Introduction: This paper describes the identification and management of Overcompensated Cervical Syndrome (OCS) in 2 patients presenting to a chiropractic teaching facility. OCS was first described by Thompson, developer of the Thompson Technique, and is characterized by neck pain and hypomobility, taut and tender trapezius, tender 1st rib, and spinous rotation of C2-C7.
Case #1: A 22-year-old woman presented with neck pain and stiffness, headaches and disturbed sleep following a motor vehicle accident. Examination revealed the presence of the indicators of OCS. Five adjustments were delivered over 9 weeks, and the patient reported complete resolution of initial symptoms.
Case #2: A 36-year-old woman presented with neck and mid-back pain and headaches. Examination also revealed the presence of the indicators of OCS. After 11 adjustments over 12 weeks, her mid-back pain persisted, however OCS signs and symptoms resolved completely.
Discussion: This case series illustrates the management of 2 patients presenting with neck pain and other signs and symptoms of what Thompson described as OCS. Despite being first outlined nearly 30 years ago, no account of it exists in the peer-reviewed literature. Practical experience has shown that OCS often follows an injury to the neck, such as an MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident), and may be diagnosed as cervical dystonia or torticollis. Since Thompson theorized that adjusting the 1st rib would alleviate the signs and symptoms of OSC, it is speculated that this adjustment normalizes neuromechanical dysfunction of cervical musculature, particularly the trapezius.
Summary: This retrospective case series describes the management of 2 cases of OCS using Thompson Technique chiropractic adjustments. Caution is urged when drawing definitive conclusions from these results or when generalizing to other patients.
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