From the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research comes a study published on Jan. 16, 2014, which documents the case of a woman who regained her senses of both smell and taste due to chiropractic care. Anosmia, the loss of the ability to smell, and ageusia, the loss of the ability to taste, affects between 1 and 2 percent of the American population under the age of 65 years.
The authors of the study report that approximately 200,000 people visit physicians each year for smell and taste related disorders. According to studies, one of the most common causes of smell and taste disorders is a previous injury to the head and/or neck. Because these conditions are not life threatening, the authors note that there is little medical attention or treatment for these problems.
In this case, a 64-year-old woman went to a chiropractic clinic with complaints of neck pain, right sided knee pain, and a loss of the ability to taste and smell. She reported having lost the ability to smell and taste nine months prior to her visit to the chiropractor.
A chiropractic examination revealed sensitivity in the upper neck upon palpation, as well as thermal scan irregularities. There was also a reduction of the woman’s range of motion in her upper neck. Postural abnormalities were also noted and spinal x-rays confirmed misalignments of her neck vertebrae.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct the subluxations that were determined to be present. According to the case report, within 48 hours of the woman’s first adjustment, her sense of taste and smell had started to return, and her pain symptoms improved. By the third month of care, she had completely regained both her sense of smell and taste.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case described the successful resolution of anosmia and ageusia following the introduction of upper cervical chiropractic care. This case study suggests that there may be a role for the use of precise upper cervical chiropractic care in the management of patients with smell and taste disorders in patients with a history of head and neck trauma.”