. Elster¹s 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, Age 38 years, 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, Age 20 years, 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.
Female, Age 47 years, Fibromyalgia, Whiplash
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 19 years, 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.
"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 56 years, 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, Age 49 years, 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, Age 43 years, 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, Age 46 years, 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, Age 40 years, 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.
Female, Age 49 years, Dizziness, Chronic Fatigue
This 49-year-old female suffered from dizziness and chronic fatigue syndrome for 5 years. Both symptoms occurred on a daily basis. She tried many forms of therapy including chelation with hydrogen peroxide and vitamin C but showed the same high Epstein Barr titers in follow-up tests.
During her chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned as to possible traumatic events in her past that could have caused the neck injury, she remembered falling head over heels down her basement stairs approximately five years prior (the same time her symptoms started). She also was involved in an accident two years prior in which her car air bag deployed accidentally. After her first upper cervical adjustment, all dizzy spells stopped. She also noticed experiencing more restful sleep and better energy throughout the day. One month later, she had no reoccurrence of symptoms.
Male, Age 34 years, Head Injury, Whiplash, Headaches, Sleep Disorder, Fatigue
This 34-year-old male suffered a head injury during an auto accident in which he was rear-ended at 50mph. He described severe pain in his neck and back and headaches that originated at the base of his skull and spread to his left eye. His pain was so severe that it prevented him from sleeping, so he suffered from severe fatigue. To maintain some level of function during the day, he relied on multiple caffeinated beverages such as jolt or bull colas and/or coffee. At the time of his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation (14 months after the accident), he had been suffering with all of the above symptoms for over a year. He had sought help from numerous practitioners including physicians, neurologists, and therapists, to no avail. He reported receiving some temporary relief from Pilates.
During his evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered, which had likely been caused by his auto accident. After the first month of care, be began to notice less pain and a slightly better ability to sleep. By the third month of care, he was reporting a larger reduction in pain levels, which was enabling him to resume exercising. After six months, all pain was absent, normal sleep was resumed, and he was able to partcipate in all previous activities and sports, including working full-time.
Male, Age 25 years, Post Auto-accident Neck Pain, Headaches, Numbness in Hands, Fatigue
After an auto-accident last spring, this 25-year-old male experienced spinal pain, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and numbness in his hands for the last 6 months. After the first adjustment, his symptoms improved substantially. One month later, he did not need to be adjusted again and all of his symptoms were completely gone. Eighteen months later, he had no return of symptoms.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Elster for her outstanding chiropractic care. I had been suffering for 6 months from chronic fatigue, restlessness, numbness of fingers and hands, neck pain, and headaches after a car accident. Upon referral from my girlfriend, I decided to set all skepticism aside and visit Dr. Elster's office. Even though Dr. Elster noted my skepticism right away, she continued to explain the possibilities available for me. I do have to admit that I did not believe that her care would help to relieve my numerous symptoms. After she explained the reasons for my discomfort through x-rays, experience, and acquired knowledge, I agreed to treatment. The treatment itself was comfortable and I could see positive results within a short period of time. The only thing I still don't believe about Dr. Elster's treatment is that all of my symptoms had nearly disappeared within one week -- after only ONE adjustment! My only regret is that I did not seek Dr. Elster's help sooner. I would highly recommend her services to anyone. Thank you very much, Dr. Elster!" Dennis, age 25, December '97
Female, Age 31 years, Fatigue, Sleep Disorder
This 31-year-old female described such extreme fatigue and trouble sleeping that she required 3 different alarms to get her out of bed each morning for work. This had been going on for years and she could remember having trouble as far back as age 16.
During her evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered. She reported that she had had a difficult birth requiring forceps and thought that perhaps might have been the original cause of her neck injury. After the first adjustment, she immediately began sleeping better. Several weeks later, she reported being able to wake up before her alarms went off and she felt energetic and well-rested.
Female, Age 50 years, Hypothyroid, Migraine Headache, Chronic Fatigue
"I am an 18 year old girl from Norway. My mother and I have a very close relationship and we have always been like best friends.
My mother has been in great shape as long as I can remember, although she has had trouble with migraine headaches since she was a teenager. In spite of the migraines she kept on going, but two years ago it all came to a sudden stop. She got very sick and couldn't even walk up the stairs without getting tired. We were all scared, but the thing that scared us the most was that if she worked out, she got even worse. She went to the doctor, but he didn't believe her when she complained about pain and gained weight. He said that she was probably just getting older and therefore was depressed. It was terrible to see her sad because she couldn't work and be with me as much as she wanted to and I hated the fact that she thought she was fat and ugly.
