Epilepsy, or a tendency to have seizures, is one of the most common conditions in the United States today. Each year, about 180,000 new cases of epilepsy come about, and according to the medical research, more than half of seizures occur from unknown causes.
What Causes Seizures?
While some general causes can be linked to the occurrence of individual seizures, the root cause for a person having seizures at all is generally unknown or vague. In young children, risk factors for epilepsy or regular seizures include brain malfunctions, lack of oxygen during birth, congenital conditions and Autism, head trauma, and more. In adults, risk factors for the onset of seizures include head trauma, congenital conditions or infection, genetic factors, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
How Can I Reduce the Occurrence of Seizures?
While anti-seizure medications have seemingly reduced the occurrence of seizures in many individuals suffering from epilepsy, between 20 and 30 percent of patients see no change in their seizure occurrence or severity while on medication. A new technology seeking to help these unresponsive patients involves implanting a device to electrically stimulate the Vagus nerve, a nerve well known for its connection to seizures.
While medication may be necessary for some for a period of time to ensure minimal seizures, the research on the Vagus nerve, seizures, and chiropractic is incredibly encouraging and exciting for those suffering from epilepsy.
How Can Chiropractic Help with Seizures?
Since the 19th century, scientists have known that applying pressure to one of two carotid arteries (located on either side of the neck) will activate the Vagus nerve and can actually stop a seizure from occurring. This knowledge has recently led to Vagus nerve stimulation, mentioned above, and has been long since studied in regards to chiropractic.
Chiropractors have known for decades that the upper cervical area of the spine has an effect on the Vagus nerve. With this knowledge, chiropractors have been able to explore the effectiveness of upper cervical adjustments on those with epilepsy, and the results have been incredible.
The most significant study looked at seventeen pediatric patients who suffered from seizures. Fourteen of them were on anticonvulsive medication, which they were not responding to positively. Essentially, their seizure occurrence and severity did not decrease after beginning the medication and they were seeking out new ways to control their epilepsy and reduce the occurrence seizures. Fifteen of the seventeen individuals began receiving regular upper cervical care from a chiropractor in which vertebral subluxations were corrected with gentle, precise chiropractic adjustments. Every single person saw substantial and positive results, leading to better control of their seizures and fewer seizures overall.
If you or someone you love is suffering from seizures, especially if their current medication doesn’t seem to be helping, give us a call at Greater Life Chiropractic today. Dr. Grant is the leading pediatric chiropractor in Charlotte and would love the opportunity to help you or your child receive relief from seizures.
Coburn, W. “Seizures and Epilepsy – Could Chiropractic Care Be the Answer?” www.chiropracticbalance.com/dr-coburns-blog/seizures_and_epilepsy_-_could_chiropractic_care_be_the_answer.
“Common Epilepsy Causes and Seizure Triggers.” WebMD. www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/epilepsy-causes.
“Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders: A Review of Literature Relative to Chiropractic Care of Children.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2001 Mar-Apr; 24(3): 199-205. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11313616.
Koubeissi, M. “What Is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?” 24 Feb 2015. www.epilepsy.com/article/2015/2/what-vagus-nerve-stimulation.
Schachter, S., Shafer, P., & Sirven, J. “What Causes Epilepsy and Seizures?” www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/what-causes-epilepsy-and-seizures.