Can Chiropractic Relieve Migraines?

What’s the difference between a headache and a migraine?

Some say the difference is in how bad the headache is or in whether it has an “aura” or nausea associated with it. Traditionally a migraine is on just one side of the head. The term “migraine” comes from “Hemi-cranium” meaning “half of the head.” Whatever you call them, they’re miserable. My wife used to get them very severely, often multiple times per week. She would be laid out in a pitch-black room with terrible pain and even the slightest sound would bang in her head like a giant bass drum. Since I started adjusting her over 24 years ago (even a few times when I was a chiropractic intern and not yet certified to perform it, but don’t tell on me) she has not had one single migraine!

What causes migraines in females?

There are many causes of migraines but the one common factor is that it alters blood flow to the brain. In 23 years in practice and helping literally thousands of people with migraines, I’ve found 4 different things that seem to contribute: a chemical cause (certain foods, medications, caffeine, dehydration), acute emotional stress, lack of sleep, and vertebral subluxation, especially in the upper neck. It is believed that women get more migraines than men because of their stronger hormonal fluctuation, which influences all the above precipitating factors.

What is the main cause of migraine?

I’ve found 4 different things that seem to contribute: a chemical cause (certain foods, medications, caffeine, dehydration), acute emotional stress, lack of sleep, and vertebral subluxation, especially in the upper neck. It is believed that women get more migraines than men because of their stronger hormonal fluctuation, which influences all the above precipitating factors.

Why do I get so many headaches and migraines?

People who frequently get headaches and migraines should look carefully into their lifestyle. This is not to blame the person; headaches are bad enough without a blame game on top of it! But I have found the vast majority of people who see a qualified chiropractor who measures their correction regularly, who drinks plenty of water, who avoids triggering foods and medications, and who manages their emotional stress can be completely or nearly completely pain-free.

Can tension headaches turn into migraines?

Yes, tension headaches can turn into migraines. Though the causes are very different most of the time, it can and does happen. Some people know as soon as they feel tension or a tension headache come on to hydrate and begin to rest! Others take medications, which of course is just covering the symptom instead of getting to the cause.

What part of the head hurts with migraines?

Most migraines hurt behind the eyes, but some hurt all over the entire head! It can literally be one of the most miserable things a person can go through and can leave them feeling totally helpless!

Can Chiropractic Relieve Migraines?
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One of the questions that I get very, very frequently is, can chiropractic help migraines? And the answer is almost every single time, migraines or regular headaches. People are asking me that all the time for whether they’re adults in their 70s or stressed out moms or stressed out dads or kids, even young kids now, younger and younger getting headaches and migraines, pretty serious, serious thing. And I’ve never personally had one, but I know just what it’s like to get one because my wife, before we were engaged, used to get migraines. It’s a horrible thing to witness. She used to have to put a hot wash cloth on her head, and if there was a sound, someone shutting a door five doors down in her apartment building, it would just pound and throb in her head. She would have these for sometimes just maybe 12 hours, sometimes 24, 48, 72 hours of this horrible shrieking pain. And all I could do initially was just lay a wash cloth on her head and do something, give her Advil, which she doesn’t like to take, until I learned that I was able to make adjustments to her to her upper neck. We’re gonna talk about what causes them but she suffered so badly and I just wanted to do anything I possibly could, but when I started adjusting her upper neck, she started to get relief. Over the next three, four months, she’s had no migraines and not one since, and we’ve now been married going on 24 years we’ll be, and it’s a miracle.

The beauty is, the miracle is already inside her body from what God just put in her body, but she used to get them all the time, and I think some say and I’ve said that that’s the reason I was able to land a woman who was probably out of my pay grade, so to speak. She is an absolutely amazing woman, whether you know her or not. She’s a wonderful, wonderful life companion and human being, but she wouldn’t be that wonderful with those migraines. So we have four kids, and it’s a very, very, very busy household, and boy, with migraines, I don’t know how she would have been the amazing mom or wife that she absolutely is. So what is it that causes a migraine? Well we do know for sure, medically speaking, that it is an inhibition and interference with the blood flow into the brain, and so what we find is the Houston control for blood flow into the brain is in the upper… Inside the brainstem and the upper two neck bones inside here.

And so there are a few things that can cause migraines. In my clinical observation and in scientific research, what we found is that it is an interference in blood flow and it’s either caused by some type of chemical that you’re taking, usually some type of medication or caffeine, changes in caffeine, meaning just starting or just getting rid of caffeine, stress can cause migraines, and certainly physical traumas to the spine can cause migraines, but what those all have in common is that they all affect the function of the upper two neck bones and the brainstem inside of there.

