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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 630472, 18 pages
Clinical Study

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

1Upper Cervical Research Foundation, 5353 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 350, Minneapolis, MN 55416, USA
2The Britannia Clinic, 5005 Elbow Drive SW No. 201, Calgary, AB, Canada T2S 2T6
3University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, Foothills Hospital, 1403 29 Street NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
4Rho Sigma Scientific Consultants, 119 Valencia Road NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3A 2B7
5Departments of Diagnostic Imaging and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 25 July 2015; Revised 23 October 2015; Accepted 29 October 2015

Academic Editor: Alberto Raggi

Copyright © 2015 H. Charles Woodfield III et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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. registration number is NCT01980927.