Studies: Head Injury
note: Case studies summarizing patientsí responses
to care are intended for educational purposes
only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit.
Individual results may vary, depending upon several
factors including age of the patient, severity
of the condition, severity of the spinal injury,
and duration of time the condition has been present.
Age 14, Headaches, Weight Loss, Fevers, Backaches
14-year-old female was involved in two different
accidents seven years prior and had suffered with
numerous health problems since. At age 7, during
the spring skiing season, she ran into a tree
(without wearing a helmet) and sustained a concussion.
During the fall of that same year, she fell off
of the monkey bars and sustained another concussion.
Following the second concussion, she began experiencing
frequent headches. Eventually they worsened until
they occurred constantly on a daily basis. Shortly
thereafter, she experienced sudden unexplained
weight loss where she lost 15 pounds. She also
suffered from a constant fever for 40 straight
days, which eventually lessened into occassional,
unexplained fevers. In addition, she began having
frequent back and hip pain, which prevented her
from participating in sports she enjoyed. She
also noticed her school work began to suffer where
she previously had been an "A" student.
her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was
discovered, which was likely caused by one or
both of the accidents that had also caused concussions.
After the first upper cervical adjustment, she
reported noticing her head and neck pain and her
fever easing. After several weeks of care, she
reported that her back and hip pain and her cognitive
abilities were also improving. Within a few months,
all symptoms were absent and she was able to participate
fully in sports and school.
Age 34, Head Injury, Whiplash, Headaches, Sleep
34-year-old male suffered a head injury during
an auto accident in which he was rear-ended at
50mph. He described severe pain in his neck and
back and headaches that originated at the base
of his skull and spread to his left eye. His pain
was so severe that it prevented him from sleeping,
so he suffered from severe fatigue. To maintain
some level of function during the day, he relied
on multiple caffeinated beverages such as jolt
or bull colas and/or coffee. At the time of his
initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation
(14 months after the accident), he had been suffering
with all of the above symptoms for over a year.
He had sought help from numerous practitioners
including physicians, neurologists, and therapists,
to no avail. He reported receiving some temporary
relief from Pilates.
his evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered,
which had likely been caused by his auto accident.
After the first month of care, be began to notice
less pain and a slightly better ability to sleep.
By the third month of care, he was reporting a
larger reduction in pain levels, which was enabling
him to resume exercising. After six months, all
pain was absent, normal sleep was resumed, and
he was able to partcipate in all previous activities
and sports, including working full-time.
Age 46, Head Injury
46-year-old female suffered a head injury during
a boogie boarding accident approximately two years
prior to seeking help from upper cervical care.
While boogie boarding, she did a "face plant"
in the sand, scraping the skin from her face,
and causing bleeding in both eyes. While her face
healed, she was left with a "jammed"
feeling in her neck, jaw pain, visual problems,
and other cognitive symptoms typical of head injury.
Her main form of treatment had been cranial sacral
therapy, which she reported had helped tremendously
with the head injury symptoms, however she had
been left with the above mentioned problems.
her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation,
an upper neck injury was discovered that was probably
caused by the boogie boarding accident. After
just a few weeks of treatment, all of her neck
pain, jaw pain, cognitive symptoms, and visual
problems healed. Even her eye glass prescription
improved, according to her eye doctor.
Age 27, Seizures, Headaches, Neck Pain
27-year-old female was involved in a motor vehicle
accident, after which she was diagnosed with whiplash,
concussion, and brain injury. Shortly after the
accident, she developed headaches, seizures, and
pain in her neck and was medicated for those symptoms
for several years before seeking help from upper
her initial examination, an upper neck injury
was discovered, probably stemming from the auto
accident. Within three months of upper cervical
care, all headaches, seizures, and pain were absent
and all medications were discontinued.
Age 51, Head Injury, Whiplash
51-year-old female was involved in an auto accident
in which she was diagnosed with head injury /
whiplash. The accident occurred three months prior
and her symptoms had been constant ever since.
They included daily headaches, nausea, muscle
stiffness, jaw pain, mental confusion, memory
loss, and personality changes. She had tried osteopathic
care and massage but the symptoms continued. Eventually
she was referred by a friend for an upper cervical
her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was
discovered through two diagnostic tests. After
the first neck correction, she reported that she
felt "more like herself, was in better spirits,
and could be around people again". She also
stated that she hadn't experienced any headaches
or nausea. A week later, she described feeling
clear in her head, improvement in her jaw pain,
and better energy. All other symptoms had remained
absent. Several weeks later, her case was stabilized
and all symptoms remained absent.
Age 48, Head / Neck Injury
48-year-old female was involved in a ski accident three years prior in which
another skier ran into her at approximately 15 miles per hour. She sustained
head and neck injuries and was unable to work a full week for three years. Before
upper cervical care, her complaints included headaches, neck pain, low back
and left leg pain, fatigue, mental confusion, and frequent episodes of what
she termed "brain shutdown" where she could not function. During her chiropractic
examination, an upper cervical injury was found.
several months of care, she improved substantially.
