The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition documenting the resolution of long term migraine headaches, tension headaches, and arm pain through chiropractic.
According to the study authors, headaches are the most common neurological problem affecting people. According the World Health Organization, about 47 percent of the population will suffer at least one headache in any given year. Headaches can affect any age group. The study reports that there have been numerous studies showing chiropractic being effective for patients suffering from headaches. However, they note that few studies are available on chiropractic helping the elderly with headaches.
In this study, an 89-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for care. The man was suffering from chronic daily tension-type headaches in the front of his head. His headaches had developed into incapacitating migraine headaches every 2 to 3 weeks over the past several years. He also reported suffering from years of chronic right arm and neck pain.
The man’s history included significant trauma, including multiple motor vehicle accidents in 1957 and 1962 in which he suffered fractures in his right arm and spine respectively. The man was a World War II veteran and had suffered a blast injury during an artillery bombardment.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, a postural and balance assessment, range of motion (ROM), orthopedic and neurological tests, muscle strength and stretch reflexes tests, and sensory and cranial nerve testing. Spinal x-rays were also performed.
Based on the examination findings and x-rays, the diagnosis given was “…chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines without aura, musculoskeletal neck and arm pain, and concomitant vertebral subluxations.” Chiropractic care was started using a specific adjusting protocol to address the subluxations found.
The study reports that following the first adjustment the patient almost immediately noticed a considerable decrease in the intensity and frequency of his headaches, and arm and neck pain. After six weeks of care, the patient reported that he was continuing to improve and that his headaches were no longer daily and were much less in severity. He also noted that he had not gotten any migraine headaches.
After 12 weeks of care, the patient reported a complete cessation of all headaches and migraines, and also that his arm pain had completely subsided. He commented that he felt a lot more comfortable walking and he had more energy for daily activities. In a one-year follow up, the man reported no further headaches, neck pain, or arm pain.
In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case study describes the presentation, chiropractic care provided, and outcomes of care of an 89-year-old male experiencing medically diagnosed chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines and co-existing musculoskeletal neck and arm pain. The patient reported a cessation of longstanding headaches and musculoskeletal complaints after 12 weeks of – chiropractic care.”