Chiropractic Care For Treatment And Prevention Of Headaches


Chiropractic Care Treatment For Cervicogenic and Tension Headaches


Chiropractic care treatment includes a combination of massage therapy, spinal manipulation, and active and passive exercises for the treatment and prevention of headaches.

There are many guidelines that emerge about the use of chiropractic care as a treatment for headaches.

The common types of headaches for which chiropractic treatment is often sought out include simple cervicogenic headaches, tension headaches, and migraines.

Each type responds differently to therapy.

Cervicogenic Headaches

cervicogenic headache

Headache typically starts at the back of the head and then moves to the front.

The typical headache is cervicogenic, which is believed to stem from a minor head injury or an underlying neck problem.

Chiropractic therapy further includes various options for treatment of simple headaches. These include;

Spinal Manipulation

In this procedure, a professional chiropractor uses his hands, a massaging tool like a tennis ball or a device to apply a gentle force to your spine.

The force may produce a popping sound and is typically applied to the affected joint that is causing pain.

Related: How To Use A Tennis Ball To Relieve Sciatica And Low And Low Back Pain

Spinal manipulation primarily targets joints in the cervical spine (the upper part of the spine that is close to the head). It is used to release pressure from pinched nerves.

This treatment option is proved to be effective in about 50% of the affected persons.

Some reports also show certain adverse effects of the spinal manipulation, however, most of them are mild and short-lived.

You should consult your chiropractor for the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

Joint Mobilization

This therapy involves the passive movement of your joints to improve movement and reduce pain.

When used for the purpose of treating headaches, joint mobilization mainly targets the joints in the cervical spine.

Deep Neck Flexion Exercises

A type of therapy in which your cervical joints are actively moved  to release pressure on affected nerves and muscles and restore the neck mobility.

There are multiple exercises that are specifically designed to relieve headaches.

For instance, one common deep neck flexion exercise includes a series of chin tucks, followed by nodding your head to stretch the deep neck flexor muscles. Such exercises usually last for 10-15 seconds.

They are considered to play an important role in relieving and preventing cervicogenic headaches.

Tension Headaches

tension headache

Episodes of tension headaches are extremely common.

They can be due to poor posture or muscle tension as a result of prolonged tension in the head, neck, or shoulders.

A mild episode of tension headache generally improves with common over-the-counter pain drugs.

These may include drugs such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

However, these medications have not been found to be helpful in treating chronic and moderate to severe headaches.

On the other hand, modified chiropractic therapy is proven to relieve tension headaches by flexion exercises and low-load joint mobilization.

Low-load Craniocervical Mobilization

This involves the rhythmic movement of the cervical segments using a gentler force than that used in spinal manipulation.

The force is applied to correct posture and release the prolonged tension in the head, neck, or shoulder muscles.

Bottom Line

Complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies such as chiropractic treatment can be a good option for relieving your simple and tension headaches.

You should talk to your doctor for a combination of conventional treatment methods (pain killer medications, head massage) and chiropractic care.

Combining these therapies is shown to have promising treatment as well as preventing effects.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here