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Chiropractic Care Resolves Chronic Cervicogenic Headache

The purpose of this study was to record the effectiveness of chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with neck pain cervicogenic (back of the head) headaches.

Headaches are a common morbidity of childhood.  There are very few drugs that are approved and recommended for children for the treatment of headaches.  Therefore, parents have turned to safer, less invasive approaches for their children’s headaches. 

The current study reviews a case narrative for an eight-year-old girl with neck pain and cervicogenic headaches.  The patient’s headache and neck pain had started four months before with her neck pain getting worse over time while the frequency of headaches remained the same.

Her mother reported that when the patient was an infant, she was placed on the counter after being taken out of her high chair and she fell from the counter to the floor.  Medical recommendation was for the patient to take Tylenol which only provided temporary relief for her headaches and neck pain.

Her mother said her complaints of pain were brought on since she had enrolled in the gifted program at school.  Looking up and down, bending, all exacerbated the patient’s neck pain. Both home and school life was suffering. The patient described her neck pain as “achy.”

The patient’s headaches were occurring about twice per week and she described her neck pain as worse after school and/or if studying.  She also reported experiencing shoulder pain in both shoulders on most mornings after waking up.  The doctor of chiropractic examined the girl’s spine and found numerous misalignments her middle back.

During a range of motion (ROM) examination, there was noticeable decrease in ROM from bending to the left and right.  All ROM showed mild to moderate neck pain.  Neurological tests determined showed decreased light touch on the upper left side of her spine, while her upper-middle spine showed decreased light touch on the right side.  She began chiropractic care for the correction of these misalignments.

The exam revealed leg length inequality. The right leg was half an inch shorter than the left leg.  Corrective care involved specific cervical adjustments, and trigger point therapy (noninvasive therapy that targets only the pain site) of the upper shoulder muscles.

After each spinal adjustment, comparative measures showed the patient’s leg length were symmetric when she was lying face down.  The patient was cared for as described previously over three weeks for a total of four visits.  After the final visit, her neck pain and headache resolved.

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MLA Citation: Simmons-Stone, Darby, & Alcantara, Joel.  “Resolution of Chronic Cervicogenic Headache & Cervicalgia in a Child Following Chiropractic Care.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health2016.1 (2016): 1-4.