Chiropractic and Headaches

Statistics show that half to three-quarters of adults 18–65 in the world have had a headache in the past year. Among those people, 30% or more report experiencing a migraine.

If you are one of the millions of people worldwide suffering from headaches, you’ve likely tried everything from home remedies to Botox to make your headaches go away. But, have you tried chiropractic care?

Research shows that spinal manipulation (one of the primary treatments provided by chiropractic doctors) may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that start in the neck. There are plenty of studies that back that research up, including a 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) that found that treatments routinely used in chiropractic care improved outcomes for treating acute and chronic neck pain. Enhanced benefits were shown in several cases where a multimodal approach to neck pain was used. Also, a 2011 JMPT shows that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.

Different types of headaches

The three common types of headaches are tension, migraine, and cervicogenic headaches.

  • Tension-type headaches commonly present as band-like tension around the head.
  • Migraine headaches usually cause pain on only one side of the head and are typically accompanied by nausea, light, and sound sensitivity.
  • The neck is the source of the problem in Cervicogenic headaches, but the pain is perceived in one or more head and/or face areas.

Headache triggers

Though headaches can seemingly pop up out of nowhere, there is usually something triggering your headaches, including:

  • Food/drink
  • Environmental factors like lights, noises, and stress
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive exercise
  • Dehydration
  • Low/high blood sugar
  • Family history of headaches, neck stiffness, and stress

Though the triggers mentioned above are to blame for many headaches, muscle tension in the neck is what most headaches stem from. Things that create that neck tension include spending too much time lounging around, lousy posture, and working from home, leading to increased joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back, and scalp, causing a nasty headache to appear.

Why see a chiropractor for headaches?

Regular chiropractic care offers patients suffering from migraines and tension headaches a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications that doctors commonly prescribed to patients help them manage pain.

Chiropractors perform a gentle, non-invasive, non-addictive therapy, commonly referred to as a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments diminish joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body to reduce inflammation and enhance both the affected joint and nervous system’s function. By increasing joint mobility and improving the nervous system’s function and your spinal health, your body can better handle the pain caused by migraines and tension headaches.

How can a chiropractor help with my headaches?

Chiropractors can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches. Studies show that chiropractic care may help lessen the intensity and frequency of migraines. A trained doctor of chiropractic can help you ease the tension and pain associated with all forms of headaches by performing the following:

  • Spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  • Nutritional counseling and advice to recommend a change in diet and often the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises, and relaxation techniques. This advice will help relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the neck and upper back muscles.

If you want to learn more about how our chiropractors can work with you to treat headaches, contact us today. Our team of experienced St. Peters chiropractors use a unique blend of the best chiropractic, acupuncture, laser, massage, wellness, and nutrition-related services to offer various solutions to enhance your health.