Chiropractic for Headaches & Migraines

Condition: Headaches & Migraines

There are many types of headaches cited in medical literature. I would like to focus on the most common that can be helped in chiropractic practice. Tension, Jaw (TMJ) and cervicogenic headaches (originating in the neck, shoulders and spine) would be the most common; followed by migraine headaches. Serious life threatening causes of headache that include aneurism, vertebral/carotid artery dissection, brain tumors and head injuries can present to the chiropractor’s office and it is our role if suspected to refer out for medical opinion immediately. Thankfully they are relatively rare.

What Type of Headache do I have?

Tension Headache:
Usually present as a generalized headache characterized as a dull tightness around the scalp. Tension headaches can affect concentration, mood and can cause nausea. The Jaw (TMJ) can also be involved which can be caused by clenching or grinding because of stress, jaw injury or misalignment.

Cervicogenic Headache (originating in the neck, shoulders and spine):
Typically one-sided intense non-throbbing headache that can cause nausea and vomiting if severe enough. It can feel like the pain is behind one eye ball. No visual disturbance or neurological signs. Usually involves pain and discomfort in the upper neck.

Migraine Headache:
Usually an intense headache on one side that can involve nausea, vomiting and visual disturbance. Some migraines begin with visual disturbance like partial blind spots or squiggly lines in the visual field with the headache beginning after about 20 minutes. It has a throbbing pulsating nature. Due to its severity and the other symptoms the migraine patient cannot function and is usually bedridden.

Diagnosis of your Headache Type & Treatment

Depending on the type of headache your chiropractor will determine the course and method of treatment. Providing that the headache has not arisen due to a serious medical reason treatment usually begins. Usually the chiropractor will be able to reproduce the headache in the patient by pressure especially in the neck, head and sometimes the shoulder region. If the headache is not of spinal origin appropriate referral to another specialist will be organized. All spinal related headaches will involve treatment via spinal adjustments and acupressure techniques. The region usually involved is the upper cervical region. In tension related headaches the TMJ (Jaw Joint) is often involved due to stress. Stress management techniques will also be discussed. With migraines there can also be dietary factors as well as hormone factors that will be addressed sometimes involving co-management with other health professionals.

What Research Shows

“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”
McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001), Duke Evidence Report

“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.” ‘
Boline et al. (1995), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

(Bsc Anatomy (NSW) M. Chiro)

Dr Steven Massey

Dr Steven Massey is the owner and principle chiropractor at the Massey Family Chiropractic Centre...

Dr Steven Massey is the owner and principle chiropractor at the Massey Family Chiropractic Centre.

Steven has over 24 years of experience in the chiropractic and natural health field and has owned and run his own practice in Dee Why for 20 years. He was mentored by Dr Malcolm Heningham (former chiropractor of the year) and continued and developed the practice to this day.

Steven has a wide scope of practice having success with a wide variety of conditions. Apart from the obvious back pain, neck pain and headaches he particularly enjoys working with families.

Steven’s patients range from babies to the elderly. Philosophically Steven prides himself in tailoring chiropractic techniques to suit the individual. Steven is married and has 3 sons that keep him very busy outside of work.

(BChiroSc, MChiro)AHPRA # CHI0002154722

Yuki Hio

Hello, my name is Yuki. I am from Japan. My passion for chiropractic started when I became a chiropractic patient myself...

Hello, my name is Yuki. I am from Japan. My passion for chiropractic started when I became a chiropractic patient myself and experienced first hand a pretty miraculous recovery. Before that, I grew up in a health conscious family and I have always had interest in health and wellbeing; but my first degree was actually in American Studies and Political Science. I never thought I would do a completely different study again. Although chiropractic degree was long and intense, I never regretted this change of path. My love for chiropractic is still growing and I get constantly amazed by just how much potential human body has. I am excited to join Massey Family Chiropractic, and I look forward to observing the significance of gentle yet powerful chiropractic care.

こんにちは。Yukiと申します。カイロプラクティックとの出会いは体の調子が悪く日常生活が大変な時でした。出歩くにも痛みがあったので 色々と療法を試し、 効果が出なくて困っていたときに、カイロプラクティックに救われました。そのあとカイロプラクターになってしまった訳ですが、日々人間の 体の治癒力の高さに驚いています。今も夢中です!

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