A case study published in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic on February 14, 2020, describes the improvement with chiropractic of a woman who had been suffering with headaches and neck pain after a whiplash injury.
A normal neck curve as seen from the side x-ray should show a sweeping curvature forward. When the curvature is reduced or reversed, known as a cervical kyphosis, it is many times associated with a number of health issues. According to this study, two of the more common issues seen with cervical kyphosis are neck pain and headaches.
Headaches and neck pain are very common problems. The study reports that “Tension-type headaches are the most common headache worldwide affecting greater than 40% of the population. Neck pain is also prevalent and will affect up to 70% of the population.” They note that these problems are commonly seen together. “Those suffering from headache have a high chance of also having neck pain, a 90% prevalence rate, particularly following motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).”
In this case, a 29-year old mother of 3 went to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of severe headaches. The woman had been suffering with headaches for 13 years ever since being involved in a motor vehicle accident from which she was diagnosed with severe whiplash. Over the years, her headaches persisted and got worse.
The woman also suffered from neck and upper back pain as well as lower back pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, she rated her pain as follows: headaches 8 out of 10, upper back pain 4 out of 10, and lower back pain 8-9 out of 10. She also was suffering with numbness in her legs and feet as well as cold fingers, right arm pain, ringing in her ears, difficulty digesting greasy foods, low energy, restless legs, cramping, and irregular periods.
An examination showed limited muscle strength as well as reduced ranges of motion. A side x-ray of her neck showed a reversal of her neck curve in the upper portion of her neck. Based upon these findings, specific chiropractic care, along with home exercises, was started to address these issues.
After care was started, a re-examination was performed and showed an increase in muscle strength as well as a greater range of motion. As care continued, the woman reported that her neck pain had reduced by 90%, and her lower back pain improved by 70%. She also reported that she was no longer having severe headaches and dizziness, except for an occasional slight headache. Additionally, the woman reported that she no longer suffered from cold fingers, ringing in her ears, restless legs, pelvic cramping and irregular periods.