A study appeared in the August 30, 2012, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documenting a case of trigeminal neuralgia being helped with chiropractic. The U.S. National Library of Medicine describes trigeminal neuralgia as a nerve disorder that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face.
The study authors note that trigeminal neuralgia is more common in adults 40-60 years of age. The youngest reported case is of a three year old girl. Trigeminal neuralgia annually occurs at a rate of 4.3 per 100,000 people and occurs slightly more often in women. Medical care for this condition is usually medications that also carry a severe list of side effects.
In this case, a 14-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor suffering with severe right-sided facial pain that began four days earlier. One month prior, the girl had a trampoline accident where she landed on the back of her head, neck, and shoulder while attempting a back flip. Following that accident, she experienced neck pain and stiffness for a few days.
At the time she was brought to the chiropractor, the girl’s pain was described as excruciating with episodes lasting approximately one minute and occurring every twenty minutes. The pain was just below the right eye and extended down into the girl’s right jaw. She had been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia two days earlier by her dentist who recommended pain medication, which she did not take. According to the case report, the girl’s pain was triggered by things as slight as the wind blowing on her face. Nothing seemed to help prevent the attacks or reduce the pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included paraspinal infrared imaging, pelvic balance and leg length assessment, and cervical spine x-rays. Based on the results of the examination, the diagnosis of subluxation of the upper cervical spine was added to the previously diagnosed trigeminal neuralgia.
A specific chiropractic adjustment was delivered for correction of the subluxation. The patient returned one day after the first chiropractic adjustment and reported a complete remission of symptoms after the first adjustment. The case report also noted that on subsequent evaluations one month and one year later, the mother of the girl reported that her daughter has not had any facial pain since her first adjustment.