How Chiropractic Can Help Headaches

Do you ever experience an ache in a band-like pattern around your head? Or an uncomfortable pressure behind the eyes? Or maybe your whole head feels like it’s pounding? If so, you most likely suffer from headaches.

Do you ever experience an ache in a band-like pattern around your head?

Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches -ranging from dull and occasional to constant and debilitating. And although headaches may be common, they are not normal. The cause of headaches is often multi-factorial and can be triggered by environmental stimuli, food sensitivities, or behaviors. But the greatest majority of headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Nowadays, people are engaged in more sedentary activities and more hours are spent in one fixed posture (ie: sitting in front of a computer). This can lead to joint irritation and tension in the upper back, neck, and scalp; thus, causing your head to ache.

Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are very effective for treating headaches, particularly for headaches related to the neck. A report released in 2001 from Duke University stated that “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headaches than commonly prescribed medications.” In addition, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care significantly improves migraines and cervicogenic headaches.
If you suffer from headaches, a visit to the chiropractor may include a thorough history-taking to identify any possible contributing lifestyle habits, and a spinal exam with a focus in the upper portion of the neck. Misalignments or joint restrictions around the C1 and C2 vertebrae (the area between your neck and base of skull), can often be the root cause of headaches. If C1 and C2 are misaligned, they can cause tension and stress in the area, which can contribute to the onset of headaches. A specific chiropractic adjustment can help correct this. In addition, the chiropractor can give advice on nutrition, posture, ergonomics, and exercises to be used in conjunction with treatment to yield the best results.