She no longer had periods of brain shutdown and
resumed a full workweek. She rarely reported headaches
or neck pain. The pain in her low back and leg
was completely corrected. Her mental clarity and
energy level were much improved.
Age 8, Spinal Cord Injury, Loss of Bowel Control
8-year-old male fell hard on the school playground
hitting his head. He had moments of tingling in
his arms and legs when he fell and was diagnosed
with a spinal cord injury by his physicians. He
also began suffering from loss of bowel control
and urgency and found himself rushing to the bathroom
multiple times per day to avoid an accident. When
the bowel problems continued 6 months later, his
mother brought her son in for an upper cervical
evaluation upon recommendation by a friend.
this boy's intial evaluation, an upper neck injury
was discovered during digital infrared imaging
and radiographic diagnostics. Most likely, the
severe blow to his head caused the displacement
of his skull slightly from his upper neck, injuring
his spinal cord and causing the bowel malfunction.
After his initial neck correction, normal bowel
activity was restored quickly.
Age 6, Traumatic Head Injury
6-year-old boy suffered a traumatic head injury when a television fell off of
a cabinet and landed on his head while he was lying on the floor. The T.V. fell
on top of his face causing multiple fractures around his eye. He required multiple
surgeries to reconstruct his eye socket and his sinuses. Post-surgery, after
the fractures had healed, his mother began to notice that her son's personality
and behavior had changed. He also had constant double vision and suffered continuous
headaches as a result. They consulted with numerous physicians and neurologists
who surmised these symptoms were permanent from the head injury and stated there
was nothing they could do.
recommendation from a friend, this mother brought her son in for an upper cervical
chiropractic evaluation. An upper neck injury was discovered, most likely stemming
from the head trauma. Within a few weeks of care, all double vision and headaches
were absent and his mother described his personality as returning to normal.
Age 52, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Whiplash, Head Injury
52-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents three years apart. The
first accident (she was rearended) caused migraines, neck pain, and head injury
symptoms, including insomnia, depression, memory loss, and inability to multi-task.
These symptoms were worsened after her second auto accident in which she was
also rearended. She tried multiple therapies including physical therapy, chiropractic
care, cranial sacral therapy, as well as medications from her neurologist but
she could hardly function due to severity of her cognitive symptoms and pain.
her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was
discovered that had not been addressed by her previous practitioners. After
the first upper cervical correction, she noticed that her migraines lessened.
After two weeks of care, she reported noticing she was "in a better mood,
had more patience, and was less grumpy". By the second month of care, migraines
were greatly reduced and many of her cognitive symptoms were noticeably better.
She reported sleeping better, having better energy, having a clear head to go
about her daily tasks, experiencing an improved mood, and noticing excellent
concentration. By the end of four months of care, she routinely reported feeling
"excellently" and had few migraines and few cognitive symptoms.
Age 30, Spinal Pain, Concussion, Whiplash
30-year-old female suffered two different traumas and was afflicted with spinal
pain ever since. The first was a fall on ice in which she hit her head on the
pavement and suffered a mild concussion. The second was an auto accident in
which she was rear-ended and thrown against the windshield. The spinal pain
had been severely hindering her training and performance as a marathon runner.
During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered.
approximately 2 months of upper cervical care, the spinal pain healed and she
was able to train and run pain-free. Over a year later, she still trained without
*** TESTIMONIAL ***
"After a head/neck injury from falling on ice and a rear end collision (where
I was thrown into a windshield) two years ago, I suffered from spinal pain and
tried chiropractor after chiropractor with minimal results. I was able to continue
with my training (marathon running), but with a lot of pain and frustration.
After only two weeks in Dr. Elster's care, I felt progress. Being a marathon
runner takes its toll on my joints- especially my back. With the adjustments
that Dr. Elster has made, my running has improved and I can run without pain!
Also, she is training my spine to hold its position so I can continue injury-free!"
Tara, age 30, March 1998
Age 35, Migraine Headaches, Concussion
35-year-old female suffered from migraines for 10 years. She was a professional
figure skater and started experiencing headaches after wearing heavy costume
headdresses during shows. After discussing her medical history, it was discovered
that she had experienced multiple falls on the ice-- one severe one in which
she suffered a concussion. Shortly after the concussion, the headaches started.
Headaches began to occur on a daily basis with migraines occurring approximately
twice per month. The migraines seemed to occur around her menstrual cycle. In
addition she suffered frequent neck and back pain. After suffering with headaches
for 10 years, she sought help from upper cervical care. During her initial upper
cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found-- most likely stemming from her
fall on the ice in which she suffered the concussion. After only one month of
upper cervical care, all headaches, migraines, neck and back pain were completely
gone and never returned.
