chiropractic for headaches, how to treat a headache

Chiropractors are trained to look to the cause of a problem to resolve pain. Headaches are no exception, although admittedly, headache treatment can be a challenge.

The good news is that studies have shown chiropractic to be helpful for some headache sufferers. Frequently, it is muscle tightness in the neck region that causes headaches. Headaches originating in the cervical region can result in tension headaches. Frequently, patients with these headaches also complain of tightness in the neck.

Seeking chiropractic treatment is a logical stop in efforts to find headache relief, for example when a headache starts after an auto accident or whiplash injury.

According to one headache expert, “We’ve been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches… It’s true that chiropractors have been saying this for years… They were right about headaches.”

Moreover, another recent study concluded, “spinal manipulation has a significant positive effect in cases of cervicogenic (from the neck) headache.” Chiropractic has been shown to reduce headache duration by 69 percent; it eased intensity as well.

Vascular or migraine headaches are perhaps among the most severe kinds of headache. These headaches have also been shown to respond to chiropractic adjustment. In one study, chiropractic had a beneficial effect in nearly 75 percent of cases studied. The success rate was maintained two years after care ceased.

Headaches can sometimes be triggered by food, external stimuli – ie. noise, stress, diet, smells, etc., or be related to behaviors such as sitting or lying in the same position for an extended time, exercise at a high intensity, or changes in blood glucose levels. Daily sugar intake can contribute to headaches, as can too much caffeine (although caffeine can help when a headache is coming on). In certain instances, headaches may be a warning sign for other physical ailments. If you are experiencing changes from your typical headache, check in with your doctor or chiropractor.

Your chiropractic headache treatment will likely include the following:

  • Spinal manipulations to improve function.
  • Nutritional advice or referral to a nutritional counselor for an analysis of dietary changes that may help.
  • Certain B vitamins have been known to be helpful for some headache sufferers.
  • Postural advice, including advice on ergonomics, exercises and relaxation. The goal is to relieve joint irritation and tension in the upper back and neck to help reduce the frequency and intensity of the headaches.

Dr. Moramarco has been offering headache treatment in his Woburn office for years; please call or schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your treatment options.