Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Can Chiropractic Care Help My Headaches?

Did you know that roughly 90 percent of people suffer from occasional headaches!? It varies how intense these headaches are and how long they last in duration from person to person, but one thing that doesn’t vary is the fact they can compromise our quality of life and become debilitating. How do you manage your headaches? Do you use an ice pack? Sleep it off? Take a pill? Tough it out? I suggest a better alternative, Chiropractic care.

First, lets discuss the different types of headaches there are out there. We typically divide headaches into 2 main categories: Primary and Secondary. Primary headache types include: Migraine, tension, and cluster. Primary headaches are caused by over-activity of structures in the head. This can include changes in one or more of the following: Chemical activity in the brain, nerve and blood supply, and muscles. Secondary headache types include: Cervicogenic, hypertension, TMJ dysfunction, sinus, post-traumatic, among others. A secondary headache is a headache that is brought on by another condition. (Future posts will discuss each headache more in-depth)

Finding out what triggers your headaches may go a long way in properly diagnosing and managing them. Maybe they’re due to stress, neck stiffness, teeth grinding, lack of sleep, food allergies, and the list goes on and on. After a probable diagnosis is made, the research suggests that spinal adjustments and regular chiropractic care can be highly effective in the treatment of headaches..   

A randomized controlled trial was done by the Journal of manipulative physiological therapeutics (JMPT) that focused on the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments for patients suffering from migraines. The study used 127 participants (age 10-70) that had a diagnosis of migraine. These patients underwent 2 months of chiropractic care, including spinal adjustments. The control group underwent no chiropractic care for comparison. Patients filled out headache diaries consistently throughout the 2-month experiment recording the frequency, intensity, duration, disability, and use of medication for each episode (1).  

The results showed a statistically significant improvement in each category stated above: headache frequency, intensity, duration, disability, and use of medication for the experimental group compared to the control group. In other words, the patients that received chiropractic care better managed their headaches. Also, over 80% of participants reported stress as the key factor for their migraines. The JMPT correlated that chiropractic care has a positive effect on the physical conditions related to stress (1).

In conclusion, If you’re suffering from headaches and are looking for a safe and effective way to manage them, go see a chiropractor! We can provide adjustments to help improve movement and alleviate stress on the nervous system, provide nutritional advice, and provide advice on exercises, posture, ergonomics, and relaxation techniques to help you get better faster! Use me as a tool to help improve your health!

Update: I’m still waiting on my license application to be processed but I am hopeful to begin accepting patients the first week of February! Stay tuned!        


1.     Tuchin, PJ. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Feb 2000.

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