Many people suffer daily from the constant and sometimes debilitating pain that can be caused by headache disorders and migraines.
Headaches/migraines have become a common occurrence in today’s society, but by no means does that make them normal. Most often these headaches are caused by mechanical dysfunction of the spinal column along with associated muscle tension. The dysfunction commonly arises due to acute physical trauma, repetitive trauma, postural abnormalities/adaptations and emotional stress, just to name a few.
Aside from neck and back pain, headaches and migraines are among the more common reasons of why patients seek chiropractic care.
14.2% of US adults reported having migraine/severe headache in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey
Headache was the fourth leading cause of emergency department visits in 2009-2010
Headache disorders affect 1 out of every 7 Americans annually
Most commonly afflicts women during their reproductive years
Migraine is the 8th most disabling illness in the world
Over 90% of migraine sufferers are unable to work or function normally during an attack
The following quote is the first statement found on the website of the World Health Organization regarding headache disorders.
“Headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system”
Chiropractors specialize in nervous system optimization! So then, wouldn’t it make sense to utilize natural chiropractic care to address headache disorders along with lifestyle modifications before the use of drugs with evident side effects?
A few of the many side effects of prescription medication used for the treatment of headaches/migraines include:
Osteoporosis, Psychosis, Suicidality, Anemia, Glaucoma, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, Visual Disturbances, Nausea, Bleeding Liver, Toxicity, Respiratory, Depression and Dependency/Abuse.
It is unfortunate that the World Health Organization neglects to include natural, holistic approaches for headache relief.
“Appropriate treatment of headache disorders requires professional training of health professionals, accurate diagnosis and recognition of the condition, appropriate treatment with cost-effective medications, simple lifestyle modifications, and patient education.”
Numerous studies (250+) have shown chiropractic care to be very effective for the treatment of headache disorders. Spinal correction has been shown to improve biomechanical function, reduce muscle tension, improve blood flow, improve flow of cerebrospinal fluid and decrease blood pressure, all of which can contribute to why someone may suffer from headache disorders.
Results of chiropractic care include reductions in severity, frequency, duration, disability, the use of analgesics and improvement in the quality of life.
Emily Broome is a perfect example of the benefits of chiropractic care for the treatment of migraines. She initially presented to our office complaining of daily migraines, dizziness, and arm and neck pain. X-rays revealed a significant spinal misalignment, specifically a reversal of her cervical (neck) curve, which is a frequent finding in people with headaches/migraines.
Within a week of regular chiropractic care; she noticed a significant change in her symptoms.
Six months after beginning care, she is now off of her migraine medication, she has regained the cervical curve in her spine, she no longer experiences dizziness and she is mostly pain-free (given her occupational demands.) Here you can find the link to her incredible testimonial!
Because dehydration can play an important role in the presence of headaches and migraines, it is important to always remain properly hydrated.
Schedule an appointment today for a chiropractic evaluation if you or someone you know suffers from headaches/migraines.
Tuchin, Peter Jeffery. The Efficacy of Chiropractic in the Management of Migraine & Headache. 2003.
Bronfort, G. "Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Headache: A Systematic Review." Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 24.7 (2001): 457-66.
"Migraine Research Foundation -- Fact Sheet." Migraine Research Foundation -- Fact Sheet.
"Headache Disorders." World Health Organization.
Burch, Rebecca C., Stephen Loder, Elizabeth Loder, and Todd A. Smitherman. "The Prevalence and Burden of Migraine and Severe Headache in the United States: Updated Statistics From Government Health Surveillance Studies." Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 55.1 (2015): 21-34.
DR. MELISSA MITCHELL, DC