MS is an autoimmune disease caused when myelin — the protective coating of nerve cells — is attacked, disrupting the electrical signals from the brain that sends messages to various parts of the body. Symptoms are varied but include muscle weakness, loss of coordination and blurred vision.
Harding, who was diagnosed with MS in 2012, was a last-minute replacement for Niklas Backstrom during the playoffs.
Dr. Paul O’Connor, director of the MS clinic at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, one of the largest in North America, said the disease impacts athletics in a specific way.
“MS can have a major impact on athletes, depending on the severity of the condition. MS is usually associated with fatigue and reduced endurance. It can also be associated with physical disability such as weakness, numbness, altered vision and decreased balance. Mood can also be affected. All of these factors can affect athletic performance. So it is a matter of how severe the MS is and partly how one responds to it,” O’Connor said.
And also what a person diagnosed with MS does about it.
O’Connor noted that being physically fit can mitigate the impact of the disease. “Physical fitness makes one the ‘best that one can be.’ It improves mood and enhances quality of life. It might slow disability increases over time but this has not been proven,” O’Connor added.
In addition, research in the past few years looking at multiple sclerosis patients with upright MRIs and specialized software. Research is indicating that contact sports like hockey may be leading to trauma that is associated with multiple sclerosis. The studies are showing that the upper neck is misaligned due to accidents and injuries. These misalignments in the upper neck lead to increased pressure in the brain and leaking of cerebrospinal fluid into the brain. These CSF leaks are being studied as a possible cause of multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
Multiple sclerosis patients are being encouraged to be evaluated by a doctor trained to locate, precisely analyze and correct this underlying problem.
To find an upper cervical doctor in your area go to NUCCA.org or if you are in the Apple Valley, Minnesota area to schedule your NUCCA consultation and evaluation, click the button below:
Johnson Spinal Care and Associates are Apple Valley Upper Cervical Chiropractors trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Our NUCCA Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from post-concussion syndrome in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We 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. More information can be found on our website at http://www.johnsonspinalcare.com
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Physiol. Chem. Phys. & Med. NMR (20 September 2011) 41: 1–17