I know my mother and I knew that it had to be something more than what the doctor had said. She went to another doctor to get a second opinion and they finally found out that she had hypothyroidism and that she also was starting to develop clear signs of asthma. Because it took so long to find that out, her illness had worsened and the medicine didn't help. I watched my mother lose her job, her health, her ability to do things with me and my brothers, and her physique and self-esteem. This was difficult for the whole family and I was very afraid that she would get even sicker. These illnesses didn't run in the family and it was scary that she got so sick in such short time.
My stepfather spent several hours awake on the computer looking for help. After some time he read some journal articles written by Dr. Erin Elster. Erin Elster is an upper cervical specialist and had written several articles about similar cases. She said that my mother's problems could occur as a result of trauma to the cervical spine. My stepfather wrote Dr. Elster about my mother. The only problem was that there are few people who are trained to perform this technique to the spine. This meant that my mother had to leave me and my stepfather and go to a new country totally alone. She was reluctant to do it, not only because she was scared, but also because that meant that she had to leave me for several weeks at a time many times. But she understood that a sick mom is no better than a mom that's away a lot and she finally went.
The flight took fourteen hours and she was tired when she came to Boulder, Colorado in America. My mother learned that Erin too had been sick with asthma and that that is the reason that she got trained to help others with the same treatment. My mother soon noticed the difference and after only a few treatments she went jogging, something that she hadn't been able to do in two years. As my mother got better, she wanted to help others also, because that's the type of person she is. Because this is such a rare procedure, most people don't know about it yet, and when my mother went to the local paper to ask them to write about what Erin did, they didn't care.
I am convinced that there are many people out there that can also be helped. I hope that more doctors will choose to become trained so that more people can be helped and that more countries will be able to offer this treatment so people won't have to travel so far. I also want to thank Dr. Elster because she has given me my mother back and I want her to be able to help other moms and children."
~ daughter of Britt H., Norway
Female, Age 19 years, Migraine Headaches, Fainting, Chronic Fatigue
"I'm from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. About five years ago, I was knocked to the ground by a series of large waves, while on vacation in the beautiful Seychelles.
Since then, I experienced severe headaches and fainting spells every day. I was 15 years old at the time, and I was almost unable to go to school or live a normal childhood. I also had trouble with insomnia and fatigue.
After a series of medical tests, the doctors decided I had either migraines or psychological problems. Because my parents and I did not accept this, we started searching for other forms of medical treatment.
That's how we ended up at a local chiropractor in the Netherlands who located the problem in my neck. After years of treatment by that chiropractor, my symptoms improved somewhat but were still debilitating.
So we started searching the internet for international doctors who might have more experience treating patients with similar problems. That's how we found Dr. Erin Elster. Her web site looked very professional and her information sounded promising to us. After discussing the situation with Dr. Elster, my parents and I decided to travel to Boulder for a period of seven weeks. During my initial evaluation with Dr. Elster, I immediately felt welcome and comfortable. She is a very sweet woman, who could give me more answers to my problem than any doctor in The Netherlands ever did.
After my first adjustment, I stopped fainting. After two weeks of care, my headaches diminished and I felt more energetic each day. After seven weeks, my headaches disappeared, and I still had not fainted once during the entire period. I feel healthy, energetic and happy. Amsterdam might seem very far away, but it's definitely worth making the trip."
~ Rose, Age 19, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Female, Age 38 years, Chronic Fatigue, Asthma, Radiating Pain
It has been a little over a year that I had my first visit with you and I want to express my sincere gratitude for your role in my healing! I arrived at your office with symptoms of: constant fatigue, breathing difficulties, severe constipation, radiating pain on the right side of my body and many more!
I walked in with a feeling of hopelessness, dragged in by a client of yours whom you had helped, doubtful that you, or anyone else for that matter, would be able to help me. You were the 9th specialist within a year and a half that I sought out for my symptoms. I saw allergists, thyroid specialists, Ear Nose and Throat Specialists, Pulmonary Specialists and your typical chiropractor, they could not figure out what was wrong with me!! I was on asthma medication, pain killers and steroids but the doctors could not figure out why I could not breathe! Not only did I lose my health but I lost my job while I continued to spend thousands out of my pocket on finding a medical solution.
After my initial x-ray, exam and history evaluation with you, you told me "I can help you", I was stunned because you were the first medical professional to tell me what was wrong with me and you gave me the assurance that you could fix it!! I had my doubts but I decided to give you and your technique a chance! I thank God that I did!
After a couple of weeks, I was off my asthma medication and steroids and was in less pain. Prior to visiting you, I saw a chiropractor in Brighton who tried to help me but was clueless and he too told me that it must be allergies to the environment! I had heard it all before!
