Although most headaches are not life threatening, they can negatively affect your quality of life. In severe cases, a headache is debilitating. Headaches have a wide range of causes, including infection, hangovers from alcohol consumption, fasting, and even serious conditions, such as brain tumors and strokes.
The most common headaches include tension and migraine, which are associated with nervous system disorders. More than 90% of the U.S. population will experience some type of headache. 28 million Americans, including 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men, experience migraine headaches. In a migraine headache, the artery on the outside of the skull under the skin of the temple (temporal artery) enlarges. As this process occurs, nerves that surround the artery stretch and release chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. The larger the artery gets, the greater the pain.
Most people know Chiropractic care can be beneficial for tension/cervicogenic headaches. But, can Chiropractic care help migraines too? Here’s what research dating all the way back to 1998 says… The study, published in the Journal Of Manipulative And Physiological Therapeutics, compared amitriptyline (a medication), spinal manipulation, and the combination of both therapies. There was a 4 week baseline period, followed by 8 weeks of treatment and then 4 weeks of follow-up on a total of 218 patients diagnosed with migraine headaches.
RESULTS: “Clinically important improvement was observed in both primary and secondary outcomes in all three study groups over time. The reduction in headache index scores during treatment compared with baseline was 49% for amitriptyline, 40% for spinal manipulation, and 41% for the combined group. During the post-treatment follow-up period, the reduction from baseline was 24% for amitriptyline, 42% for spinal manipulation, and 25% for the combined group.”
CONCLUSION: “There was no advantage to combining amitriptyline and spinal manipulation for the treatment of migraine headaches. Spinal manipulation seemed to be as effective as a well-established and efficacious treatment (amitriptyline). And on the basis of a benign side effects profile, it should be considered a treatment option for patients with frequent migraine headaches.”
To schedule a complimentary consultation for migraine headaches treatment in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.