A study in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published on February 23, 2015, documents the case of a boy suffering trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia being helped with chiropractic care. The Mayo Clinic website defines this condition by writting, “Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain.”
The study reports that both trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia are characterized by episodes of sharp and sometimes extreme pain in the face. They also note that approximately 4-5 per 100,000 people suffer with this condition per year. That number increases with age, rising to 20 per 100,000 people per year after the age of 60. Trigeminal neuralgia is the more common of the two conditions and can be triggered by a very slight stimulus. Attacks can be started by such normal activities as swallowing, chewing, coughing, sneezing, speaking, yawning, touching the neck or ear, and certain tastes, as well.
In this case, a 10-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor with a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. He had been suffering with spontaneous episodes of extreme facial, ear, neck, and chest pain which began 4 months prior to his chiropractic visit. In addition, the boy was also suffering from headaches, constipation, ear, neck, and chest pain, and a specific learning disability that affected his ability to write. It was reported that things as slight as wind or changes in elevation could trigger his pain. Under medical care, he had been prescribed a number of different medications, all of which did not offer any relief.
A chiropractic examination was conducted which included palpation of the spine, a leg length analysis, postural analysis, surface electromyography, and specific neck spinal x-rays. The results showed postural abnormalities consistent with spinal subluxations. Additionally, tender areas were found in the boy’s neck on palpation, and the x-rays were positive for malpositioning of the upper bones in the neck.
Based on the findings, a specific chiropractic adjustment was given to the boy. A post-adjustment x-ray was performed and confirmed an immediate positive change in the positioning of the upper neck bones. Chiropractic care was continued to address the boy’s subluxations.
The results were dramatic. The study noted that five days after the initial chiropractic adjustment, the boy was pain free and no longer experienced any of his previous symptoms. The boy’s mother was so pleased that she started and published a blog documenting her son’s recovery. Additionally, the objective analytical exam procedures verified the boy’s improvement from correction of his subluxations. The boy remained symptom-free for several years which continued through the writing of this case report.
In their conclusion, the study authors summed up the results by saying, “This was a case where the patient, who was diagnosed with both trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, reported initial relief of symptoms associated with the disease, and soon after, complete remission.”