If you are like most of us, you’ve experienced a headache or two in your lifetime. In fact, studies have shown that 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. However, your headache can be as unique as you are. For some, they are occasional, for others they are more frequent. Some people have dull or cramping headaches, others are debilitating to the point of nausea.
So what do you do when you have a headache? Do you pop some pills and hope the pain quickly goes away? Do you go home and turn all of the lights out and go to bed? Or do you just deal with it and carry on with your day?
More and more research is showing that spinal manipulation, the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic, is an effective treatment option for tension headaches, migraines, and headaches that originate in the neck. A 2011 article in the Journal of Headache Pain (J Headache Pain. 2011 (Apr); 12 (2): 127–133) found that a review of randomized clinical trials showed that chiropractic spinal manipulation, as well as other manual therapies, was equally as effective in treating migraines as some of the commonly used drugs such as propranolol and topiramate. Another study published in The Spine Journal (The Spine Journal 2009 (Feb): 10 (2): 117-128) found that chiropractic care significantly improved chronic headaches that were originating in the neck. And a report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Those are just a few of the research studies showing the chiropractic care can help different types of headaches. Only 5% are caused by health problems; so for the other 95% of the population, the headache is the primary problem and not caused by some underlying disease. So if you are one of the many headache sufferers, you may seriously want to consider consulting a chiropractor for your headaches. If your headache is symptomatic of a health problem that needs the care of another discipline, your doctor of chiropractic will refer you to an appropriate specialist.