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Rheumatoid Arthritis


Arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) are inflammatory, auto-immune, joint diseases. When a person suffers from arthritis, the individual's immune system cells malfunction and attack his/her own joint cells. Arthritis can affect any joint throughout the body, including the spine, hips, hands, and feet, to name a few. Symptoms of arthritis can include joint pain, swelling, decreased range of motion, and malformed and/or fused joints.

How Upper Cervical Care Relates to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Most inflammtory arthritic conditions are thought to be caused by hypersensitivity and/or malfunction of the immune system through an auto-immune response. This means that the immune system initiates an exaggerated or improper response to its own tissues and attacks its own cells. Since the immune system depends upon normal communication from the brain and spinal cord to control and coordinate its functions, alterations in neurological function can contribute to malfunctions in the immune system. Specifically, an imbalance in autonomic nervous system function, caused by input from upper cervical spinal joint irritation (neck misalignment), can produce or exaggerate auto-immune reactions within a person's joints or other locations.1-21

While many arthritis sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, which could have injured their upper cervical spines, some do not. An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.

Case Studies

View Case Studies related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research Articles and Publications
  1. Miller WD. Treatment of Visceral Disorders by Manipulative Therapy. In: Goldstein M, ed. The Research Status of Manipulative Therapy. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1975:295-301.
  2. Droste PL, Beckman DL. Pulmonary Effects of Prolonged Sympathetic Stimulation. Proc Soc Bio Med 1974;146:352-353.
  3. Editors. Autonomic Abnormalities in Asthma. Lancet 1982;1:1224-1225. Ed.
  4. Berkkow R, Fletcher A. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohm Research Laboratories. 1987:294-301.
  5. Cooper IS. A Neurological Evaluation of the Cutaneous Histamine Reaction. J Clin Invest 1950;29:465-46.
  6. Brooks WH, Cross RJ, Roszman TL, Markesbery WR. Neuroimmunomodulation: Neural Anatomical Basis for Impairment and Facilitation. Annu Neurol 1982;12:56-61.
  7. Kaliner M, Shelhamer JH, Davis PB, Smith LJ, Venter JC. Autonomic Nervous System Abnormalities and Allergy. Ann Intern Med 1982;96:349-357.
  8. Coote, J. Somatic Sources of Afferent Input as Factors in Aberrant Autonomic, Sensory, and Motor Function. In: Korr, I., ed. The Neurobiologic Mechanisms in Manipulative Therapy. New York: Plenum, 1978:91-127.
  9. Denslow, J., Korr, I., Krems, A. Quantitative Studies of Chronic Facilitation in Human Motorneuron Pools. Am J Physiol 1987;150:229-238 1
  10. Korr, I. Proprioceptors and the Behavior of Lesioned Segments. In: Stark, E. ed. Osteopathic Medicine. Acton, Mass.: Publication Sciences Group, 1975:183-199.
  11. Sato, A. The somatosympathetic reflexes: their physiological and clinical significance. In: Golstein M, ed. The research status of Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office 1975: 163-172.
  12. Sato A, Schmidt RF. Somatosympathetic reflexes: afferent fibers, central pathways, discharge characteristics. Phys Review 1973; 53:916-947.
  13. Kiyomi K. Autonomic system reactions caused by excitation of somatic afferents: study of cutaneo-intestinal reflex. In: Korr IM, ed. The neurobiological mechanisms in manipulative therapy. New York: Plenum 1978:219-227.
  14. Wick, G., et al. Immunoendocrine Communication via The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Autoimmune Diseases. Endocrine Reviews. 14:539-563, October 1993.
  15. Black, P. Immune System - Central Nervous System Interactions: Effect and Immunomodulatory Consequences of Immune System Mediators on The Brain. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 38:7-12, January 1994.
  16. Ader, R., Cohen, N., Felten, D. Psychoneuroimmunology: Interactions Between The Nervous System and The Immune System. Lancet 345:99-103, January 14, 1996.
  17. Denckla WD. Interactions between age and the neuroendocrine and immune systems. Fed Proc 1978;37:1263-1267
  18. Van Dijk H, Jacobse-Geels H. Evidence for the involvement of corticosterone in the ontology of the cellular immune apparatus of the mouse. Immunology 1978;35:637-642
  19. Settipane GA, Pudupakkam RK, McGowan JH. Corticosteroid effect on immunoglobins. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1978;62:162-166.
  20. Korr IM. Sustained sympathecotonia as a factor in disease. In: Korr IM, ed. The neurobiological mechanisms in manipulative therapy. New York: Plenum, 1978 229-268.
  21. Klougart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. JMPT 1989;21:281-288.

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.