Chiropractic Care provides
Beneficial Treatment for your Headaches
Headaches are a common problem that can have a big impact on a person’s life. Dealing with headaches on a day-to-day basis can alter a person’s decision-making, emotional processing, and how well they are able to carry out their daily activities. While many people experience occasional headaches, others suffer frequent or chronic headaches that can even become disabling. Chiropractic care is an effective way to treat all types of headaches. It is important to understand the different types of headaches in order to provide the best care. Tension headaches, migraines, and cervicogenic headaches are the three most common types.
Chiropractic care is effective for Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are described as mild to moderate pain that presents in a band-like pattern around the head. Signs and symptoms of tension headaches include dull pain and feelings of tightness or pressure across the forehead. Tension headaches can also be divided into 2 categories, episodic and chronic. These types of headaches usually begin as episodic, only lasting about 30-45 minutes per day. However, if the episodic tension headaches are not treated, they may become chronic and last many hours per day for many days of the week.
Chiropractic care is beneficial for relieving and preventing tension headaches. A study in 1995 was conducted to compare the effectiveness of spinal manipulation (chiropractic) and pharmaceutical treatment (medications) for chronic tension-type headaches. After 4 weeks of chiropractic treatment, patients had a 32% reduction in headache intensity and 42% reduction in headache frequency. These patients also required less over-the-counter medications and had overall improvements in their functional health status. In contrast, the patients who used medications and did not receive chiropractic care showed no improvement or experienced even slightly worse tension headaches (1). This study is just one an example of the effectiveness of chiropractic care for helping patients with tension-type headaches.
Chiropractic care is effective for Migraines
Migraine headaches usually result in pain only on one side of the head or face and are commonly associated with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. In the traditional medical approach, migraines are treated primarily with pills and other prescription medications. However, most of the medications used to treat migraines can have harsh side effects that may cause irritation or cause distress to patients.
Chiropractic care provides safe and effective relief for migraine symptoms. A research study in 2016 investigated the effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulation therapy for patients suffering from migraines. A study with 104 patients were monitored for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months into care. The results of the study showed that chiropractic care significantly reduced migraine symptoms. Chiropractic care produced longer symptom relief than other methods (2). Chiropractic care provides effect migraine relief and prevention by focusing not only for pain relief, but also on aligning the neck and spine.
Chiropractic care is effective for Cervicogenic Headaches
The last type of common headache that can benefit from chiropractic care is cervicogenic. Cervicogenic headaches are sometimes referred to as “the great mimicker” due to symptoms that are often mistaken for other types of headaches, such as tension headaches and migraines. However, these types of headaches tend to specifically start in the neck and radiate up into the head on one side only. Cervicogenic headaches are usually the result of an underlying physical or neurologic condition, rather than the result of environmental or emotional stressors. For example, trauma such as whiplash and conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, may cause cervicogenic symptoms. Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches may start as intermittent (alternating period of symptoms and no symptoms), but they may progress to continuous and chronic symptoms. In addition to the pain that starts from the back of the neck radiating into the head, cervicogenic headaches may radiate onto one side of the face, shoulder, and arm. They also can involve a loss of flexibility because of the pain.
Chiropractic care can help treat the root causes of cervicogenic symptoms and provide treatment to reduce symptoms. Cervicogenic headaches can be hard to diagnosis, making it important to seek chiropractic care from an experienced chiropractor.
Experience matters for treating Common Types of Headaches
The chiropractors at Chiro-Med S.C. are experienced in successfully treating common types of headaches. For immediate or same day care, patients can walk in during patient hours to be seen by one of the chiropractors. Same day and immediate appointments are available, too. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, visit the “Contact Us” page on our website at www.chiro-medsc.com or call 262-542-4700.
Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV. Spinal manipulation vs. amitriptyline for the treatment of chronic tension-type headaches: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):148-54. PMID: 7790794.
- Chaibi, A., Benth, J. Š., Tuchin, P. J., & Russell, M. B. (2017). Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine: a three-armed, single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial.European journal of neurology, 24(1), 143–153. https://doi.org/10.1111/ene.13166.