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Headaches and Chiropractic Care

By Dr. Chrstine Walty
Devine Chiropractic

young woman with headacheHeadaches. Most of us get them. They are the nagging, intense head pains that the
majority of people suffer through at least once in their lives. But, the question is; why do we get them? And, what separates one headache from another?

Not all headaches are alike; is it a migraine, tension, cervicogenic headache – or is it something more serious? One in five patients comes into a chiropractic office with the chief complaint of ‘headache’. In this blog we are going to review differences in headaches, triggers, and ways to manage them.

Type 1, Migraine:

You may not get this headache too often, but it is an intense one. You usually feel it on one side of your head, maybe behind your eye. It starts as a dull ache and quickly ramps us to a nauseating throb. Your vision can be affected and you just want to curl up in a dark room…. it’s a migraine. Females are affected by migraines three times more than their male counterparts. Some common triggers include stress, oral contraceptives, and certain foods. Check out the triggers and management on the next page to get better acquainted with migraines.

Type 2, Tension Headache:

Does your head feel like it is being squeezed? Does it feel like something is pressing on both sides of your head, causing mild to moderate discomfort? That’s a tension headache. This is the most common primary headache condition. Typically, the average age of onset is 25-50 years. The ratio between females and males is 5:4 with the increase of odds the more chronic the headache. The key to feeling better? Stress less. Look at our chart to find out what triggers tension headaches and how to manage them!

Type 3, Cervicogenic Headache:

Cervico-what? Cervicogenic headaches. Let’s break that down. Cervico means “neck” and genic means “produced by”; thus meaning headache produced by your neck. In simple terms, its a secondary headache caused by neck dysfunction in the upper cervical spine. There are 7 cervical vertebrae in your neck; segments C1-C3 are the main contributors to the headache. If you get rid of the dysfunction of the upper cervical spine you reduce the headache.

In our go, go, go society, we have been indoctrinated that certain aches and pains are “normal”. You’ve seen the ad: pop an Aspirin, Excedrin, Imitrex, or a (fill in the blank), and get back to work. The truth is, a headache is never normal. It’s a signal from your body that something is amiss. And when we medicate, we’re just dismissing signals- it’s a short-term fix. Wouldn’t you like the chance to free yourself from headaches without using potentially harmful medications? Come see us if you are suffering from headaches or migraines. At Devine Chiropractic, we do the deep dive with you to ascertain what your triggers might be and then create a personally-tailored chiropractic care plan to lessen the frequency and intensity of your headaches.
headaches table

DynaMed Plus [Internet]. Ipswich (MA): EBSCO Information Services. 1995 – . Record No. T114718, Migraine in adults; [updated 2018 Nov 30, cited 07/24/2019]. Available from

DynaMed Plus [Internet]. Ipswich (MA): EBSCO Information Services. 1995 – . Record No. T114522,
Tension-type headache; [updated 2018 Nov 30, cited 07/24/2019]. Available from

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