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The migraine headache is a disorder categorized by repeated, debilitating attacks with varying levels of intensity, frequency and duration. Migraines are commonly associated with throbbing and intense head pain, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, as well as neurological and mood disturbances. Two types of migraines have been defined; classical and common. The classical migraine is the type precluded or accompanied by visual disturbances (auras, flashes of light, etc.) and possible numbness and motor skills disturbances. The common migraine does not have such well-defined symptoms of neurological disturbance. These may present as a headache with nausea. Migraine sufferers typically report that “nothing helps” once one has set in, and experience little benefit from painkillers.

Chiropractic and Migraines

Chiropractic aims to remove the cause of a person’s problem and not just treat a particular disease or mask a symptom. Because there are varying types of migraines, there are also varying causes. Since one-third of migraine sufferers benefit from dietary modification, one must rule out dietary triggers, which a chiropractor has the knowledge to do. More important, though, is to look for signs of nervous system interference. For years chiropractors have had wonderful results with migraine patients by reducing stress to the nervous system and improving body function. In one study chiropractic care resulted in a reduction of 90% of migraine episodes and a drop of 94% in use of medication. Researchers are agreeing more and more that the cause of most migraines is a neurological disturbance. We look for a variety of possible subluxations (not just the neck) which can affect body chemistry and cause migraines. 

  • Wright SJ. Migraine: a statistical analysis of chiropractic treatment. J Am Chiro Assoc 1978;12:63-67
  • Vernon H, spinal manipulation and headaches of cervical origin: a review of literature and present cases. J Manual of Medicine 1991;6:73-79
  • Mansfeld LE, et al., Food allergy and adult migraine: double blind and mediator confirmation of an allergic etiology. Annals Allergy 1985;55:126-129. ..