Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on a female with headaches complicated by Chiari malformation showed that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these patients and calls for more research in this area.

“Research indicates that shifts in the structure of the spine may impact function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of disorders, especially those involving the brain and brain stem. Structural shifts may lead to nerve obstruction causing a vertebral subluxation” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.

McCoy stated, “The nervous system is the master control of the body, controlling all functions.  It is simple when you think about it, nerves of the cervical spine control the muscles of the head and neck and therefore would produce a positive outcome upon removing the interference.”

This research describes a 22-year-old female suffering with daily headaches for several years.  Her headaches were complicated due to her Type I Chiari malformation and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.  Her headaches were so severe that they interfered with her ability to function daily.  She was not able to perform well in her graduate school program, nor could she continue working at her job.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck.  Postural changes, restricted range of motion, and tight muscles were also found.  X-rays and other imaging confirmed these findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, the frequency of her headaches decreased and her quality of life improved.  She was able to take walks without getting a headache, her neck range of motion improved, and her Chiari malformation reduced.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

To learn more about this study or chiropractic care visit Vertebral Subluxation Research.