Headaches are a common complaint seen in Chiropractic practice today, affecting 50% of the population at least once per year and causing a range of debilitating symptoms for months or even years. There are many different types of headaches (e.g. migraine, cluster or sinus headaches), and each should be investigated accordingly so the appropriate diagnosis and treatment are made. Many headaches are cervicogenic in origin, partially if not entirely. Cervicogenic headaches refer to those caused by a disorder of the cervical spine and its component bony, disc, or soft tissue elements, usually but not invariably accompanied by neck pain.
Spinal manipulation is a scientifically proven effective treatment for headaches for which there is an ever growing body of evidence. A recent study published in February 2016 in European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine was designed to determine the benefits of chiropractic adjustments on head pain. The study looked at 62 women between the ages of 18-65 years of age with tension-type headaches. On conclusion, researchers found that individuals who engaged in spinal manipulation showed improvements in their physical role, bodily pain, and social functioning at one month post-treatment.
Another recent study, also published in February 2016 in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, was designed to compare the effects of manipulation to those of mobilization and exercise in individuals with cervicogenic headaches. The randomized control trial included 108 participants and the results showed that 6 to 8 sessions over a treatment period of 4 weeks of upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation were shown to be more effective than mobilization and exercise in patients with cervicogenic headaches. The patients that received cervical and thoracic manipulation experienced significantly greater reductions in headache intensity, disability, headache frequency, headache duration, and medication intake as compared to the group that received mobilization and exercise. Furthermore, the effects were maintained at 3 months follow-up.
If you or anyone you know suffers from debilitating headaches, be sure to try a course of spinal manipulation for effective relief. At DISC, we provide a range of treatments in conjunction with spinal manipulation, tailored to your need for pain relief and future prevention. Please call us for more information or to speak with one of our Chiropractors in person.