NUCCA and Headaches
Existing research literature supports the idea that tension and cervicogenic headaches may originate in the upper cervical spine. As a result, a retrospective investigation to discover if NUCCA could help improve pain levels, posture, and quality of life for headache sufferers.
Let us look into the details of this study.
Of the original 239 study patients, 47 patients, average age 41.4 years, qualified for a retrospective analysis. Patients suffered headache symptoms for over 9.3 years on average. Patient evaluation followed NUCCA protocol, and included a supine leg check, followed by a posture evaluation. Radiographic assessment and analysis were used to determine the exact nature of the misalignment (Atlas Subluxation Complex or ASC) and a means to correct it.
NUUCA assessments significantly improved during study period. Post-correction apparent leg length inequality was reduced to almost zero in all subjects. Pelvic tilt was significantly reduced. Following the NUCCA protocol, 80% or better correction of Atlas laterality occurred. Several patients required only one NUCCA correction.
Patient Reported Outcomes
The visual analog scale (VAS) method, a scale of 0 to 10, 10 indicating “your absolute worst headache pain,” and 0 signifies “no headache pain;” allowed investigators to monitor headache pain, before, then after a NUCCA correction. Post-correction VAS scores of 1.26 (average) improved from 5.73 (average) at baseline.
The SF-36 is composed of 36 questions designed to measure eight key areas related to health and quality of life by asking patients to recall their recent experiences within the previous four weeks.
Key areas in SF-36 displaying significant improvement:
- Social Function
- Mental Health
The NUCCA assessments used in the Atlas correction procedure improved significantly. Patients reported noteworthy improvement in pain symptoms with improved quality of life after NUCCA care. NUCCA could be the one of the most appropriate procedures to address these non-migrainous or cervicogenic headaches. Continued investigation including a control group would reveal much needed information.
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Palmer JP, Dickholtz MD. Improvement in radiographic measurements, posture, pain & quality of life in nonmigraine headache patients undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care: a retrospective practice based study. J Vert Sublux Res. 2009 Jun;1:1-11.