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CBCT Imaging May Uncover Clues To Underlying Migraine Cause

Posted in Chronic Pain, Migraine Headaches on Mar 23, 2017

CBCT Imaging | Upper Cervical Blair Chiropractic Los Angeles

There are thousands of testimonial accounts of patients improving from migraines following correction of spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine.  Over time technology is improving ways to analyze the spine and its correction.  One such recent advancement is advanced imaging called Cone Bram Catscan(CBCT). This new technology allows for better resolution and detail in assessing the articular(joint) alignment in the upper Cervical spine.

Drs.  Verdamer and Hollowell(1) D.C. Published a research paper titled  "Cone-beam Computerized Tomography for the Bio-mechanical Assessment of the Occipito-atlanto-axial Articulation in a 75-year-old Woman with Migraines Undergoing Blair Technique " in 2013. The article explores CBCT imaging of the head skull junction relationship and improvements in migraine headaches in the individual studied following BLAIR Upper Cervical chiropractic.  

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It has become clear in the scientific literature that Migraine Headaches can be helped through Chiropractic intervention. This study not only shows the importance of advanced imaging techniques in locating spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine but also demonstrates how the upper cervical spine can be a contributing factor in the cause of Migraine. To quote from the research

"After case history and physical examination, the patient was evaluated using CBCT, and an HVLA (high-velocity low-amplitude) thrust to the atlas vertebra was administered, following the Blair chiropractic technique protocols. CBCT was utilized in place of standard radiography to analyze the biomechanical structure of the occipital-atlantal joint. She reported a decrease from 8/10 to 3/10 on the visual analog scale after 5 months of care."


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How Can The Upper Cervical Spine Contribute to Migraine Cause?

The upper cervical spine is the most critical juncture of human anatomy which is a controlling factor in most body functions. This area is known as the craniocervical junction(CCJ).  At the base of the skull is a hole called the foramen magnum.  The brain-stem passes through the foramen magnum and is then housed by the atlas(c-1) and axis(c-2).   This region is responsible for controlling the most autonomic(automatic) function of the body such as muscle tone, balance control, cardiac function, blood pressure control, and thermoregulation.  

Dr. Flannagan published a landmark research paper titled "The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Craniospinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions" which gives a detailed explanation of how craniocervical junction injury can affect function throughout the body. 

Included in his paper is a detailed explanation of how the vascular system can become compromised by upper cervical misalignment. It is well-known that migraine headaches are related to abnormal function of the vascular system. 

The aura that migraine sufferers experience is due to a decrease in blood flow in the cerebral hemispheres. Then the body overcompensates for the constriction of blood vessels in the aura phase to an over dilation of the blood vascular system in the migraine phase.

Viewing The Joints Of The Occiput Atlas Relationship To Determine Misalignment Direction

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Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a system of analysis that determines how the upper cervical vertebra has misaligned from whiplash-type injury. Injuries to the neck from car accidents, sports trauma, and other trauma can damage the ligaments that give the head-neck relationship its structural integrity.  If there is enough injury it can dislodge the atlas or axis causing a misalignment at the joint level. Bones meet at joints. 

The joints are mirror images of one another and fit perfectly. If there is truly a misalignment at the joint its direction and angle can be determined by looking at the joint margins.  The misalignments can be measured in millimeters and the angle of each joint can be measured to the tenth of a degree.  

This information becomes useful in correcting these spinal misalignments. If you suffer from migraine headaches it is imperative that you have your upper cervical spine checked for brain-stem interference. We hope that this article and its information are helpful and it sheds light on the underlying cause for some migraine sufferers.

If you would like to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our doctors you can call 310 324-6172 for our Carson office or 213 399-7772 for our Los Angeles office.