Headache is one of the most common conditions seen in chiropractic offices. Over the last decade headache represented 13% of chiropractic patient’s presenting complaints. Headaches not only have a significant adverse impact on adults but “frequent or severe headaches including migraine in the past 12 months were reported in 17.1% of children.” Extensive research has addressed the many types of headache and the last year has seen several important publications investigating the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment and spinal manipulation.
An extensive review of the literature will appear in the next issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) and provides guidelines for chiropractic treatment of adult headaches. The work was done by a group of Canadians and documents the research support for chiropractic management (high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts) for both migraine and cervicogenic headaches. Mobilization may also be effective for tension-type headache and cervicogenic headache.
A new Dutch study of chronic tension type headache (CTTH) compared treatment from medical providers in general practice (GP) to chiropractic. That study concluded that “Manual therapy is more effective than usual GP care in the short- and longer term in reducing symptoms of CTTH.”