You don't need me to describe what a migraine headache feels like.
You probably already know.
Migraines are a monster form of headache that often comes with other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, inability to concentrate. Because of these other symptoms, and because migraines tend to begin in the brain, migraines are often called a neurological syndrome. Migraines can be triggered by any number of neurological causes, such as sensory input (smelling a strong cologne, seeing flashing lights), stress, chemicals (such as caffeine or alcohol), disrupted sleep patterns, and more.
So if migraines are essentially a problem with the nervous system, and if chiropractic is a health care field that treats the nervous system, is it possible that chiropractic care can help migraines?
Can Chiropractic Help Migraines?
What does the research literature say about chiropractic care for migraines? Here's a quotation from "Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review", published in The Journal of Headache and Pain in 2011:
"Patients not responding or tolerating prophylactic medication [for migraine headaches] or who wish to avoid medication for other reasons, can be referred to massage therapy, physical therapy or chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy, as these treatments are safe with a few adverse reactions. Current RCTs [Randomized Clinical Trials] suggest that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be equally efficient as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine."
Here's an article called "Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review" from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics in 2001:
SMT [Spinal manipulative therapy, another term for the chiropractic adjustment] appears to have a better effect than massage for cervicogenic headache. It also appears that SMT has an effect comparable to commonly used first-line prophylactic prescription medications for tension-type headache and migraine headache.
And from an article called "Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache" from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics in 2011:
Evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.
These articles (and others) stress the need for more research, but clearly indicate that the available studies recommend the use of chiropractic care for patients suffering from migraines and other headaches. In fact, one point is repeatedly raised: chiropractic appears to be as effective as drugs in the treatment of migraines.
Lastly, the National Guideline Clearinghouse at guidelines.gov also uses the research literature to recommend chiropractic for migraine and headache patients with a guideline entitled "Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache":
How We Can Help Your Migraines
Chiropractic is a drugless, non-invasive way to affect the nervous system. And it works. Dr. Kyle Johnson has seen many patients report decreased frequency and intensity of their headaches after chiropractic care, even if they originally came to Johnson Family Chiropractic for a different condition altogether! After all, the research cited above shows that chiropractic seems to be as effective as drugs in clinical trials. If you can get the same relief from migraine headaches without the potential side effects, then chiropractic might be a wise choice.
Dr. Johnson specializes in the gentle, low-force Activator Methods technique. This technique is safe and gentle, even if a migraine headache is just starting or if you are in the middle of a migraine. Dr. Johnson will also be able to advise you on other ways to help your migraine headaches, such as fluid intake, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), and other recommended treatments.
A small number of migraines are caused by different problems and may not respond to medications or chiropractic, and Dr. Johnson will refer you to a specialist who can help, if necessary. Contact Dr. Johnson today to see if guideline-recommended chiropractic care can help your migraines today!