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You may remember Jim McMahon who was quarterback for the Chicago Bears back in the 1980s. He retired in 1996 at the age of 37 and had four documented concussions in his career. 16 years after his retirement, he suffered from symptoms akin with dementia. He was struggling to move properly, often bumping into furniture; he often didn’t know where he was, he slept excessively, there was a change in his personality and much more. The situation got so bad that his girlfriend even printed a card with his vital statistics on it, including her phone number and put in his wallet, she programmed his GPS with their address, and even ensured the home alarm was always on to prevent him wandering off. His condition was pretty bad.

But what caused it?

An upright and loading bearing MRI was taken of his neck and head. It revealed an accumulation of fluid in his skull and head. His chiropractor took precise radiographs of his skull and upper neck and this revealed a malalignment of his skull and atlas vertibrae. The symptoms he was experiencing were certainly in align with the cause and he also suffered from poor vision, bad headaches and had a feeling of pressure inside his skull.

In line with the many tests he had, he received a careful chiropractic adjustment to correct the misaligned joints. The results were quite staggering, and he felt relief within a couple of minutes of the adjustment. He felt like his head had been flushed, his sight improved, his speech got better, and the pressure inside his head released.

A post MRI scan showed that most of the fluid had indeed drained away and there was far less fluid accumulated there.

While he still has some bad days, he does find that regular chiropractic treatment helps to keep him well and active, and he has since appeared in several golfing events and his life is pretty normal. He commented “Some adjusting… freed the flow, kind of like unkinking a garden hose.” “The relief was instant and dramatic.”

What was happening?

The physiology of health of the brain and spinal chord is dependent on the flow of spinal fluid. This fluid must pass through a hole in the skull, down through a hole in the top of the spinal column. If these two holes are out of alignment, it can cause this flow to be interrupted or impaired. If this happens, fluid build up in and around the skull can happen because it has no where to go. It sits and builds up pressure in the head and skull, causing many different symptoms.

This is essentially what happened with Jim McMahon, and is why he felt such relief so quickly as both holes were realigned through careful chiropractic adjustment. As soon as the holes were correctly realigned, the spinal fluid was able to flow properly, quickly releasing pressure on the brain.

Although this was quite a dramatic case, it is yet another example of how chiropractic care can help a person and to provide proper preventative care to enable the body to function as it should.

If you want to read the full study of Jim McMahon, his experience and further studies, click here.

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