The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Headaches

woman with a tension headache sitting in a large room

Written by Dr. Derek Larsen DC

Last Updated on December 8, 2023

Headaches can be a significant source of discomfort and can negatively affect our daily lives. Many people may not realize that chiropractic care can provide relief for headache and migraine sufferers too. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of visiting a chiropractor for headaches and address the question, “can a chiropractor help with headaches?” By the end, you will have a better understanding of how chiropractic care can effectively alleviate headaches and improve your overall well-being.

What Causes Headaches?

Headaches can have a wide range of causes, including stress, tension, sinus problems, and migraines. Many headaches originate in the neck and spine due to misalignments or tension in the muscles and joints. This tension can lead to nerve irritation and inflammation, which in turn can cause headaches. Chiropractic offers a non-invasive and drug-free approach to treat and prevent headaches by addressing the root cause.

What are the Various Types of Headaches?

There are various types of headaches, each with distinct characteristics and underlying causes.

Tension Headache

The most common type of headaches are tension headaches. They are often triggered by stress and muscle tension, resulting in a dull, aching pain around the head, particularly at the temples or back of the head and neck.

Migraine Headache

Migraines are more severe and can cause throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches, though less common, are known for their excruciating, burning pain around or behind one eye and may occur in clusters over several weeks.

Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches arise from sinus inflammation, often due to infection, and cause pain and pressure around the cheeks, forehead, or eyes.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Lastly, cervicogenic headaches stem from issues in the neck or cervical spine, resulting in a steady, non-throbbing pain that typically starts at the base of the skull and radiates to the front of the head or behind the eyes. Understanding the different types of headaches is crucial for determining the most effective treatment and management strategies for each individual.

Chiropractor for Headaches: How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Help?

Spinal Manipulation

One of the most common techniques used by chiropractors to treat headaches is spinal adjustments, which involves adjusting the spine to correct misalignments and improve overall spinal function. This can help to relieve pressure on the nerves, reduce inflammation, and promote proper blood flow, all of which can alleviate headache pain.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Chiropractors may also use soft tissue therapy to relieve tension in the muscles and other soft tissues surrounding the neck and head. This can include techniques such as massage, trigger point therapy, or myofascial release. By relaxing the muscles and increasing blood flow, soft tissue therapy can help to reduce headache frequency and intensity.

Postural Correction

Poor posture, especially when sitting for extended periods, can contribute to headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help to identify and correct postural issues, which can alleviate the strain on the neck and spine and reduce the occurrence of headaches.

Lifestyle and Nutritional Recommendations

Chiropractors can provide guidance on lifestyle changes and nutritional recommendations to help prevent headaches. This can include advice on proper hydration, stress management techniques, and dietary changes to address potential triggers such as caffeine or food sensitivities.

Can a Chiropractor Help with Headaches? Research and Evidence

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic in treating migraine headaches well. For example, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation provided significant relief for those suffering from migraines.

Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that both chiropractic treatment and adjustments were effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches. Participants who received chiropractic treatment reported a 36% decrease in headache frequency, a 42% decrease in headache intensity, and a 43% decrease in headache duration.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches

Drug-Free and Non-Invasive

Chiropractic offers a drug-free and non-invasive approach to treating headaches. This can be particularly beneficial for migraine pain for those who prefer not to rely on medication or are concerned about the potential side effects of long-term drug use.

Addressing the Root Cause

Unlike medications that may only provide temporary relief, chiropractic aims to address the root cause of headaches. By treating the issues in the neck and spine, chiropractic care can provide long-term relief treat headache pain and help to prevent future headaches

Holistic Approach

Chiropractic takes a holistic approach to treating all types of headaches though, considering the whole person rather than just focusing on the symptoms. This includes addressing lifestyle factors and providing guidance on nutrition, exercise, and stress management, all of which can play a role in headache development and severity.

Improving Overall Well-Being

While the primary goal of chiropractic is to alleviate headaches and debilitating pain, the benefits often extend beyond pain relief. By improving spinal alignment, reducing muscle tension, and promoting overall health and wellness, chiropractic can contribute to improved well-being and a higher quality of life.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Chiropractors understand that each patient is unique, and they develop personalized headache treatment and plans to address the specific needs and goals of each individual. This ensures that the care you receive is tailored to your specific situation, leading to better outcomes and more effective headache relief.


If you suffer from headaches, visiting a chiropractor for headaches may be the solution you’ve been searching for. Chiropractic offers a drug-free, non-invasive, and holistic approach to addressing the root cause of headaches, providing relief and improving overall well-being. With numerous studies supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic for headaches, it’s worth considering this option to alleviate your pain and enhance your quality of life.

To find out if chiropractic is right for you and your headaches, we invite you to visit our practice, Happy Family Chiropractic, located in Juneau. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you find relief from your headaches and improving your overall health and wellness. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards a happier, healthier life free from headaches.


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We are located at 800 Glacier Ave in Juneau, Alaska. Book an appointment today!

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