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Chiropractic Care for Myasthenia Gravis

Published Date: 
December 14, 2023
Healthcare worker holding a chalkboard that reads "Myasthenia Gravis".

Myasthenia gravis is a devastating, life-altering autoimmune disorder that weakens muscles in the body and causes various other symptoms. It has a drastic effect on quality of life. There is no cure for the disease, but there are treatments that make symptoms of the disease easier to manage. Chiropractic care is an excellent example of one of these treatments.

The average person assumes that chiropractic care addresses back pain. While this is a primary use of chiropractic treatment, it's just one of many benefits of the practice. This includes diseases and disorders that seem to have little connection to the spine.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with MG, or you're experiencing any disease symptoms – or you believe you have a heightened risk of developing the disorder – and you'd like to know more about chiropractic care, read on for more information.

Living with Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an incurable disease that affects voluntary muscle control. People with MG experience fatigue and weakness long before someone without the disease. Fatigue and weakness occur because the communication between the muscles and the nerves deteriorates. Symptoms of MG include:

  • Drooping eyelids
  • Double vision
  • Weakness of the leg and arm muscles
  • Speaking problems
  • Chewing and swallowing difficulties
  • Breathing issues
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps

MG symptoms tend to worsen over time and reach their peak within a few years of the onset of the disease.

Treatment can help with managing symptoms of this autoimmune disorder. Some medications increase muscle strength and improve neuromuscular transmission. Immunosuppressants also increase muscle strength and might slow the progression of the disease. Remember, though, that many medications come with various harmful side effects, some of which are worse than the symptoms of MG.

Surgery might be recommended for some people with MG when the cause of the disease is the thymus gland. Although surgical removal of the thymus can be successful, it's an invasive procedure with a risk of infection and other complications.

In addition to problems with the thymus gland, MG can be caused by:

  • Immune system problems that cause antibodies to block or destroy muscle receptor sites
  • Antibodies blocking or attacking proteins that help with nerve-muscle junction formation
  • Genetics and heredity

It's also possible for certain conditions to worsen myasthenia gravis symptoms. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Surgery
  • Illness or infection
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstrual period

Managing Myasthenia Gravis with Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care can be essential in managing MG and its symptoms.

Chiropractors use high-velocity subluxations on the spine. Over time and with regular treatment, patients often see a dramatic improvement in symptoms. It's a natural, non-invasive treatment option with few side effects.

Chiropractic care effectively treats MG because it supports a healthy nervous system and boosts the immune system. Both of these systems are important for optimal health and play a role in the development and progression of MG.

A chiropractor helps an older man with arm exercises using light dumbbells.

The healthier your nervous and immune system, the better your brain can process the messages sent from other parts of your body. When one system of your body isn't functioning correctly, it affects the entire body. In some cases, a misaligned spinal cord interrupts the function of the nervous system.

Additionally, chiropractic treatment can support healthy thyroid function. When there's interference with nerves in the body, it can affect thyroid function. Nerve communication isn't the most common cause of thyroid malfunction, but it can play a role. In addition to eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and doing everything possible to support good thyroid health, chiropractic care can reduce your risk of thyroid health problems.

Finally, chiropractic care helps with stress. Stress doesn't cause MG, but it can worsen symptoms. It's also likely someone diagnosed with this condition will experience stress, which reduces quality of life. Even if the primary cause of MG is something other than stress, it's essential to manage stress when you have the disease. Chiropractic care is often used in conjunction with massage therapy, exercise, and other things that also offer stress reduction.

Case Studies

A few case studies support the use of chiropractic treatments for myasthenia gravis.

Chiropractor adjusts young man's back.

In one study, a 63-year-old male patient complained of symptoms associated with the disease myasthenia gravis. He also had symptoms of vertebral subluxation. His initial symptom was dysphagia, and he also developed:

  • Tongue swelling
  • Nausea
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Digestive issues
  • Myopia
  • Balance issues
  • Headaches
  • Diplopia

Chiropractic treatments, including specific, high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments, resulted in reduced debilitation. The patient no longer needed medication and resumed relatively normal living. 

A middle-aged man sits at a table working on his laptop.


Spinal function affects all aspects of our health. This is why it's so important to keep the spine healthy. One of the best ways to do this is through chiropractic care.

Although myasthenia gravis might not seem directly related to spinal health, the causes and many of the symptoms of the disease are affected by spinal health. Restoring spinal function can go a long way in reducing the symptoms of the disease. Studies have even shown that patients with MG who undergo chiropractic treatments show a decrease in the severity and progression of symptoms.

Furthermore, chiropractic care helps manage the stress of being diagnosed with a potentially debilitating disease. It's safe, all-natural, and effective and should be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for MG.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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