Chiropractic management using a brain-based model of care for a 15-year-old adolescent boy with migraine headaches and behavioral and learning difficulties: a case report

J Chiropr Med. 2013 Dec;12(4):274-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2013.10.005.


Objective: The purpose of this report is to describe chiropractic management, using a brain-based model of care, of a teen who had migraine headaches and several social and learning difficulties.

Clinical features: A 15-year-old adolescent boy with a chronic history of migraines and more than 10 years of learning and behavioral difficulties, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome, presented for chiropractic care.

Intervention and outcome: The patient received spinal manipulation and was given home physical coordination activities that were contralateral to the side of the involved basal ganglia and ipsilateral to the involved cerebellum, along with interactive metronome training. Quantitative changes were noted in neurological soft signs, tests of variables of attention Conners' Parent Rating Scale, the California Achievement Test, grade point, and reduction of medications. The patient reported qualitative improvements in tics, attention, reading, vision, health, relationships with his peers and his family, and self-esteem.

Conclusion: The patient with migraine headaches and learning difficulties responded well to the course of chiropractic care. This study suggests that there may be value in a brain-based model of care in the chiropractic management of conditions that are beyond musculoskeletal in nature.

Keywords: Attention; Chiropractic; Depression; Learning; Manipulation; Migraine disorder; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Tourette syndrome.