Headaches and Chiropractic
On August 2, 2013, the American Chiropractic Association released an article titled “Headaches and Chiropractic”, which appeared in several news outlets. The release, and several associated news articles discuss how chiropractic helps people who suffer from headaches.
The ACA release begins by stating, “If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.”
An article in the Merritt Herald from Canada on July 24, 2013, about chiropractic and headaches starts by asking, “Did you know that one of the most common forms of headache is actually caused by problems in the neck?”
The ACA release reported on research of how chiropractic helps headaches by noting, “A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, N.C., found that spinal manipulation (adjustments) resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.”
Using chiropractic care for headaches is not a common medical procedure. This fact was illustrated in the Merritt Herald article, “Unfortunately, the medical understanding of headaches often does not take into account the chiropractic model, which remains foreign to many within the medical profession.”
The Merritt Herald article also reported that this information is not new, noting that, “In 1995, a team of MDs at Syracuse University established neck problems as the cause of many headaches with scientific, anatomical proof.” The researchers were headed up by Dr. Rothbart, a medical doctor.
In an interview after the research, Dr. Rothbart stated, “Some brilliant people have put their hearts, souls and minds to this (headache) problem and haven’t come up with anything. All we’ve been able to do is treat people with an array of medicines, one after the other, and hope the side effects won’t be too bad. We couldn’t believe it at first. We’ve been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches — not all headaches, but a significant number of them. It’s true that chiropractors have been saying this for years. Unfortunately, many (medical) doctors tend to have a jaundiced view of chiropractors, but they were right about headaches.”