THE specific BLOG
Dr. Chris Collins
Let me tell you a story about a mystery case.I call it a mystery case because no one had solved it up until the point that it came to me. Whenever I have cases like these, it’s important for me to slow down and not jump to conclusions. I need to gather as much evidence as I can to understand if I can help the person or not. I don’t just assume it’s something, even if the answer seems obvious.
The case in question was a gentleman in his early 60’s who had suffered with migraines for approximately 40 years. Not just a migraine every now and then either. This was a chronic, constant headache with migraine episodes multiple times in the week, every week, for 40 years. This is how he explained it, “The pressure is in the back of my neck near the skull and behind my eyes on both sides. It can occur without warning, and I feel it coming on like a sinking feeling. It occurs with dizziness about once a month, and is made worse with changing in head position.”
Typically, this list of symptoms would get all kinds of diagnoses thrown at it. Headache and migraine diagnoses along with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo cross diagnosed with Meniere’s. The list of possibilities would be quite long with no clear answer for our client. The medications he had been prescribed included a range of pain medications, blood pressure medications, along with others. All of these things didn’t touch the migraines. He had tried alternative therapies such as massage, chiropractic, PT, you name it. The one thing that helped manage some of the pain was ice and rest, which didn’t really help as much as it prevented him feeling like a sudden movement would mean he’d be screaming at the top of his lungs. This is 10/10 pain. These migraine folks often go to the ER and get sent away with a bill for the CT (that showed “nothing”) and a shrug.
This is all happening in the background while this guy pastors a large church out of state with many of his church members totally unaware of his chronic pain. So next time someone tells you they had a migraine and had to miss work, take them seriously.
So what happened next?
This gentleman had a short window of time with me because he was only in town 5 days while he visited his son. He heard about me through his son, and he heard that I had a track record with good success helping my clients resolve their migraines. He came in for the initial testing, and what we found was remarkable. I had never seen someone with such visible tension caused by a headache. Our testing revealed that he had neuropathophysiology, which is a long word that means the nervous system is not functioning optimally. He had an idea that this was the case from some of the doctors he talked to, but he had never seen the test proving it until he came in. He also had asymmetries in his X-rays and contrary mechanics that could have been missed with the traditional “point and shoot” films. Because of the results from the specialized testing, I was able to see why chiropractic hadn’t worked before. In fact, the additional information would allow me to see that this problem was a chiropractic issue, but it would not have been corrected the same way if I was just using general data. I was confident we were on the right track and could help him.
Then came his first adjustment.
I had lost sleep over the details of studying how we would make the adjustment and how he would respond. I wanted everything to be perfect. The moment came and every fiber of my being was ready to make that correction. It went perfect. After we adjusted, he immediately noticed the pressure begin to lift. Not entirely but the “edge” came off so to speak. We rested him and rescanned to find the nervous system starting to balance normally. I checked him every day for the 5 days, and he only needed 2 adjustments during that time. He noticed a big difference in that short amount of time and was sad to have to go back home without the support, but hopeful in what progress we had made in such a short amount of time.
We tried locating an upper cervical chiropractor near him, but the closest one was 3 hours away. He decided it was worth it and began to see that chiropractor. The last time I checked in with him he was continually noticing improvements. He was down to one significant episode a week with relief on the other days. He remarked that the care was so specific and personal in our office that he wished he could have done an entire program with me, but he was grateful that at least he had an answer.
There are people out there that have given up on ever finding an answer to problems like these. If you know someone struggling with a chronic problem, we may be able to help. This month, we are offering a migraine workshop free to the public. If you or someone you know would like to attend, please reach out to us, and we will add you to the invitation list.