Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease in which a person’s immune system attacks healthy tissues within the central nervous system. This results in a disruption of signals between the brain and the rest of the body, typically causing the person to experience balance and coordination issues, vision problems, fatigue, and cognitive troubles related to memory and concentration.
In total, MS impacts almost one million adults in the United States alone according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), with 2.3 million people worldwide currently living with this particular diagnosis. Additionally, though MS does not yet have a cure, the NMSS stresses that research has found that the sooner it is treated, the better the prognosis for the individual with regards to long-term disability.
Oftentimes, this treatment involves taking medications and/or engaging in rehabilitation services to help patients learn to function at their highest level possible. But one treatment duo that may also offer promising effects is a combination of chiropractic and CBD.
Chiropractic for MS
Some studies have found that chiropractic can help ease the pain a patient may be experiencing due to the MS, thus providing relief from this particular symptom. Additional pieces of research expand on this further, stating that some patients have found dramatic positive effects after their very first chiropractic visit.
For instance, one case study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics involved a 32-year-old male with MS who was experiencing numbness in his lower trunk and extremities. Yet, after being manually adjusted just one time, the patient reported a “complete absence” of these symptoms.
Other pieces of research have confirmed that many MS patients have found value in chiropractic care. This includes a study based in the UK which surveyed individuals with MS, 42% of whom said they had used chiropractic to treat their symptoms.
After analyzing their responses to a questionnaire, researchers noted that more than two in three (68%) of those who used chiropractic to better manage their MS symptoms would recommend this modality to others too.
MS and CBD
Research is also finding a positive connection with CBD for MS patients. CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids found within the hemp plant that has been linked to numerous health benefits.
Harvard shares that these benefits appear to include reduction of epileptic seizures, lower levels of anxiety, improved sleep, and relief from chronic pain. Science suggests that it may help with MS as well.
As an example, in a 2018 study published in Frontiers in Neurology, the authors state that, while CBD and its impact on MS is still being investigated, individuals with MS who use CBD with a 1-to-1 ratio of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive part of the marijuana plant) have reported both reduced muscle spasticity and reduced muscular pain.
Another study, this one in the journal the Neurobiology of Disease, explains that CBD can potentially help individuals diagnosed with MS due to its “potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.”
Chiropractic and CBD together
Though each of these treatment modalities have individually been connected to positive effects for those with MS, when put together, they may provide even better results.
Namely, the chiropractic can provide MS patients pain relief while also ensuring that their spinal column is well-aligned, enabling their brains to communicate with the rest of their bodies through as clear a channel as possible.
At the same time, taking CBD can help individuals with MS from an inflammation standpoint, while also improving their body’s natural immune system response.
Creating a combination treatment protocol
To get the most out of combining these treatments, patients should always consult with their medical care providers before starting a new treatment regimen.
Though research touts CBD as having better side effects than some other drugs commonly used to treat diseases such as MS, some people do notice that they feel more tired, have changes in appetite and/or weight, and sometimes experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea after taking this type of supplement.
To potentially reduce these effects, Healthline recommends using a full spectrum CBD for MS patients that is U.S. grown and lab tested. All of these factors contribute to the quality of the CBD, which ultimately means choosing a product that is more effective with fewer negative effects.