There are a collection of conditions known as Cranial Nerve Compressive Syndromes involving face pain or palsy such as Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bell’s Palsy, Hemifacial spasm and others. These conditions are among the most devastating of all health conditions both in pain and social impact.
The medical approaches to these conditions are extremely invasive, including botox injections. Botox, or Botulinum toxin as it is known in the scientific community, is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Another possibility for patients suffering from these types of conditions is a type of brain surgery called Microvascular decompression is a neurosurgical procedure that can have serious complications including death, stroke, hearing loss and facial weakness. The surgery itself can cost as much as $70 K and has about a 20% success rate.
The NUCCA Option
If a person has a history of head or neck trauma another question should be asked.
Is the dysfunction of these cranial nerves related to a misalignment of the upper neck?
Dr. Michael Burcon an upper cervical chiropractor and researcher from Michigan, has done some incredible research on the upper cervical spine. He has determined that over 90% of patients who have been diagnosed with these types of conditions have suffered a head or neck trauma usually whiplash an average of 15 years prior.
Here’s an example from his research: A 57 year old female presented with right sided face pain known as Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) of two years duration. The face pain was helped by medication and exacerbated by exposure to cold. Secondary complaints included high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, diminished hearing in left ear, neck pain, bilateral shoulder pain, right shin numbness and allergies. Prescriptions included Gabapentin for trigeminal neuralgia 900 mg 3xs/day (2700 total with 3600 being maximum prescribed)
History included being knocked unconscious in a fall when ten years old, significant fall while skiing thirteen years prior and recent fall onto the sidewalk.
One week after her first specific upper cervical adjustment the face pain diminished dramatically in frequency and intensity. After discussing the improvement with her neurologist, she started cutting back on her Gabapentin dosage. After eight weeks, the patient was completely off the medication and pain free. Additionally, she reduced her high blood pressure medication by fifty percent. After two years of maintenance care, she is still pain free without medication, even after major dental work.
Dr. Burcon concludes this case study by stating “Although a case study is limited in its ability to provide conclusions, this study is a typical representation of over three hundred cases researched at Burcon Chiropractic over the past ten years, where the same protocol is used for all one sided brain stem disorders, including Bell’s palsy, migraine headaches, Meniere’s syndrome, Trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.”
If you’ve been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, Ménière’s disease or a similar condition, and upper neck evaluation is a logical next step.
To find an upper cervical doctor in your area go to NUCCA.org or if you are in the Apple Valley, Minnesota area to schedule your NUCCA consultation and evaluation, click the button below:
Johnson Spinal Care and Associates are Apple Valley Upper Cervical Chiropractors trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Our NUCCA Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from post-concussion syndrome in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on our website at http://www.johnsonspinalcare.com
To hear from real people like you, check out our stories of hope here.
Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic Care to Reduce Cervical Spine Vertebral Subluxations: A Case Study Michael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C.
J. Vertebral Subluxation Res. October 26, 2009