The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on May 7, 2018, documenting the resolution of severe hemiplegic migraines after chiropractic care. Hemiplegic migraine is a rare and severe form of migraine headache.
The American Migraine Foundation describes the condition as, “Hemiplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine where people experience weakness on one side of their body (hemiplegia) in addition to the migraine headache attack. The weakness is a form of migraine aura and occurs with other forms of typical migraine aura like changes in vision, speech or sensation.”
The study notes that migraines are a common ailment affecting about 12% of the population. It is three times more prevalent in women than in men and is most common in people between the ages of 22 and 55 years. There is some familial tendency with about 50% of those who suffer from migraines having a parent with the same condition.
In this case, a 36-year-old woman suffering from migraine headaches presented herself to a chiropractor. She had never been to a chiropractor before. Her migraines began when she was 17-years-old and had been getting progressively worse with time. Two years prior to seeking chiropractic, her medical doctor diagnosed her with hemiplegic migraines. The woman would typically have an episode every other month with each migraine episode lasting from between two weeks to a full month. During her migraines, she would experience numbness over the left side of her body including her face.
Her history records that at the age of 16, she was in a motor vehicle accident where she was thrown out of the bed of a pickup truck. From this accident, she suffered two sprained ankles and a whiplash injury. She was currently on two medications for migraines and bipolar disorder.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included static and motion palpation, range of motion tests and neck x-rays. It was determined from the tests that subluxations were present in the woman’s neck. Chiropractic care was started to address the patient’s issues.
On her second adjustment visit, one week after her first visit, the woman reported that she did not have a migraine episode since receiving her first adjustment. On her third visit the following week, she reported having only one “traditional migraine” for one week from what she attributed to was “sleeping wrong.” On her fourth visit, she reported that she did not have any migraines of any type since her previous visit that week before. A follow-up was conducted seven months later at which time the woman reported that she was still migraine-free.
In their discussion the authors of the study state, “Spinal adjustment is recommended for the management of patients with episodic or chronic migraine with or without aura.” They continue by explaining subluxation and the central nervous system, “The central nervous system seems be the ultimate source of migraine. The possibility that abnormal brain hyperexcitability starts migraine attacks is now widely accepted, and the disease threshold seems to be determined by genetic predisposition.”