Treatment of Barré-Lieou and Cervicocranial Syndromes
Barré-Lieou syndrome was discovered by and named after Jean Alexandre Barre, M.D., a French neurologist, and Yong-Choen Lieou, a Chinese physician. Each discovered the syndrome independently and described a very wide range of symptoms thought to be due to a dysfunction of the group of nerves called the posterior cervical sympathetic nervous system, located near the vertebrae in the neck. Therefore, this condition is often better known as cervicocranial syndrome and posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome.
How does Barré-Lieou and Cervicocranial Syndrome develop?
Barré-Liéou and Cervicocranial syndrome is due to vertebral instability, which affects the function of the nerve cell aggregations located in the neck just in front of the vertebrae. Vertebral instability or misalignment occurs because the ligaments that support the neck become weakened or injured. This is what occurs in the commonly known whiplash injury. Not only do neck and headache pain occur with whiplash injury, but also the signs and symptoms of Barré-Lieou syndrome.
This condition also may develop in people who spend a good portion of their day hunched over while working. Any activity that precipitates the head forward position and puts the cervical vertebral ligaments in a stretched position will cause the ligaments to weaken over time. The ligament laxity causes an even more head forward position as the ligaments can no longer keep the cervical vertebrae in their proper posterior alignment. Neck pain results and the cycle repeats itself.
What are the symptoms of Barré-Lieou and cervicocranial syndrome?
Symptoms that characterize Barré-Lieou and cervicocranial syndrome are headache, facial pain, ear pain, vertigo, tinnitus, loss of voice, hoarseness, neck pain, severe fatigue, muscle weakness, sinus congestion, a sense of the eyeball being pulled out, and numbness.
Other symptoms may include:
- a pins-and-needles sensation of the hands and forearms,
- corneal sensitivity,
- dental pain,
- lacrimation (tearing of the eyes),
- blurred vision,
- facial numbness,
- shoulder pain,
- swelling on one side of the face,
- nausea, vomiting
- and localized cyanosis of the face (bluish color).
Modern Medicine misses the mark with upper cervical spine instability
Since Barré-Lieou syndrome and cervicocranial syndrome are sympathetic system disorders and the primary symptom is headache, traditional treatment usually involves prescriptions of Cafergot, Ergotamine and Sumatriptin, all of which vasoconstrict the blood vessels. Although these medicines work, their effect is only temporary. They act on the symptom of the dysfunction and not the cause, which is why their benefit is only temporary.
In addition, massage therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic/osteopathic manipulation also may help to temporarily relieve the pain. They do not, however, correct the underlying problem of ligament laxity due to cervical spine instability.
Correcting the underlying cause of cervicocranial syndrome with Prolotherapy
A better approach is to correct the alignment of the vertebrae in the neck posteriorly (back) so they no longer pinch the sympathetic nerves. This can be accomplished through Prolotherapy, which promotes healing of the ligament weakness in the neck, the root cause of syndromes relating to upper cervical spine instability. As the posterior sympathetic nervous system begins to function correctly, other symptoms of these syndromes (Barré-Liéou, cervicocranial, and posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome) such as dizziness, tinnitus and vertigo also subside. Patients who have had sinus trouble for years also experience clear breathing as sympathetic output to the sinus area is increased. Finally, additional symptoms, such as blurred vision, severe fatigue, dysesthesias (pins and needles down the arm), low blood pressure and low heart rate are also improved with increased output of the sympathetic nervous system.
The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Prolotherapy. In simple terms, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments and cartilage. Since the body heals by inflammation, Prolotherapy stimulates healing.
To read our research on patients treated for Barré-Liéou syndrome, neck pain, and other results on cervical instability cases we’ve treated with Prolotherapy, visit: www.prolotherapy.org/research