Effect of Atlas Vertebrae Realignment in Subjects with Migraine: An Observational Pilot Study

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:630472. doi: 10.1155/2015/630472. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Abstract

Introduction. In a migraine case study, headache symptoms significantly decreased with an accompanying increase in intracranial compliance index following atlas vertebrae realignment. This observational pilot study followed eleven neurologist diagnosed migraine subjects to determine if the case findings were repeatable at baseline, week four, and week eight, following a National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association intervention. Secondary outcomes consisted of migraine-specific quality of life measures. Methods. After examination by a neurologist, volunteers signed consent forms and completed baseline migraine-specific outcomes. Presence of atlas misalignment allowed study inclusion, permitting baseline MRI data collection. Chiropractic care continued for eight weeks. Postintervention reimaging occurred at week four and week eight concomitant with migraine-specific outcomes measurement. Results. Five of eleven subjects exhibited an increase in the primary outcome, intracranial compliance; however, mean overall change showed no statistical significance. End of study mean changes in migraine-specific outcome assessments, the secondary outcome, revealed clinically significant improvement in symptoms with a decrease in headache days. Discussion. The lack of robust increase in compliance may be understood by the logarithmic and dynamic nature of intracranial hemodynamic and hydrodynamic flow, allowing individual components comprising compliance to change while overall it did not. Study results suggest that the atlas realignment intervention may be associated with a reduction in migraine frequency and marked improvement in quality of life yielding significant reduction in headache-related disability as observed in this cohort. Future study with controls is necessary, however, to confirm these findings. Clinicaltrials.gov registration number is NCT01980927.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cervical Atlas / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Atlas / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01980927