Migraine headaches are very common. In fact, they affect 38 million people in the United States alone. 13% of all adults suffer from migraines and of those, between two and three million get chronic migraines. It’s no wonder that many people rely on prescription migraine medications to relieve their symptoms.
The problem with the most commonly-prescribed medications is that they cause some unpleasant side effects. The side effects may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
Worst of all, some of the migraine medications on the market can actually cause headaches, which is the last thing that anybody who suffers from chronic migraine headaches needs.
The good news is that there may be a way to get relief from migraine headaches without relying on medication: chiropractic care.
Research Shows That Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Migraine Symptoms
It’s easy to make a claim that a particular treatment or medication can relieve symptoms. What’s not so easy is to back the claim up with research. In the case of chiropractic care and migraine symptoms, there is research available to support the idea that getting spinal adjustments can relieve migraines.
One study looked at the impact of chiropractic treatment on 127 volunteers between the ages of 10 and 70. The people in the study group were given spinal manipulative treatments and asked to keep a standard headache diary over a six-month period.
At the end of the study, the volunteers in the study group experienced a greater reduction in their migraine symptoms than those in the control group. 22% experienced a 90% reduction in the severity of their symptoms, while another 50% reported significant improvements.
The researchers concluded that there was ample reason to believe that receiving regular chiropractic adjustments could provide relief to migraine sufferers.
Another, smaller study looked at the effect of spinal manipulation and thoracic massage on ten volunteers who had migraine headaches. The treatments were given when the subjects were experiencing a migraine.
The results were that the volunteers reported that the intensity of their migraine symptoms had been significantly reduced by the treatment. The mean pain reduction was 68.77% with a margin of error of 18.56%. There were no reported side effects and the patients were satisfied with the treatments they received.
The small size of this study means that additional studies and research are needed. But, there is certainly reason to be optimistic that a combination of massage and chiropractic adjustments can help to alleviate migraine symptoms.
In addition to the research studies we’ve mentioned there are a number of individual case studies that support the use of chiropractic treatments to treat migraines. One looked at the treatment of a 39-year old woman who had experienced migraines since she was 10 years old. She experienced an immediate improvement that was then sustained with additional treatments over a four-month period.
Migraine headaches can be debilitating to the people who have them. Chiropractic adjustments, alone or in combination with spinal massage, can provide relief in both the short and long term.