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Seizure disorders and the upper cervical spine

December 28, 2017
BY ERIN ELSTER D.C. • The Spinal Column , Lahaina News

A seizure occurs as a result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Under normal conditions, the brain and spinal cord communicate by sending electrical signals back and forth in an organized fashion.

During a seizure, these electrical signals "misfire," giving rise to an "electrical storm" in the brain.

Seizures can negatively impact many different aspects of a person's life, including his/her ability to drive, to be in certain lighting, to work and go to school and to enjoy various forms of entertainment. Seizure symptoms may range from muscle stiffening, twitching, jerking, shaking and loss of consciousness, to a blank stare that may last only a few seconds.

Some people experience seizures only rarely, whereas others have dozens of seizures per day. Often, seizures are accompanied by a loss of time and can be quite dangerous depending upon where the individual is and/or what they are doing at the time that the seizure occurs.

While many seizure patients find success in masking or decreasing symptoms through medication use, others prefer to discover the underlying cause of seizures in order to eliminate them. One primary causal factor for seizure disorders, which is beginning to appear more frequently in medical research, is head and/or neck trauma, including concussion, whiplash, blows to the head or falls. It is thought that a sudden impact to the head/neck region may injure the alignment of the head upon the upper cervical spine (C1 and C2 vertebrae). This misalignment may "pinch" the connection between the brainstem and spinal cord, resulting in the interruption of nerve impulses and blood flow, which ultimately leads to seizure disorders.

Fortunately, there is a specialized chiropractic technique - known as upper cervical care - which focuses upon the alignment of the head and the upper neck. To accurately assess whether a seizure patient may benefit from care, the upper cervical chiropractor will perform two diagnostic tests: thermal imaging and digital X-rays of the cervical spine. If an upper cervical misalignment is diagnosed, the patient's injured neck is corrected by administering a precise adjustment by hand on a specially-designed knee chest table. Many seizure patients notice improvement in symptoms with just a few treatments.

Dr. Erin Elster is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who has successfully treated thousands of patients with trauma-induced neurological conditions, including seizure disorders. Her published research is available on her website: For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Elster in Kahului at (808) 866-6551 or



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