Chiropractor Treatment for Migraines and Headaches

The Best Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines and Headaches

If you have never had a headache or a migraine, then many would consider you an anomaly and incredibly lucky. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, affecting 39 million people in the US and 1 billion worldwide. They are most common between the ages of 18 and 44, and approximately 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of neurological disease. To emphasize how common and incapacitating a migraine can be, it has been estimated that every 10 seconds someone in the US goes to the hospital complaining of head pain, and approximately 1.2 million of those visits are for acute migraine attacks. To add to these statistics, the National Center for Biotechnology Information further determines that

…over 75% of migraine patients report associated neck pain, and musculoskeletal complaints, including neck stiffness, muscle tension, or problems with jaw function.

Those symptoms often correlate with tension headaches, which unlike migraines are not hereditary, however, they affect 2 in 3 adults in the US. 


Migraines and headaches are incredibly common and studies have shown that sufferers have benefited from chiropractic care, especially in cases where the condition is being exacerbated by an upper cervical misalignment. Chiropractors have the ability to pointedly address the misalignments with spinal manipulative therapy while also customizing your treatment to include rehabilitation/exercises, ergonomic advice, lifestyle management, and nutritional counseling. With a thorough up-front exam and adaptive treatment plan, they can provide long-term relief and treatment for those that suffer from the debilitating effects of migraines and headaches.

What Is the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache?

Until you’ve experienced a migraine, you may not know the difference between them and headaches. A migraine headache is characterized by moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing and often on one side of the head. They commonly have warning signs that arise before the actual headache begins, including increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as seeing an aura that presents itself as flashing lights or zigzag lines. Possible triggers include barometric pressure changes, hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, stress, and exercise. 

Headaches, on the other hand, are defined as pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain originates from the inflammation or irritation of the tissues and structures that surround the skull or the brain. Degrees of pain may be experienced as a dull ache, sharp sting, or constant throbbing that is intermittent, mild, or intense. Tension headaches in particular may make patients feel as if their head is being squeezed from both sides, and/or that their  shoulders and neck feel tender, painful, and tight. Poor posture and repetitive motions commonly contribute to the onset of tension headaches.  

Chiropractor Treatment for Migraines and Headaches

Can Chiropractors Help with Migraines, Headaches, and Tension Headaches?

The unique and encouraging thing about chiropractic treatment for migraines, headaches, and tension headaches is that they can provide patients with relief through a unique combination of treatments tailored to their needs. With a goal to optimize neuromusculoskeletal health and reduce the patient’s overall pain burden, chiropractors provide a thorough medical analysis, which factors in your daily habits, physical activity levels, and health history to better understand your total-body health so that they can create an effective, personalized treatment plan. 

The following treatment techniques show how a chiropractor near you can help reduce migraines, headaches, and tension headaches so that you can return to living your life as a fully

How Chiropractors Treat Headaches and Migraines

Misalignments within the cervical spine may be the primary culprit for headaches and migraines. In these cases, an adjustment helps realign the vertebrae and neighboring tissues to reestablish proper communication between the brain and the body. This in turn reduces irritation and promotes the body to heal. 

Chiropractors will also look at the three Ts: trauma, toxins, and thoughts. Trauma consisting of accidents and injuries. Toxins from chemical exposure, everyday skin and beauty products, food additives, and alcohol. And thoughts whereby emotional and mental factors like stress, anxiety, and depression further exacerbate the patient’s condition. By addressing the three Ts, they can better assist patients in their recovery.

Chiropractic Care for Migraines and Headaches

Chiropractic care addresses how the neurological and musculoskeletal systems are affected by the structure and function of the spine. They help you fix the root of the problem by applying specific forces to the joints and vertebrae that are out of place so that you can experience restored mobility and pain relief. Make an appointment with a chiropractor near you to learn more ways they can alleviate migraines and headaches.