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J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2010 Sep;54(3):177-86.

Trigeminal neuralgia and chiropractic care: a case report.

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Graduate Student, Graduate Education and Research Programs Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario Private Practice, Smiths Falls, Ontario.


The following case describes a 68 year-old woman with a 7(1/2) year history of worsening head and neck pain diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia following surgical resection of a brain tumor. After years of unsuccessful management with medication and physical therapies, a therapeutic trial of chiropractic was carried out. Chiropractic care included ultrasound, manual therapies (manipulation and mobilization), soft tissue therapies, and home stretching exercises. After an initial treatment period followed by 18 months of supportive care the patient reported satisfactory improvement. It became evident that there were at least three sources of her symptoms: mechanical and/or degenerative neck pain, temporomandibular joint syndrome, and trigeminal neuralgia. While never completely pain-free, the patient continued to report that her pains reduced to minimal at times. At the most recent follow-up, the pain had not returned to pre-treatment intractable levels. This case study demonstrates the importance of diagnosing and treating multiple sources of pain and the positive role chiropractic care can have in the management of patients with these clinical conditions. The potential for convergence of sensory input from the upper three cervical segments and the trigeminal nerve via the trigeminocervical nucleus is discussed.


chiropractic; facial pain; head pain; neck pain; spinal nucleus; trigeminal neuralgia


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