Chiropractor discusses causes and types of headaches

Chiropractor Thought for the Week

Chiropractors are typically thought of as doctors that take care of the lower back. Chiropractic, due to the relationship of the spinal structure and neurology is a “whole” body profession.  That being said, chiropractors also successfully care for a variety of other conditions, including headaches.  Many times, the cause of headaches originates in the spine. For migraines, when the vertebrae in the spine are misaligned (subluxation), this can irritate or compress nerves that travel to the brain through the spine. This can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that trigger migraine headaches. Chiropractors carefully adjust the spine to its normal position, relieving the pressure on inflamed nerves and allowing them to heal.  In addition to migraine headaches, many other types of headaches are linked to misalignment of the spine. Disorders in the neck following a neck injury can lead to cervicogenic headaches.  Muscle tension and spasms in the neck can be a trigger for tension headaches. As the chiropractor adjusts the spine, the adjustment gently realigns the neck area of the spine to its proper alignment.

Chiropractic care is not a treatment for symptoms.  Chiropractic care analyzes the spine for alignment issues, muscular imbalances and nerve root pressure. If any of these conditions are present, the chiropractor can correct the underlying problem which can be the cause of the headache. Correcting the cause of the problem is much better than simply treating the symptoms with medications. The chiropractor may not be able to resolve every headache condition, but scientific research and satisfied patients have proven that chiropractic care is an effective, safe way to care for a majority of these headache conditions.


Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 2011 Feb 5.

“Chiropractor’s role in treating headaches.” Dynamic Chiropractor. February 10,1997. 

Gilbert, Katie. “Migraines and the Chiropractors Touch.” Pyschology Today. June 26,2009. 

Haas M, Schneider M, Vavrek D. Illustrating risk difference and number needed to treat from a randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulation for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010; 18:9.

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