A 72-year–old white woman presented with migraine headaches that started in her early childhood (at approximately 12 years old). The patient could not recall anything that may have happened that could be causing her migraines, although she believed there was a family history (father) of the condition. During the history, the patient stated that she suffered regular migraine headaches (1-2 per week) with which she also experienced nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and photophobia.

She needed to stop all activities to help her symptoms, and she often required acetaminophen and codeine medications for any type of pain relief. The patient was also taking verapamil, calcitriol for osteoporosis, pnuemenium on a daily basis, and carbamazipine (which is an antiepileptic, neurotropic medication) twice daily.

The patient reported that an average episode with a migraine lasted anywhere from 1 to 3 days and that she could not perform activities of daily living for a minimum of 12 hours. In addition, a scale score for one of her average episodes with a migraine was 8.5 out of a possible maximum score of 10, so to the doctor this was a description of her having what she called “terrible” pain.

The patient noted light and noise aggravated her condition. She described the migraine as a throbbing head pain that was always on the left-side of her head.

The patient had a previous history of a pulmonary embolism (2 years before treatment) and had a partial hysterectomy 4 years before treatment. She also stated she had hypertension that was controlled. She was a widow with 2 children, and she had never smoked.

The patient had tried acupuncture, physiotherapy, substantial dental treatment, and numerous other medications; but nothing had changed her migraine pattern. She stated that she had never had previous chiropractic treatment. The patient also stated that she had been treated by a neurologist for “migraines” over many years.

On examination, she was found to have very sensitive area of musculature at the base of her skull and a substantial decreased range of motion at the joint between the base of her skull and the first bone (vertebra) in her neck, coupled with pain on bending her head forward and extending her neck. She also had significant reduction in her middle back  motion and a marked increase in her middle back hump.

Blood pressure testing revealed she was hypertensive (178/94), which the patient reported was an average result according to one study that was given to her by her medical doctor.

She was adjusted regularly for about 9 months. Within weeks her migraines started to become less and less. She’s decided to continue care until her neck x-rays show no reversal of her natural curve which she has lost at this time.

If you know someone who has headaches, migraines, or any other health condition or challenge… please recommend that they talk to me about what could be wrong with them and how we might be able to help.