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Case Study - Plate Specific Headache

See below for a discussion of Plate Specific Headaches


Submitted by - John Blye, DC


Patient - male, age 10


MD Diagnosis - Headache, unknown origin


Prognosis - unknown


Duration - 9 months


Previous DC care with condition - yes


Outcome - RESOLVED


Brief History:  This patient was referred by his primary chiropractor after repeated spinal adjustments had minimal effect.  Neurologist's evaluation was negative.  MRI results were negative.  Headaches were occurring daily, lasting from 2 to 12 hours and were rated for severity by the patient as 8 on a 10 scale, typically.  The headache distribution was "cap-like," involving the frontal plate, the sphenoid plate bilaterally and the parietal plates, with frequent involvement of the occipital plate.  Response to pain relievers was relatively poor.


Findings and Care:  Cranial subluxations were found involving most of the affected plates.  Very little nerve pressure was detected in the cervical spine, probably due to concurrent spinal adjustments by the referring DC.  The patient was put on a program of cranial adjustments and directed to stay under his primary chiropractor's care. 


Patient Response:  Headache response was rapid (one day), but incomplete.  That is, the level of pain reduced to a more tolerable 4-8 / 10 level, however, headache frequency remained nearly 7 days out of 7.

Headache severity gradually reduced some more but, after 6 weeks of care, the condition had plateaued.  Additional discussion with the patient revealed that most (not all) of the severest headaches occurred about 10 AM during school, and about the same time often on weekends.  Headaches often became worse when wearing a baseball cap at baseball practice and games.  Further investigation revealed that the child used "Monster Gel" to keep his hair looking cool every morning, 7 / 7.  The primary ingredient of Monster Gel is the shampoo additive propylene glycol.


Internet research revealed that propylene glycol, and its cousins ethylene g and butylene g, are used in antifreezes, shampoos, toothpaste, ice cream and chip dips.  Toxnet also identified propylene glycol as a neurotoxin with a high degree of dermal absorption.  That is, put it on your skin and it goes into your body.


The patient was instructed to stop using Monster Gel and any products containing propylene glycol.  Within 10 days, headaches had improved to 2 / 10 severity and 1-2 / 7 frequency, and disappeared completely over the following two weeks.  They did recur briefly a few months later when the boy used another gel containing propylene glycol.


Discussion:  Plate specific headaches are headaches that recur repeatedly over the same cranial plates.  These headaches frequently include both the migraine and the cluster types of headache.  I have found a high correlation between the plate in pain and the plate that is subluxated they are usually the same.  Correction of the cranial subluxation usually produces immediate (5 min.) results.  As a case in point, a doctor at our last workshop announced that her headaches were gone almost exactly 5 minutes after her cranial subluxations were adjusted.


Obviously, the patient in this case study was not responding typically.  It was clear that something else was involved, as his cranial pattern improved in the first two adjustments. 


Propylene glycol is one of over 1000 known neurotoxins.  Neurotoxins have both an affinity for nerve tissue and the ability to damage that tissue enough to produce an inflammatory response.  Health, after all, is the ability of a living thing to re-organize on a microsecond-by-microsecond basis.  Inflammation is the necessary process by which the human body reorganizes most damaged tissue.  And inflammation of the brain and surrounding structures is the likely cause of pain in the plate - specific headache.

Anosmia - Loss of Smell
Hearing Loss
Increased Intraocular Pressure
Loss of Visual Acuity
Recurring Subluxations


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