In the United States, 3.4 million people suffer from epilepsy, which includes 3 million adults and 470,000 adults. If you or someone you love has epilepsy, you know how much this disorder can affect your everyday life. Not knowing when a seizure will occur causes major stress. Epilepsy can also negatively impact your physical and mental health, memory, work, and personal life. Let’s take a look at what epilepsy is, what causes seizures, current treatment options, and how chiropractors can help with this disorder.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes people to have seizures. A person must have two or more seizures to be diagnosed with epilepsy. This disorder affects people of all ages from babies to seniors. Despite how many people have this disorder, there are still myths that people believe. It’s important to briefly mention these because spreading false information doesn’t help anyone. Epilepsy is not contagious, people cannot control their seizures, and there is currently no cure.

It can be challenging to tell when a person is having a seizure, especially since there are various types of seizures. Some people may look confused or stare off in space, while others may fall, shake, or become unaware of what’s happening around them. 

Types of Seizures

Seizures are placed in two main categories, generalized and focal. Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain, while focal seizures target one specific area of the brain. Within those categories, there are several types of seizures as listed below.

Generalized Seizures

  • Absence seizures – causes rapid blinking or staring into space for several seconds.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures – can cause a person to fall, have muscle spasms, become unconscious, and cry out.

Focal Seizures

  • Complex focal seizures – can cause a person to be confused or dazed, making it difficult for them to answer questions or listen for a few minutes.
  • Secondary generalized seizures – causes the person to have a focal seizure and then a generalized seizure.
  • Simple focal seizures – causes the person to twitch or experience sensory changes, such as an odd taste or smell.

Causes of Seizures

There are several causes of seizures, so we won’t list them all here. Some common causes of epilepsy include a brain tumor, central nervous system infection, head injury, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. For children, they can be at risk for seizures due to Autism, brain malfunctions, congenital conditions, head trauma, and lack of oxygen. Adults can be at risk for seizures as a result of Alzheimer’s, congenital conditions, genetics, head trauma, and stroke.

Treatment Options for People with Epilepsy

Typically, neurology doctors prescribe anti-seizure medications to their patients. This is the most common treatment for those living with seizure disorders. While this may work for many, 20 to 30 percent of epileptic patients don’t experience any changes in the frequency or severity of their seizures. These medications also have harsh side effects that cause even more health issues. This may include depression, dizziness, drowsiness, hair loss, headaches, irritability, mood changes, nausea, and weight gain.

Another less common and more risky option is to stimulate the Vagus nerve, which is linked to seizure disorders. A doctor implants a medical device into the patient’s body. This device electrically stimulates the Vagus nerve to reduce seizures. However, most people with epilepsy avoid this risky, invasive surgery that doesn’t always work. Are there safer options out there that work?

How Chiropractic Helps Patients with Epilepsy

19th century scientists discovered that applying pressure to one of the two carotid arteries (located on either side of the neck) will stimulate the Vagus nerve and help prevent a seizure from happening. This discovery has led to the Vagus nerve stimulation treatment, which is mentioned above.

Since this finding, chiropractors have found that the upper cervical area of the spine affects the Vagus nerve. This knowledge has helped chiropractors perform specific, gentle adjustments to the upper cervical area of the spine. In turn, this helps remove any vertebral subluxations and helps patients better manage their seizures. This can positively impact their overall quality of life. Indeed, healthy nerve function is achievable with chiropractic care, which addresses the source of a patient’s seizures.

A study that examined seventeen pediatric patients with epilepsy is just one example of how effective chiropractic is for those with this disorder. Fourteen children were taking anti-seizure medication without any positive results. Fifteen of those patients started receiving upper cervical chiropractic care. The chiropractor performed precise adjustments to correct any vertebral subluxations. All of the children that received chiropractic care experienced significant improvements to their epilepsy. This helped the children better manage their disorder and have less seizures.

If you or someone you know has seizures, consider a safer, all-natural alternative known as chiropractic. While there isn’t a cure, there are other options aside from drugs and risky treatments. Everyone deserves to awaken their health. Let our Parker chiropractor near you help you better manage your disorder and start achieving better health today! Contact Awaken Chiropractic to book your chiropractic appointment.

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