Objective: Primary headache associated with sexual activity (PHASA) is rare but recognized by the International Classification of Headache Disorders. Although triptans and indomethacin have been suggested as a pharmacological treatment option for acute treatment, indomethacin can be administered preemptively, and β-blockers has been proposed as a treatment option for prophylactic management, pharmacologic efficacy remains uncertain. Manual therapy for PHASA has not been studied and thus has no scientifically proven effect. The purpose of this case study is to present a successful case of chiropractic care for a patient with PHASA.
Clinical Features: This case study presents a case where a 19-year-old white European female student presented to a primary care chiropractic clinic complaining of mainly left-sided intense headache, which had acute onset right before or during orgasm. The patient had never suffered headaches before this, and the intense headache never occurred outside sexual activity nor during intercourse if she did not reach orgasm. The diagnosis of PHASA was later confirmed by a hospital neurologist with extensive experience in headache diagnostics.
Intervention and Outcomes: After 7 manual therapy sessions consisting of spinal manipulative therapy at the lumbosacral area conducted by an experienced chiropractor, the patient reported remission of her PHASA, which remained as such at a 12-month follow-up.
Conclusion: This case study generates the observational hypothesis that a patient with PHASA may respond to chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. The underlying mechanisms for this symptom amelioration are, however, unclear.
Author keywords: Headache Disorders, Primary; Headache; Migraine; Sexual Activity; Orgasm; Chiropractic; Manual Therapies; Manipulation Therapy
Author affiliations: OS, AC: Atlasklinikken, Oslo, Norway; AC: Head and Neck Research Group, Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; AC: Institute of Clinical Medicine, Campus Akershus University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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