6 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help You Manage Headaches

FEB 2022
6 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help You Manage Headaches
Chiropractic Care Can Help You Manage Headaches

To process emotions, make decisions and carry on with daily activities, you must be able to think calmly and clearly. However, a strong headache can easily destroy that clarity. For some people, it is occasional. In contrast, some people experience frequent headaches which affect their sleeping ability or how they go on with their everyday lives.

Types Of Headaches

Most people, at some point in their lives, will experience headache pain. The headache can range from a dull, mild ache to throbbing pain that causes nausea. The kind of pain and the location of the headache indicates the type of headache. 

The different types of headaches may include:


A frequent migraine impairs vitality and strength. It is thought that chronic migraines have a genetic component to them. Sex hormones may also play a role, as frequent migraines are common in women. Migraine is different from other types of headaches in many ways. Aside from severe pain, migraines can also cause tingling in legs and arms, sensitivity to sound and light, nausea and vision changes. These symptoms usually last between 30 and 60 minutes and are often experienced before feelings of pain.

As for the pain of a migraine, it is often described as throbbing, which tends to happen on one side of the head. If not addressed in time, migraine attacks can last up to 3 days. The symptoms patients experience after a migraine are known as postdrome. Patients may feel spaced out and confused for hours after migraines.

Tension Headaches

A tension headache includes a dull stiffness and aches in the neck and shoulders that do not go away easily. Muscles can get damaged when tension headaches become frequent.

Chronic tension headaches can also put pressure on the nerves, causing numbness and tingling in the arms. The cause of most tension headaches is physiological or psychological stress. When stressed, the shoulder muscles become tense, and the shoulders move towards the ears. This posture results in more stiffness, causing pain. Tension headaches are common among people who experience anxiety or chronic stress.

Bad posture, like hunching over a desk, can cause physiological stress. An improper posture puts strain on the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Bad posture becoming frequent can cause micro lesions in the muscles that turn into scars and limit mobility. Fatigue and difficulty doing everyday activities can be due to chronic tension headaches.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches can lead to piercing pain in/on one side of the head and one eye. Although the cause of cluster headaches is not yet known by researchers, it is believed that a neurological mechanism is involved. Symptoms of cluster headaches aside from pain may include tearing, redness or drooping of the affected eye, sweating on the side of the forehead that is affected and a stuffy nose feeling on the side of the nose.

6 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help You Manage Headaches

All types of headaches can be managed with medications. However, chiropractic care is another effective treatment solution that targets the cause of the problem. 

Here are 6 ways chiropractic care can help you manage headaches:

1. Spinal Manipulation

Spinal Manipulation treatment for managing headaches

Spinal manipulation is a procedure chiropractors may use to treat headaches. This procedure involves the use of hands or a special device to apply controlled pressure on specific joints of your spine. When the force is being applied, you may hear a popping sound.

Please inform your chiropractor, in advance, if you suffer from frequent bleeding, stroke, disc herniation or nerve compression.

2. Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization is another chiropractic therapy where your joints are passively moved. The purpose of this is to reduce the pain experienced by the headache and to also improve your movement. When used for the treatment of headaches, joint mobilization targets the cervical spine.

3. Deep Neck Flexion Exercises

Deep neck flexion exercises involve actively moving your joints and shoulders under the guidance of a chiropractor. One example of this exercise is doing a series of chin tucks while lying flat on the floor. This is followed by nodding the head. The deep neck flexor muscle supports the neck, and the goal of the exercise is to stretch it. In doing so, you can be relieved of your headaches.

4. Neuromuscular Massage

Neuromuscular Massage for treating headache.

Neuromuscular massage is also known as trigger point therapy. It is a type of massage that focuses on the trigger points within the head, neck, shoulder and back. It helps improve blood flow and relieves stress. Additionally, this type of massage releases pressure(s) from compressed nerves that transfer pain signals to the brain. As a result, the pain is eased.

5. Multidisciplinary Care Intervention

This chiropractic approach combines stress management, relaxation techniques, physical therapy exercises and dietary counseling. It has been found that multidisciplinary care is effective in minimizing migraine duration, frequency, pain and disability.

6. Low-load Craniocervical Mobilization

This is another form of chiropractic care that involves the application of gentler force than that which is used in spinal manipulation. When used to treat headaches, this force is applied to the neck joints, allowing the cervical segments to move rhythmically. Stretching is also usually included in this chiropractic intervention.


Headaches are unpleasant, uncomfortable and can disrupt your daily life. Luckily, you do not have to suffer with pain for long if you treat the symptoms quickly. Aside from medication, chiropractic care is a treatment option that can help you manage your headaches. Following the treatment plan recommended by a chiropractor, you will be relieved of pain for days, weeks, months or even years.