A case study published in the February 9, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a woman who was suffering from cluster headaches and was helped with chiropractic. Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of headaches and get their name because they occur in cyclical patterns or clusters.
The authors of the study noted that headaches are one of the most common complaints presented for medical treatment leading to 18 million doctor visits per year. They also report that according to the National Center for Health Statistics, headaches cause an estimated 5.5 million days of activity restrictions per year in the United States which leads to $61.2 billion per year in restricted activity costs and medical expenses.
In this case, a 47-year-old woman came to the chiropractor with a history of severe headaches over the past two years. The study notes that her headaches were right sided, behind her right eye, lasting fifteen to forty-five minutes and occurring five to eight times per day.
According to this case study, she was originally misdiagnosed with migraine headaches. Standard medical treatment for migraine headaches was initiated which consisted of Imitrix, Maxalt, and oxygen. She got only some minor relief from her headaches with these treatments but after six weeks of non-retractable pain, she was later diagnosed with cluster headaches.
The authors of the study reported that chiropractors see nearly 38 million patients per year with headache complaints. Out of desperation, the woman in this case went to a chiropractor to see if she could be helped. A chiropractic examination was performed and a determination was made that vertebral subluxations were present. A course of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated.
After the woman's first chiropractic adjustment, and in consultation with her medical physician, her medication was reduced. Additionally, she reported that she was sleeping better and felt more relaxed. She reported that after the initiation of her chiropractic care, she experienced a significant decrease in the severity of her headache episodes.
Within five months of beginning chiropractic care, the woman was able to discontinue the use of all medication and her headaches had resolved completely. The study authors wrote, "Currently, she reports being headache and drug free, and reports an increase in the quality of her life. She received a job promotion and is now attending college."