New Doctor

I just started seeing Dr. Besso at the Besso Clinic in Stow Ohio. We are located in Summit County 45 minutes south of Cleveland and about 1 1/2 hour north of Columbus. So far he took 3 xrays showing my neck was out of line and crooked( I had seen another chiropractor previously and she did a great job on my hips but pulled and cracked at my neck then I developed this TN) He does upper cervical manipulation and never cracks or pulls on your neck. After the first treatment he showed me how many treatments I needed. He stated that 90% of his clients benefitted from this treatment. Some realized a full recovery and the others have less bouts of less intense nature. I am going to give him a try and see how well it works and I will get back with everyone on my progress. Fingers Crossed!!!

Ramonoa, it's easy for a chiropractor to make such claims -- but tougher to prove that they actually get the results claimed, since very few of them bother to have any independent witness verify their claimed results. The TN Association hosted a couple of cervical chiropractors at its National conferences in the late 1990s, and the discussion of their outcomes was lively to say the least.

About the best I've ever been able to determine about the success rates for chiropractors who manipulate the neck is that some patients are helped, some of the time. At least two people I've talked to wound up in hospitals when their necks were "adjusted" and a trigger zone was stimulated accidentally or in ignorance. It is also conceivable that the chiropractor who cracked your neck may actually have CAUSED your TN. We know that a good many cases of TN are associated with whiplash injury in automobile accidents, and it's not too long a stretch to wonder if similarly violent "adjustment" could cause the same effects.

You are welcome to report your own experience. Ramonoa. But I caution you against advocating for chiropractic treatment of TN pain generally, because the record just isn't there for it in the medical literature.


R.A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.

Hello Ramona - I just saw your note, and am wondering how you are doing now. I have TOTAL pain relief with Upper Cervical Chiropractic, for over one year now. Red remarked to be careful about chiropractors, but as you know - UCCs are VERY gentle and do not have the reputation of injury as does regular chiro. I have been on the tna face pain site, and have been following people who see an UCC, and I am getting a 75% success rate. It is difficult sometimes not to get immediate results, but we all have to wait for the nerves to heal once your atlas is adjusted. I'd love to hear how you are doing. It sounds like you've been going for a month?


Well, yes it can. My BIG TN pain stopped almost right away, but I'd get throbbing on the side of my head whenever I went to bed and laid on my side. But that has stopped, and it indeed took about 9 months for all that to go away. Nerves only heal 2-5 mm/day, so that's only a tiny bit per day, but eventually it heals completely.

Did you check for UCCs in OH? If you don't have it - here it is: in case you can find someone closer for you...

Hope you can resolve this little flareup and it will quiet down completely!

In fairness to Margaret, she is certainly entitled to report her own experience. But any claim of 75% effectiveness for Upper Cervical Chiropractic in TN pain should be met with measured skepticism. As far as I am aware, that statistic has no basis in controlled randomized trials. Individual testimonials are the least reliable of all forms of medical evidence, and do not support generalization

There are reports of sessions with UCC practitioners in past TN Association national conferences. Among attendees at these sessions, the consensus seemed to be that UCC had helped some patients, some of the time -- but nowhere near 50% and not consistently.

Regards, Red

For Red: There were a total of 33 people on the tna site who said they were going to see a UCC. I subtracted those who 1) never went, 2) those who were in process and 3) those who quit after a few visits or who announced they were pausing

That leaves left 24. 18 said they were pain free. that is 18/24 = 75% I don't believe people on the tna site would lie to me. Nor do I expect to see any controlled, randomized trials any time soon, as you would have to ask people with TN pain to agree to possibly be in a placebo (sham adjustment) arm of the trial. I know I would never agree to that. Also, in place of the dearth of published trials, I would count on my friends on the face pain forums to tell me the truth.

A UC Chiro, Larry Arbientment spoke about UCC at the face pain conference this weekend in NY. I hope they put the video of his presentation on here. Perhaps he spoke about %s.

I do know personally that I have been pain free for over one year (April 18,2011 until now) and expect to remain pain free. Also, the woman with TN on this UC chiro's site has been pain free for over 7 years.

People who quit after a few visits generally do so for a reason, Margaret. And not infrequently their reason is that they have either experienced no relief or actually had worse pain. The people on face pain forums have told you their own experience. But that experience is at BEST, suggestive of something that is helpful for some people, some of the time.

What they aren't telling you are the horror stories that I've heard from other people whose chiropractors tried to get them to put down the full amount of their "treatments" for six months in advance, or who were discouraged from seeing their neurologists. Certainly not all chiropractors do such unethical nonsense. But some of them do. And until controlled trials are done with sham treatments ( which they HAVE been in chronic lower back pain), we simply won't know how reliable the more positive outcomes are.

Regards, Red

What I know is why some of them stopped or paused. One person was not too thrilled with the fact that the chiro prayed and had a Bible in the treatment room. To him, he was too 'into God' for the person. One who paused was because they had been sent by their family to try Laser Med treatments. Another was because of an underlying psychological disease that I can write to you about privately. So, in my small sample size of experience, the MAJORITY had the FREQUENT explanation of something other than no relief or worse pain.

I would hope that you report the difference in patient's experience with Upper Cervical Chiropractic vs. straight back chiropractic. I published two reports on the patient's experience and safety of UCC with > 1000 patients and 4900 adjustments, and 91% satisfaction. NO adverse events occurred. That is what I know I have for data on UCC. Regular chiro has a much worse reputation, and to separate them when talking with a TN patient is important.

I agree that any UC chiro who operates his or her practice with a 6 month plan is one to avoid. My OWN chiro disagrees with this practice, doesn't do it, and he guesses they are being controlled by a 'practice manager' or greed. UC chiros aren't any different than most medical professions. There are good ones and not-so-good ones. I wouldn't lump greedy UC chiros into an individual lump for them. MDs, neuros, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, dentists, ENTs, orthodontists, etc can be in the pile, too.

I hope the day will come when UCC for TN is adequately studied and reported to people's satisfaction. In the meantime, I know I depend on my friends, and will tell them about UCC and they can do what they want with my information. As I was all alone in my pain for much of my serious TN and know its loneliness and desire for information. And pray for a pain-free future for everyone.

Obviously there are some people that will not,nor try to understand the very real difference between regular chiros and Upper Cervical Chiros.

If a person knows of any UCC that harmed, names need to be mentioned,or it is just heresay.

I say to Ramonoa and all others trying this very reputable option-


It WON'T hurt you and may help you.

And if it does'nt work,at least you can always say you tried.

Don't let ANYONE discourage you from trying this.

Ramonoa, it is inappropriate to discuss your private message with a moderator, or any other member, on a public thread. If you have a problem with Red's response to your messages, then you can discuss that with him privately. It is even more inappropriate when you're attacking someone. I have edited this part of your post.

Margaret, if you think people online won't lie to you, unfortunately you'll find they will. While the internet is great for so many things, it is also a place where people pretend to be who they aren't, as well as lie about a variety of things. This is particularly true on the sites for people with chronic pain. People know how desperate we are to be out of pain, and unfortunately they like to take advantage of that.

If NUCCA is relieving anyone's pain, then that is fantastic. However, most people will not find the success rates being discussed in this thread to be the typical outcome.