I'm writing this letter to you to tell you what a wonderful gift you are to me and to so many others!! I have started running again, going to the gym and the majority of my symptoms have cleared up just as you promised that they would. I am grateful to have my health back and thus my life! I owe it all to you!!"~ Nikki C., Longmont, CO
Female, Age 53 years, Chronic Fatigue, Vertigo, Disembarkment Syndrome
“Approximately 15 years ago, I started experiencing extreme fatigue. I have always been a very active, on-the-go type of personality. Suddenly, I found myself unable to lift my head off the pillow in the mornings. My muscles ached to where I labored in even just trying to stand up, let alone walk. I began to have difficulty remembering things and sometimes had trouble putting my thoughts into intelligent sentences.
My fatigue continued to worsen and I began contacting all of the known chronic fatigue specialists I could locate in my area but the long periods of fatigue continued for roughly 4 more years. Then, I came down with a couple of new symptoms to my existing list – vertigo, blinding headaches and increased fatigue.
Once again, medical specialists performed a litany of tests on me. Tests for vertigo and inner ear infections and disorders were performed to no avail. Results again negative. I was told at the time it could be MS or even a brain tumor. I was given MRI’s, CT scans and EKG’s; all negative. The resulting diagnosis was Disembarkment Syndrome and the treatment prescribed was physical therapy – therapy such as stationary bicycle work, balancing on foam pads and many other things to try to get my sense of balance back.
The vertigo was a recurring symptom when encountering some of the most basic and simple functions in life, such as riding in a vehicle, walking through crowds, watching a movie in a theater or even television. Grocery shopping became a chore to avoid because of the crowded aisles or even being able to negotiate the cart straight down the rows. I could not ride any form of public transportation, light rail, buses, airplanes or boats. I could not even ride a bicycle, walk on a treadmill or even swim due to the motion generated from all of these activities. Again, more physical therapy was prescribed.
Next, I went to see a naturopathic physician. My lab results indicated to him that my mercury level was too high. I then endured a chelating and cleansing program with extreme changes to my diet. My vertigo continued however, even after being declared mercury-free.
After that, more trips to chiropractors as well as x-rays and more tests for MS and brain tumors; nothing helped and all tests were negative. It was recommended at this time that I attend a support group counseling session (just in case it was all in my head) where everyone sits around and shares their stories and thoughts about why they feel so miserable. Not only does the physical pain and the resulting limitations put unbearable stress on what’s left of your daily life, but at some point throughout this whole process, the mental strain of it all partners with the physical and attacks you from both sides.
Overcome with despair, my husband and I agreed we would go anywhere to find someone, anyone who could offer even an ounce of relief for me. I searched the internet for just the right fit and by the grace of God, I found Dr. Erin Elster’s website. I could not believe my good fortune to have found someone who was actually describing me and my symptoms and who was treating people suffering from some of the same ailments I had endured for years! I was beside myself with renewed hope for relief, finally!
I scheduled my first appointment with Dr. Elster. After very specialized diagnostic tests were performed, Dr. Elster was able to pinpoint where my upper neck and skull were misaligned. She went over very clearly with me what my treatment would entail with very precise upper cervical adjustments. I can now gratefully say that my symptoms gradually healed over time. Occasionally, my symptoms will return if I have done something to aggravate my neck. Then I know I need a quick visit to Dr. Elster and I am back on track.
What a blessing it was to have found Dr. Elster. I actually felt my life being given back to me after being treated by her. I truly was on the brink of despair when her name appeared before me on my computer screen. I do not know where I would be today if I had not discovered Dr. Elster and I hope and pray that anyone with even the slightest of the symptoms some of us have endured can be as fortunate and as grateful as I am for having met and become acquainted with Dr. Elster.”
Male, Age 31 years, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This 31-year-old male suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for the previous 10 years. He reported that the fatigue started after a bike accident in which he flew over his handlebars and landed on his head and shoulder. Besides fatigue, he reported that he began sleeping 10 hours per night and still felt tired during the day; that he had trouble concentrating; and that he would fall asleep during the day. Even with all of the sleep, he felt extremely fatigued and could only work part-time. Physical exercise was impossible in that he would feel even more fatigued after attempting it. He tried supplements and various special diets and improved slightly over the years to the point that he could work a full-time job. But he stated that he still required 10 hours of sleep per night and still didn't feel refreshed. He decided to undergoing an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation because he knew the fatigue had started after his bike accident and he wondered whether he had injured his neck.
During his evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered through thermography and radiography. He began treatment and noticed improvements in his energy levels and sleep patterns within the first 2 weeks of care. By the end of the first month, he reported that he was sleeping more deeply and was feeling refreshed when he awakened in the morning - the first time in 10 years. Several months later, he felt well enough to go on 30-mile bike rides without feeling fatigued; all signs of fatigue and sleep disorder were absent.
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