Have Headaches?

Got headaches??? You may want to read this……

I am not much of a blogger – but I wanted to touch on some research I found interesting and relevant for anyone who suffers from headaches.

I’m going to summarize a study done in the Journal Spine in 2018 that looks at cervicogenic headaches and how the respond to Chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulative therapy (SMT).

This is a randomized controlled trial called: Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache.

If you want to look it up — The Spine Journal 2018; 18: 1741-1754. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2018.02.019.

To the Coles notes version….

Cervicogenic headache (CGH) means a headache that comes from your neck and not your head.

In this study – they followed 256 people who have suffered from CGH for an average of 7.3 years having headaches 15.6 day / month and neck pain 18 days/month.

The control group had massage and the test group had massage and SMT.

The control group had a 30% decrease in headaches and the SMT group had a greater than 50% decrease in CGH. This means those who had manipulation/adjustments responded better than those who didn’t.

There appears to be a linear relationship with the number of treatments and decrease in headache days as well – meaning the more manipulations the subjects had, the better they responded. Over 6 weeks, subjects had between 0-3 SMT per week. Those who had treatment 3x/week did better than those who had 0, 1, or 2 treatments/ week.

18 treatments seemed to be the magic number in that those who had SMT 18 x over 6 weeks responded  better than those who had less treatment. This group showed a greater than 50% decrease in headache days which is huge if you suffer from headaches! This response lasted for the full 52 weeks of the study.

In short – if you suffer from headaches, (and ⅕ headaches (20%) are cervicogenic headaches)…… you should see a Chiropractor!

An easy way to think of this issue of headaches coming from the neck is if the joints in the neck are not working properly (locked up, out of place, decreased range of motion, etc… it causes pain. This pain can be referred to the head to create a headache.)

Another issue may be (if you have chronic recurrent headaches)  you may have weakness and instability in your neck. Your neck isn’t strong enough to hold you coconut!  In this case we need to correct the bio-mechanics and strengthen your neck so the pain and dysfunction does not return.

Any how — I’d better stop there or no one will want to read this.

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YYC Sport and Spine