Tourette Syndrome and Chiropractic Care
by Lisa Brittain, D.C., B.S.
History and Presenting Symptoms The patient is an 11-year-old male who was diagnosed at the age of four with Tourette syndrome. He has complex vocal and motor tics, which are made worse by stress. The tics affect his daily life; school, sports and his self esteem. The patient also notices he has fatigue and irritability. The patient has been on many different medications—clonidine, inversine, depakote, orap, clarinex, and singular—several causing side effects but never alleviating his tics. Exam Findings The patient is a very active young man; he plays golf, basketball, football, and baseball, as well as excelling at school. He has a good diet. Postural examination revealed anterior head carriage. Motion Palpation found a decrease in range of motion of the cervical spine along with tender spots at C1 and C2. An increase in muscle spasm throughout the right side of the thoracic spine, due to a side bend tic was noted. Surface EMG along with a Rolling Thermal Scan were performed. The sEMG revealed large amounts of nervous system disturbances at C1, C3, C5, C7, T1, T2, T4, T6, T8, T10, T12, L1 and L3. The Rolling Thermal Scan only showed one area of disturbance at T1. Imaging AP and Lateral cervical spine X-rays were performed and revealed a slight decrease in the cervical lordotic curve. Severe rotation and lateral fl exion of C2, along with lateral fl exion of the atlas, were also noted. Clinical Impression Cervical and thoracic segmental joint dysfunctions with associated myospasm in thoracic spine were present. Treatment Plan Diversifi ed adjustments were used to correct the subluxations. Bilateral pisiform adjustments were used to address the thoracic spine; side posture with specifi c contact was used to correct the lumbar spine. For the cervical spine, master cervical was used and a seated occiput adjustment was used to correct the occipital subluxation. The patient was adjusted three times a week for four weeks then re-evaluated. Response to Care The patient tolerated the adjustments very well. During the course of treatment, the patient stopped all of his medications. At the beginning of care, the patient rated his tics, both motor and vocal, an eight out of ten in severity; after twelve treatments, the patient rated his vocal tics a two out of ten and a three out of ten for motor tics. Also the patient noticed he had less fatigue and less irritability, since starting his chiropractic treatments Discussion The chiropractic adjustment relieved pressure that was being put on the nerves in the cervical spine which has direct relation to the brain and nervous system. In this case, the chiropractic treatments were the only thing that relieved the patient from his symptoms, allowing him to be medication free and back to his normal self.
Dr. Lisa Brittain graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College in August 2006. That is where she met her husband, Jacob, who is also a Chiropractor. They opened their own practice in Overland Park. Dr. Brittain can be contacted at offi ce # 913-825-3900, cell # 913-269-1625. Offi ce address 10841 W. 87th Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 66214. Home 950 E. 126th Terr Olathe, KS 66061