Chiropractic treatment for migraines : an introduction
Chiropractic treatment involves moving, stretching and manipulating the spine. Chiropractic therapy does not include drugs or surgery, but uses X-rays and other exams to analyze how the patient’s spine might impact the patient’s health. Chiropractors use devices such as shoe inserts, braces, straps and other tools. They also advise patients on lifestyle issues such as exercise, nutrition and managing stress.
Chiropractic management of migraine
There aren’t many large studies on the value of chiropractic treatment in managing migraines. One study examined chiropractic treatment for different types of headaches, including migraines. The study combined the results of 22 studies, which had more than 2,600 patients total. The studies show that chiropractic treatment may serve as a good preventive treatment for migraines.
Another trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop 90 percent. In that same study, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity.
Chronic migraine and chiropractic treatment
One study of 127 migraine sufferers in Australia found that those that received chiropractic treatment had fewer attacks and needed to take less medication. The 1999 study found that more than 80 percent of the patients blamed stress for leading to their migraine attacks. Therefore researchers believe chiropractic care might physically help reduce the body’s reaction to stress.
Possible side effects of chiropractic therapy
- Temporary headaches
- Discomfort where the chiropractic manipulation took place
- Increased pain
Possible serious side effects
In rare cases, more serious adverse events have occurred after chiropractic treatment including those that affect the blood vessels such as bleeding between the brain and the skull or artery damage. There have also been cases of damage to the spinal cord.
If you experience dizziness, vertigo, nausea or loss of consciousness after receiving chiropractic treatment you should seek immediate medical attention.
Who should not participate in chiropractic treatment for migraines
Before seeking chiropractic treatment, let your doctor know about all medications and supplements you take because the chiropractic manipulation could interact with the medications.
Don’t receive chiropractic adjustment if you have osteoporosis, nerve damage, numbness, tingling, loss of strength in an arm or leg.
You should get approval from your doctor if you’ve had spinal surgery,
Pregnant women should get their doctor’s permission before receiving chiropractic treatment
As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These descriptions of natural remedies are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no treatment, medication or supplement without first checking with your physician. Again, this information should in no way substitute or be mistaken for medical advice.