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Headaches, Migraines, and Chiropractic Treatment

Headaches, Migraines, and Chiropractic Treatment

If you suffer from headaches or – worse – migraines, you are not alone. Around nine out of 10 Americans has experienced a severe headache or a migraine at some point in their life. Migraines can cause disabling pain and nausea, and consequently they need to be treated. But what do you do when a migraine strikes? Take a few pills? Carry on and hope that the pain goes away? Cancel all your appointments and lie in a darkened room? Fortunately there is a better way to treat migraine. Recent research shows that chiropractic – spinal manipulation techniques – may be effective for treating migraines and headaches that originate in the muscles of the neck and the upper back.

Evidence for the Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care

Several recent studies show that chiropractic results in improvements for headaches that are located primarily in the neck – including a 2001 report from the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC. This research demonstrated that chiropractic provided long-lasting relief with fewer side effects than prescribed medication. A 1995 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics also discovered that chiropractic effectively treats tension headaches and the benefits lasted longer than when prescribed a headache medication.

Chiropractic Techniques for Migraines

Chiropractic does not only treat back pain. A doctor of chiropractic uses a variety of techniques to bring relief to headache and migraine sufferers. The chiropractor will perform a series of spinal manipulations that are designed to improve the function of the spine and remove sources of stress that contribute to pain. A chiropractor will also provide advice on nutrition and posture. Changing your diet and the way you sit and stand has a big impact on the severity and the frequency of migraine headaches.

Homecare Methods for Relieving Migraines

What can you do to help treat migraine pain? Take a break to stretch and move if you are sitting in one position for a long time, for example in front of a computer. Take a break every 30 minutes and perform some stretches to relax your neck and back. Try to avoid clenching your teeth, and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. By relieving tension in the neck and spine you can help lessen the pain of migraine and prevent migraines from recurring on a regular basis.


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