Research: Don’t Hold Back On Chiropractic For Your Headache

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
Young woman with headache

There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority of headaches could be kicked to the curb if the right treatment were used from the start. It may be simply anecdotal experience, but it’s still personal experience nonetheless and personal experience has shown me time and time again that chiropractic manipulation is highly effective in treating headaches.

Certainly specific types of headaches, like tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches, respond extremely well to chiropractic treatment. There’s just no way around it at all. In fact, my own guesstimate from over 19 years of experience is that about 80% of headaches respond very well, 10% get better but don’t go completely away, and only 10% or so cannot be treated with chiropractic. Those are pretty solid odds if one is having debilitating headaches of any kind really.

If someone said they could give me an 80% probability of something happening, I would bet money on it.

To support my statement, please check these resources for more education on the topic:

  • /get-rid-of-migraines-and-headaches-once-and-for-all/
  • /research-chiropractic-effective-for-headaches-and-migraines/
  • /research-how-effective-is-manual-and-manipulative-therapy-in-tension-headache-treatment/
  • /chiropractic-treatment-for-headaches-does-it-cost-more-or-less/

    Now, onto THIS week’s research paper.

    Why They Did It

    There are really two thought processes when it comes to conservative treatment of headaches. One is the chiropractic manipulation, also commonly called the “adjustment” or “popping.” Then there is the term in the traditional medical field called mobilization. With mobilization, they commonly add exercises to the treatment protocol.

    There have been no studies directly comparing the two types of treatment to each other in terms of their effectiveness. The authors in this study wanted to test which was the better regimen for cervicogenic headaches specifically.

    How They Did It

    • 110 people suffering from cervicogenic headaches participated.
    • The 110 participants were randomly placed into either a manipulation group or a mobilization group.
    • The outcome or result was measured by the numeric Pain Rating Scale.
    • Headache frequency, duration, and disability were measured as well using the Neck Disability Index, medication intake, and Global Rating of Change.
    • Treatment lasted for 4 weeks and patients were assessed at a follow-up appointment 1 week after the end of treatment, 4 weeks after the end of treatment, and 3 months after the end of treatment.

    What They Found

    • Those in the Chiropractic Manipulation group showed significantly less intensity in their headache symptoms than did the other group that only had mobilization and exercise.
    • The patients in the Chiropractic Manipulation group also had significantly less frequency of the headache symptoms.
    • Not only did the outcomes show manipulation to be superior, but patients in the Chiropractic Manipulation group also felt greater improvement themselves based on their self reports.

    Wrap It Up

    “Six to eight sessions of upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation were shown to be more effective than mobilization and exercise in patients with CH, and the effects were maintained at 3 months.”

    Dunning J. et. al. “Upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation versus mobilization and exercise in patients with cervicogenic headache: a multi-center randomized clinical trial.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 6 February 2016, 17:64

    Here is a video to explain further:

    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 their 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.

    And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!! We cannot make a difference without your help.

    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.

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