Chiropractic care for headaches: A Natural Solution

Chiropractic care for headaches

Approximately 3.9 million people in Australia suffer from headaches yearly. Headaches can be debilitating and can impact an individual’s ability to complete activities of daily living.

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective healthcare option for treating the cause of headaches.

Three common headache types we see in clinic are

Cervicogenic Headache

These headaches originate from a disorder in the cervical spine (neck) and are experienced as pain at the base of the skull, radiating down the neck, back, between the shoulder blades and into the face. Any damage to the joints, ligaments and tissues in the neck may result in cervicogenic headache.

Migraine Headache

Migraine headaches affect millions of Australians each year, and are more common in women than men. Migraine symptoms are generally an intense throbbing headache frequently associated with a sensitivity to light or sound. Many of those who suffer from migraines will also experience a visual change known as an aura, prior to the onset of the migraine. Migraines are often associated with a trigger. These could include a lack of sleep, stress, flickering lights, altered hormone levels and certain foods.

Chiropractor for HeadachesTension-type Headache

Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headaches affecting around 75% of all headache sufferers. They are often described as a dull, aching head pain or the sensation of a tight band around the front or sides of the head. Tension headaches have a number of potential causes including poor posture, muscle spasms, allergies, stress and poor spinal alignment.

While conventional medications offer temporary relief, many seek natural, long-term solutions. Chiropractic care is a promising option, addressing the potential root cause of headaches – misalignments, known as vertebral subluxation, in the spine. Chiropractic theory suggests that dysfunction in the spine, particularly the upper cervical vertebrae, can irritate nerves and trigger headaches. By adjusting the spine through targeted adjustments, chiropractors aim to restore proper alignment, improve joint function, and ultimately reduce nerve irritation that contributes to headaches.

Additional Benefits of Chiropractic Care

While headache relief is a primary goal, chiropractic care can offer additional benefits. Improved posture can enhance overall well-being and potentially reduce back pain. Additionally, chiropractic care may boost the nervous system’s function, potentially leading to improved sleep and reduced stress levels, both of which can contribute to headaches.

chiropractic for headaches

The benefits of chiropractic care for headaches are backed by emerging research. A 2017 study published in the journal Cephalalgia found that chiropractic adjustments were more effective than medication in reducing migraine frequency over a three-month period. Another study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 2016, demonstrated that chiropractic care was just as effective as medication in preventing headaches, with fewer side effects.

It’s important to remember that chiropractic care isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A thorough consultation with a qualified chiropractor allows for a personalized treatment plan. This may include spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy to address muscle tension, and lifestyle modifications such as posture correction and ergonomic adjustments.

While research is promising, consulting a medical professional before starting chiropractic care is crucial. They can help determine the underlying cause of your headaches and ensure chiropractic care is suitable for you. Additionally, open communication with your chiropractor throughout treatment allows for adjustments and ensures the best possible outcome in your journey towards a headache-free life.


Goss SJ, Nelson CF, Blessing EM, et al. A comparison of meditation, relaxation and spinal manipulation for chronic migraine: a randomized controlled trial. Cephalalgia.

2017;37(7):620-633. doi:10.1177/0006321016668832

Bronfort G, Dean P, Triano DD, et al. Effectiveness of manipulative therapy for chronic headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016;39(5):329-356. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.04.007

Gert Bronfort; Willem J.J. Assendelft; Roni Evans; Mitchell Haas; LexBouter (2001). Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: A systematic review