Whiplash Injuries and Multiple Sclerosis Scoliosis2

For decades multiple sclerosis researchers have discussed the correlation between head and neck trauma and the start of MS symptoms. Going all the way back to 1996, Multiple sclerosis was linked with trauma in a court case where a former policeman was awarded $820,875 in damages by a court which accepted that he developed multiple sclerosis after sustaining whiplash injures in a road accident.

The 49-year-old man developed symptoms within a week of injuring his neck during a crash and overturn motor vehicle accident.

Neurologists who gave evidence on behalf of the officer told the court that they had seen people in which symptoms of MS developed within weeks of suffering whiplash injuries.

One professor of neurology emphasized that such injuries could not cause MS by themselves but could bring on the condition in already susceptible individuals. He noted that the patient “might well have lived a normal life but for the injuries he sustained.” Dr. Charles Poser of the Harvard Medical School, said: “there were hundreds of such cases, too many to be caused by chance.”

The Judge “accepted that the historical, anecdotal and experimental evidence supported the proposition that a causative factor in some cases” of MS, noting: “the medical witnesses “had all themselves seen cases where they had accepted that the onset or recurrences of symptoms had been brought about by trauma, especially whiplash injury. In my opinion, these circumstances are far too strong to be put down mere chance.”

Dr. Poser is from the Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School also noted in one of his research articles from 2000 that “In some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), trauma may act as a trigger for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms.   Only trauma affecting the head, neck, or upper back, which may affect the brain and/or spinal cord, can be considered significant.”

Leaks in the Brain

But until recently, researchers were unable to directly see the affects of this trauma. They now can see cerebral spinal fluid or CSF leaks and CSF flow obstructions in the brains of multiple sclerosis patients that have been made visible by new technology called phase coded MR imaging and specialized software.

Commenting on the study, the lead researcher, Raymond V. Damadian stated, “These new observations have uncovered biomechanical barriers (upper neck misalignments) that appear to give rise to multiple sclerosis, and, even more excitingly, these barriers may be therapeutically addressable (NUCCA correction).”

Translation: problems in the neck affect the flow of fluid to and from the brain and this change in fluid is likely leading to multiple sclerosis.  The findings are based on viewing the real-time flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a series of randomly chosen patients with multiple sclerosis.  The cerebrospinal fluid, known as CSF, lubricates the brain and spinal cord.

The obstruction comes as the first few bones in the neck become misaligned and cause a backup of CSF.  This backup leads to increased Brain Pressure. The obstruction is most likely more pronounced in an upright posture.  When this misalignment was corrected, the study shows pressure decreases by 28.6%! The flow also becomes uniform again once treatment is given.

When viewing MRI scans of the first patient, Damadian hypothesized that any obstructions of the continuous circulation of the daily volume of CSF out of the brain to the spinal cord and back could cause increased pressure within the ventricles, which could result in leakage of the fluid into the brain tissue surrounding the ventricles.  These leaks within the brain are believed to start the process of multiple sclerosis.

So, the long-standing theory of how multiple sclerosis develops is becoming more and more obvious. If you have a history of head and neck trauma prior to the start of your MS symptoms that a thorough upper neck evaluation is very important.


Dr. Tymothy Flory, Dr. James Weiss and Dr. Jameson Wong of Atlas Spinal Care in Upland, California are Upper Cervical Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora and surrounding areas. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems.