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Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

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Resolution of Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia & Spastic Dystonia Following Chiropractic Care to Reduce Upper Cervical Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Study
Michael Burcon B.Ph., DC Bio & Jennifer Pero DC Bio 


Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ January 6, 2014 ~ Pages 7-13



Objective:  This case study reports the improvement in quality of life experienced by a patient with Glossopharyngeal neuralgia undergoing upper cervical specific care as an alternative to medication or surgery.


Clinical Features:  An 82 year old female presented with right-sided Glossopharyngeal neuralgia of ten years duration. Pain was helped by medication and exacerbated by talking, swallowing, coughing, quick head movements and air conditioning. Daily prescriptions included Gabapentin, 5700 mg.


Patient had a case history of falling on her head in a snow skiing trauma at age sixteen followed by possible whiplash injuries when falling on ice that same year and a vehicular accident in 1984.  Patient had constant stabbing pain with tremor in right temple, face, tongue and throat. She could only manage to whisper a few words at a time.  Posture analysis, leg length equality, modified Prill tests, thermography, and cervical x-rays supported evidence of vertebral subluxation at atlas, axis, C4, C5 and C6.


Intervention and Outcomes:  Immediately after specific adjustments to C5, C2 and C1, pain diminished from 10 to 1. Tremor was eliminated. Head tilt, eye clarity and facial color returned to normal. She could talk normally. Two days later pain was zero. Under her neurologist’s supervision, she started reducing her Gabapentin. Six weeks later, patient presented with straight thermograph, balanced legs, and was pain-free without medication.


Conclusion:  This case demonstrates the effectiveness of upper cervical specific care as an alternative to medication or surgery for the control of pain associated with Glossopharyngeal neuralgia.


Key Words: Glossopharyngeal neuralgia, upper cervical subluxation complex, specific chiropractic adjustments, whiplash, Gabapentin (Neurontin)