The causes of epilepsy are thought to be linked with brain injury, stroke, cancer, excessive alcohol or drug exposure. Epilepsy is often considered to be a result of permanent brain damage that cannot be reversed, but that the symptoms can be controlled with medication.
In cases of trauma, when an area of the brain is permanently damaged, I agree that medication to control lingering symptoms is a viable solution. However, if we open our minds to the possibility that epilepsy may be a symptom of a structural problem then perhaps there is hope for some people suffering with this chronic disease.
Founder of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. A.T. Still expresses his findings on epilepsy in his book Research and Practice. Still found that most of his patients suffering with epilepsy suffered an injury to the neck, upper back or head. An injury like this could affect the thoracic and cervical vertebrae as well as the articulation of the AA, OA, ribs and adjacent structures.
One of the core principles of osteopathy is that ‘structure determines function’. Every bone, ligament, muscle, organ, artery, vein and nerve has a specific function and an optimal location within the body. When the body is in alignment, everything can move freely and conduct its intended function without restriction. Furthermore, when everything is in its place, blood flows and drains without obstruction.
As our body is a “close system”, a network of neurovasculature connects each and every cell. When there is an interruption within the network, there will be a problem with the entire system.
Dr A.T. Still discusses the result of interference with the blood and nerve supply between the medulla oblongata and the diaphragm. If there is an alteration in alignment of the cervical vertebrae, there will be tension within the muscle attachments, strain on the ligaments and tendons, etc. Numerous neurovascular bundles travel through the neck and will meet restriction as they run adjacent to these muscles, ligaments and tendons whose structure has been altered. Furthermore, vascular flow will also be affected because of the pressure change in the head and thorax. We can almost look at it like there is a kink in the tube. If blood cannot drain adequately from the neck/head, pressure will build up causing pressure increase within the neck/cranium resulting in a variety of symptoms including irritation of the central nervous system (CNS).
The osteopathic methodology is a full body approach, as even a lumbar or hip misalignment could be a contributor to the lesion pattern. Drainage of the neck and head would be one of the priorities with extra attention paid to articulation of cervical, thorax, rib articulations. Blood and nerve supply to the entire nervous system must be free and unobstructed for optimal health to ensue.