June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month: Can Chiropractic Care Help Someone with Headaches?

Jun 17, 2024 | ANJC News & Updates

By Dr. David Graber, ANJC Board Northwest Regional Director

If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone.

Nearly everyone has a headache occasionally. Each day, over 15% of the world’s population have a headache.1 Globally, headache disorders affect approximately 40% of the population, or 3.1 billion people.2

Fortunately, for the vast majority of people suffering from headache, effective treatment requires no expensive equipment, tests or specialists. Headache disorders can be mostly managed in primary health care, and that includes care from a chiropractor.

Chiropractic care is one of the most frequently used, non-drug-based approaches to treating headaches.

In North America, a general population study reported between 25.7–36.2% of migraine headache patients had sought help from chiropractors at some time.3 Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines by up to 90% in some migraine sufferers.4

Research further shows that spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – is an effective treatment option for most tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck (technically called a “cervicogenic headache”).5

In addition to spinal manipulation, a chiropractor may also use various types of hands-on or manual therapy, nutrition, lifestyle modifications (such as stress management, work and computer ergonomics, and sleeping postures), and modalities, including electrical stimulation, cold laser, and ultrasound.

Visit a chiropractor for headache relief today.

Chiropractors work in partnership with primary care doctors and neurologists to manage people suffering from headaches. Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches or frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches.

Of course, seek immediate emergency medical attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury, or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.

For a referral to a chiropractor in your area, use the ANJC’s “Find a Doctor” directory tool to search for a chiropractor near you who can treat recurring headache issues.

1 Stovner, L.J., Hagen, K., Linde, M. et al. The global prevalence of headache: an update, with analysis of the influences of methodological factors on prevalence estimates. J Headache Pain 23, 34 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01402-2

2 https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/headache-disorders-how-common-are-headaches

3 Bigal ME, Serrano D, Reed M, Lipton RB.  Chronic migraine in the population burden, diagnosis, and satisfaction with treatment.  Neurology. 2008;71:559–566

4 Tuchin P, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2000; 23 (2): 91-95.

5 Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, Marcoux H, Potter B, Ruegg R, Shaw L, Watkin R, White E. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011;34(5):274-89