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Barre Lieou Syndrome treated with Prolotherapy


What is Barre-Lieou Syndrome?

One of the most interesting, and often disabling conditions that we see at Caring Medical is one that involves a constellation of symptoms that, taken separately, may not seem to relate at all to each other. Consider having all of these symptoms at the same time: facial pain, ear pain, vertigo(dizziness), a constant ringing sound, hoarseness, neck pain, numbness, tiredness, pins-and-needles feeling in hands and arms, eyes sensitive to light, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot for one person to handle! Add these symptoms to a job which require constant head-forward posture or to a recent whiplash injury, and you get a little known condition called Barre-Lieou Syndrome.

How can all of these diverse symptoms lead to one condition?

Does this look like you?

The answer is that people who constantly have head-forward posture or who have suffered from a whiplash injuryhave most likely injured the ligaments supporting the neck. When the ligaments in the neck are weak, it becomes difficult to hold the head up, have good posture, and hold the spine in proper alignment.

Discovery of Barre-Lieou Syndrome:

Gustav Hemwall, MD, one of the first physicians to ever use Prolotherapy in a widespread fashion throughout the body, was using Prolotherapy to treat patients in the 1950s for neck pain. He and his headache/neck pain patients wereboth amazed when the patients’ blurry vision cleared, the painful tingling in their arms disappeared, and their tinnitus (ringing in the ears) was relieved when he treated the ligaments in the back of the head and neck. In other words, he didn’t realize that by treating the ligaments and tendons in the neck and head that he could cure ALL of the patients’ symptoms, not just the head/neck pain. He then learned about Barre-Lieou Syndrome. How does this relate to Caring Medical? Well, Dr. Hauser received his Prolotherapy training directly from Dr. Hemwall and eventually assumed his practice and currently practices in the office where Dr. Hemwall made that original discovery! How about that? But I digress…

Interestingly enough, in the late 1920s, a French neurologist, Jean Alexandre Barre, and Yong-Choen Lieou, a Chinese physician, both independently discovered this condition. They found that these symptoms were caused by the dysfunction of a group of nerves near the vertebrae in the neck called posterior cervical sympathetic nervous system. Thus, the reason why all of these other seemingly unrelated symptoms improved when treating the ligaments in the neck.

Traditional treatments for Barre-Lieou Syndrome do not work:

The primary symptom of Barre-Lieou syndrome is headache. The traditional treatment of headaches typically includes first starting with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and the like.

Once these drugs stop working, many doctors will whip out the prescription pad and start the patients on prescription headache drugs such as Cafergot, Ergotamine, and Sumatripin. These drugs are vasoconstrictors of the blood vesselsand are sometimes able to control the symptoms of the condition and provide some relief to the patient. Unfortunately for the patients, they will continue to have to take these drugs unless the underlying cause of the condition is treated. Yes, that’s right – ligament laxity! If these drugs stop working, the patients are often labeled as “psych” cases or dismissed as being overdramatic or sensitive, left to suffer in silence.

Caring Medical’s treatment of Barre-Lieou Syndrome:

We at Caring Medical know that sufferers of Barre-Lieou syndrome need more than temporary relief from their pain. When a patient comes in with a wide array of symptoms such as the above, it almost makes you smile. The patients don’t typically come in with a full understanding of the relationship of all of these symptoms to the neck and often are pleasantly surprised to find out that not only are their headaches cured, but all of their other seemingly unrelated symptoms as well! Dr. Hauser uses comprehensive Prolotherapy to the vertebrae in the neck and head to permanently eliminate the pain (in most cases).

If you or someone you care about is suffering with a constellation of head/neck related symptoms such as those described in this article, don’t give up hope! Give us a call at 708-848-7789 or e-mail us at to make an appointment today.

Watch a video of Dr. Hauser discussing treatment for Barre-Lieou Syndrome:

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