can chiropractic help Headaches?
Is Chiropractic the solution for your headaches?
Headaches affect hundreds of Australians from all ages, and all walks of life, each and every day.
How common are headaches? One Melbourne study involving 1717 individuals from 773 households found that 87% of subjects had experienced headache in the last year1.
The World Health Organisation stated that, “up to 1 adult in 20 has a headache every – or nearly every – day”2.
What are the most common causes of headaches?
Cervicogenic headaches, which are the ones most seen at our clinic, are related to joint issues in the neck and are often linked back to problems such as poor posture, trauma or stress. Thankfully many of these headaches can be helped with a specific treatment program that reduces or removes the underlying cause. A detailed breakdown of headache types is contained in our headache guide.
Tension headaches: These seem to be the most prevalent of all. Some of the common triggers for these headaches are fatigue, poor posture, spinal problems, emotional stresses or medication overuse.
Vertebrogenic (Neck) headaches: These are another common form of headache which originate from the neck. Some of the common causes are Whiplash, poor posture or physical stresses. This type of headache responds well to chiropractic care.
Sinus headaches: These can usually be linked to an infection, inflammation or blockage of the sinuses. It is always better to treat the cause rather than to ease the symptoms.
Migraines: These headaches are vascular in origin. The most typical symptoms of migraines include throbbing pain, nausea or vomiting and even sensitivity to sound or light. Genetic predisposition is believed to be a contributing factor; however, the exact cause of migraines is still unknown.
There are a broad range of known triggers for migraines. They include irregular sleeping or eating patterns, flashing lights, hormone fluctuations, loud noises, stress and tiredness. In some people there may be a need for more than one trigger to be present for a migraine to occur.
While spinal problems are not believed to be a major cause of a migraine attack, clinically we find that when some migraine patients improve their spinal function, diet and general health they comment of a reduction in the frequency and/or duration of their migraines. Further scientific research is needed to find the exact cause and effective treatment of migraines.
If you do suffer from headaches, we recommend you arrange an appointment as soon as possible to find out if chiropractic could help you.
Chiropractic Care for Treatment of Headaches
Research shows that spinal manipulation (one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic) may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improved outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain 3. Also, a 2011 JMPT study found that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, may improve symptoms related to migraine and cervicogenic headaches4. Studies such as these are by no means conclusive and more research is needed to fully understand how successful chiropractic treatment is for the treatment of headaches.
When you visit our dedicated chiropractors we will perform a thorough examination to try and find the cause of your headache, If we believe we can help you we will focus on specific chiropractic adjustments to restore motion in your spine and specific exercises to strengthen the related muscles.
1. Prevalence of headache and migraine in an Australian city- J. Heywood, T. Colgan, and C. Coffey- Journal of Clinical Neuroscience (1998) 5(4), 485.
2. World Health Organization. 2016. Headache disorders. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders.
3. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014; 37: 42-63.
4. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011; 34: 274-89.
5. Reduction of Current Migraine Headache Pain Following Neck Massage and Spinal Manipulation
Find out if Chiropractic can help Relieve your Headaches today.