Research: Chiropractic Effective for Headaches and Migraines

Friday, August 14th, 2015

I can’t tell you how many patients come in to see chiropractors for headaches. I’ve seen them range from life-long headaches/migraines all the way to, “I woke up this morning with a headache.”I’ve had all sorts of successes with headaches too. My most memorable success was a patient that had had them her whole life. She had nuclear bone scans. She had injections in the back of her head. She had MRI’s that came back normal. Yet, she continued to be plagued by them daily. It literally took only two weeks and she stopped having headaches right then and there. She still doesn’t have headaches and that was years ago!I’ve had them be a little more stubborn too. One patient in the last year comes to mind. She was in her 50’s and has been plagued with them since she was a child. We treated her with marginal success for about 3 weeks. I’m a firm believer that, if we’re not getting results, we either need to change what we’re doing, or I’m not the guy for this patient. So we began including cold laser in her treatment. Viola! That was it. She’s doing great and still having no headaches. 

We DO, from time to time, run into a headache that won’t respond to treatment but that is a rare occasion and is probably only around 10%-15% of the headache patients. Chiropractic just works with headaches. Here’s more proof!

Why They Did It:
Since chronic headaches have a substantial socioeconomic impact, the authors/researchers were interested in what part spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) could play in helping the situation. 

How They Did It:

  • Randomized clinical trials
  • The trials had to include, at the least, one patient-related outcome measure 
  • They used a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to find trials that fit the protocol
  • They used all data from Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature
  • They used the Chiropractid Research Archives Collection, 
  • They used the Manual, Alternative, and Natural Therapies Information System
  • Nine trials involving 683 patients

What Did They Find?

  1. Moderate evidence that SMT has significantly more effectiveness than massage in cervicogenic headaches. 
  2. SMT has effect comparable to common prescription medications for tension and migraine headaches. 

The research was performed by Brontfort G, and appeared in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in September of 2001. Read the abstract here.

Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY!

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!  

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

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by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
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