Age 28, Head Injury
riding her bike, this 28-year-old female was hit by a motorcycle. She flew over
her handlebars and landed on her head, causing a concussion. Her symptoms included
dizziness, ringing in the ears, headaches, fatigue, nausea, spinal pain, memory
loss, difficulty concentrating, and loss of balance which all caused her to
be out of work for the year prior to seeking help from upper cervical care.
several months of care, she returned to work due to increased ability to concentrate
and increased energy and mental clarity. Her symptoms of dizziness and nausea
were greatly reduced. Two years later, she occasionally had minor flare-ups
but in general had the ability to exercise, work, balance family and friends
and lead a busy life.
March, 1996, I was traveling downhill on my bicycle when a motorcycle came shooting
out of the alley in front of me. The impact launched me some 20-30 feet and
I landed on my head. I was wearing a helmet, and was extremely fortunate to
be alive, but I was unprepared for what having a head and neck injury meant.
It was like jumping from the age of 26 to 86 in a split second. I walked in
circles trying to remember what I was doing. Stairs were difficult; reading
was extremely difficult; crossing the street was frightening; I had trouble
finding words; I had trouble organizing written thoughts; grocery stores were
a nightmare; noise and commotion was painful and brought on nausea. But the
most difficult part was that I had no energy and pushing myself in any way made
me extremely sick. Trying to work a 40-hour week brought on symptoms. By Tuesday
afternoon, I would feel so nauseous and my head would hurt so severely that
all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and hide from the world. Any sort of exercise
made me nauseous, faint, and unsteady. Where I had always been able to overcome
any obstacle, I was running into a brick wall. Of course, colleagues and those
medical personnel unfamiliar with head injury all believed that I could get
better if I wanted to, that this was all psychosomatic. But I had a sense that
circulation or something was being blocked, so I kept looking for someone who
could help. I first saw Dr. Elster in June '97. My x-rays showed that my top
vertebra was out of alignment. Having it adjusted made all the difference--
and my last adjustment held for 2 months. I am myself again. Exercise feels
like it used to-- it brings me energy rather than draining it. I can balance
career and home, and go to a restaurant, and see friends, all in the same week.
I can't tell you how much it makes me smile to say this." Tania, age 28,
Age 23, Head Injury, Bipolar Disorder, Epilepsy,
Sleep Disorder, Headaches, Back Pain
23-year-old male suffered a closed head injury at age 17 in which he landed
on his head due to a pole-vaulting accident at a high school track meet. Since
the fall, he suffered from bipolar disorder (rapid-cycling mood swings), seizures
(2-3 per day), daily headaches, daily neck and back pain, and sleep disorder
(he would often be awake for 24-36 straight hours before finally going to sleep
and then often would sleep for 24 or more hours). He was taking tegretol for
bipolar disorder and pain medication for headaches.
this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely
stemming from the pole-vaulting accident. The injury was compromising this patient's
brain and spinal cord function.
five months of upper cervical care, all mood swings, headaches, seizures, pain,
and sleep trouble were corrected, and all medications were discontinued. All
family members remarked at the enormous change in the patient's mental outlook,
personality, and health.
Age 37, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Headaches, Thumb Pain, Low Back Pain
37-year-old female suffered from pain since a fall backwards on a slip & slide
15 years prior, in which she fell flat on her back and suffered a whiplash/concussion.
She had constant pain in her neck, back, right arm, right thumb, right sacro-iliac
joint, and daily dull headaches ever since. She had been told her pain was due
to arthritis so she was prescribed arthritis medication that provided no relief.
her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found
which most likely stemmed from her fall on the slip & slide. After 3 months
of upper cervical care, all pains and headaches were absent.
Age 47, Head Injury
47-year-old female fainted, fell and hit her head on the bathroom counter, and
was rendered unconscious. From this concussion, she suffered some loss of memory
and concentration but was still able to go to work, take care of her kids, etc.
One year later, she was involved in an auto accident in which she was rear-ended
at 35mph. During the impact, her head bounced off the headrest causing a second
the auto accident, she was unable to work and had to hire a driver, cook, house
cleaner, etc. because she was unable to perform any home chores. She suffered
tremendous cognitive disability, constant headaches, constant pain in her spine,
inability to sleep, fatigue, and slow speech and handwriting. One year after
her accident, she was still disabled and sought help from upper cervical care.
her examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which could have stemmed
from either one or both of her head traumas. Within
two months of care, she was able to resume performing chores at home such as
shoveling snow, cleaning, cooking, etc. In addition, her headaches began to
subside and her energy level was greatly increased. Within four months of care,
she was able to resume working on a part-time basis and was able to balance
work and taking care of her children. Six months after beginning upper cervical
care, she was able to work full-time and headaches were absent.