Trigeminal neuralgia and migraine pain: One patient's response

Management of Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chronic Primary Migraine in a Patient Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic A Case Report

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve in the face.  This nerve is responsible for the sensation and muscle movement of a large part of the face.  People who suffer from TN can experience moderate to severe and debilitating pain from slight stimulus like brushing their teeth, eating, or talking.  There are approximately 200,000 new cases of TN diagnosed every year.  This case report demonstrates the outcome of one patient with TN, and migraines under upper cervical chiropractic care.

Objectives: To report the outcome of trigeminal neuralgia and chronic primary migraine in a 52 year old woman following reduction of upper cervical vertebral subluxation (misalignment in the upper neck) utilizing Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic procedures.

Clinical Features: The patient reported a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia for 18 months and a diagnosis of chronic primary migraine of 2 months before seeking upper cervical chiropractic care.  Postural distortion, decreased cervical passive ranges of motion, sub occipital muscle palpation, infrared thermographic cervical scan and leg length inequality demonstrated evidence of an upper cervical subluxation.  Upper cervical radiographs confirmed biomechanical insufficiency with neuropathophysiology changes (subluxation). 

Intervention and Outcome:  During 6 months of care the patient received 2 Blair Upper Cervical adjustments to C1 (the top bone in the neck).  The patient was monitored through infrared cervical thermographic scans, leg length inequality, Rand-36 Short Form Health Survey, and subjective symptom reporting.  At 6 months and after reduction of the upper cervical subluxation the patient reports 60% reduction in the trigeminal neuralgia symptoms and 90% reduction of chronic primary migraine.

Conclusion: Patients who report symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chronic Primary Migraine should be evaluated for upper cervical subluxation.   Further study is recommended.