Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for
Cervicogenic Headache in an 8-Year-Old

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Neuromusculoskeletal System 2002 (Fall); 10 (3): 98103

Lisi, AJ., Dabrowski, Y

A case of cervicogenic headache (CEH) in an 8-year-old boy that improved after chiropractic spinal manipulation is reported. An 8-year-old boy presented with a complaint of daily headache. The duration of symptoms was over 3 years. The patient met the diagnostic criteria for CEH. Awkward head position reproduced head pain, as did palpation of the upper cervical region. Decreased range of motion of the neck was evident, as well as abnormal tenderness and primarily of the right upper cervical region. A significant decrease in headache frequency as reported by the patient and parent was seen after the first treatment. After four treatments the headache frequency decreased to approximately one per month. The patient was followed for 2 months after termination of care and reported headache frequency of approximately two per month. There is evidence that spinal manipulation is effective in the treatment of CEH in adults. This appears to be the first published case of spinal manipulation for headache meeting the CEH diagnostic criteria in a child. Since headache in general is a common complaint in children, chiropractic treament of CEH in children may be an area warranting further investigation.

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