The reason that we’ve been able to have such extraordinary success with people with migraines is because we analyze this upper neck bone area here very, very thoroughly. What happens is when those bones are in alignment, there is a normal healthy amount of blood flow up into the brain 24/7. If those vertebra go out of alignment, it not only mechanically can shunt the blood and stop the blood from flowing up there, but also the brainstem that controls blood flow, not just to the brain but to the rest of the body is right inside there. And so what happens is if there is a physical constriction because a vertebra misaligns and chokes on that flow of life to the nerve through there but also to the blood flow, then that blood flow can’t move through there. So when that’s happening, it’s constricting, it’s creating stress and tension through our neck and shoulders, and we get our posture to roll up like this, and it’s just stopping that normal blood flow up into the brain. And you think about it, the worst thing about it is not just that we’re getting this horrible throbbing pain, though if you’ve ever seen anyone with a really bad headache or a migraine, you know that that pain is horrible and there’s almost nothing worse. But that’s not the only problem. The problem is that where there’s nerve interference caused by the upper neck bones, the blood flow can’t get to the brain, which means we can’t concentrate.

We can’t… Our brain doesn’t serve its functions well, which is controlling every single function in our whole bodies. Nothing’s working right in our body because the brain is compromised of its ability to work. So we have to get rid of that interference. So how do we do it? Well, the first thing that we do is we do a very thorough history. We find out exactly what someone’s concerns are. What… When does their head hurt? What makes it better? What makes it worse? Is there any sort of trauma they might have in their history that might have contributed to this, maybe a car crash or maybe extraordinary stress as they were growing up, or maybe they’re on a type of medication that might be causing them, just getting rid of the medication might stop the migraines or headaches from coming. After our thorough history, we’re gonna feel in the upper neck bones. We’re gonna feel for alignment. In 24 years of feeling spines, I know a thing or two about what’s happening in the spine just by feeling it, but beyond that, we wanna take very specific X-rays.

So these x-rays we take are a side view of the neck to look at alignment, especially the upper two neck bones, but the curve in the neck, the neck has a very natural curve called a lordosis. When that’s fine, when that’s all healthy in the neck, the curvature, there’s a lot less pressure and a lot less tension on the spine and on the nervous system, and that will help. There’ll be less tension up into the head and more appropriate blood flow up into the head. The second view is we take an open mouth view this way to look inside the mouth at the alignment of these upper two neck bones. And if there is an indication that there may be a misalignment or a subluxation, which means that the vertebra misaligned and it compromises the nerve function up into the brain and the flow of life from the brain down into the body, and when that happens, the body is not functioning right, and headaches and migraines are very, very often a result of that.

So that view will look at this what we call static alignment, which just means how as we stand still, what’s the alignment like? Then we’re gonna take motion study x-rays where we tip side to side or we tip in the side forward and backward, and when we do that, we’re looking for proper motion in the spine. Not every doctor does this, not every chiropractor. But if we really, really wanna get a thorough analysis and we really wanna solve these problems for people, we better look at exactly how those are moving. It’s very common that in a car accident or in a sports fall or falling off a horse or a trampoline… By the way, trampolines are one of the worst things that you can get for your kids as far as their spinal and neuro-spinal health, but that trauma can cause those vertebra to misalign and when they’re misaligned, they lock up and they compromise that normal blood flow. If it’s there, we are going to find it. And when we find it, we’re going to fix it. How do we fix it? With gentle, specific scientific chiropractic adjustments, where we go in and gently with our hands or we sometimes use certain tools to make a little shift in the vertebra, to not only get them moving correctly, but to get them lined up right. When they line up right, it releases all that pressure and tension off the spine, off the nervous system, off the brainstem, so that we can get that normal blood flow up into the brain.

I have seen literally thousands of people get immense relief in these. We have everything from the very first adjustment, they never had another headache, they never had another migraine, two, three, four months of care, and now they’re done with migraines for the rest of their lives. In some very, very stubborn cases, we do have some people who… They still get them occasionally though it’s way less frequently, but they come in for an adjustment and it goes away right away. Some people are just dealing with so much of what we call the three T’s, trauma, thoughts and toxins. And now, we’ve said three T’s for over 100 years. Now, we say four T’s. The four T’s are trauma, thoughts, toxins and technology. Too much technology going into our brain short circuits our brains and our nervous… Our spinal nervous system or our neuro-spinal system is compromised and not working right, controlling that blood flow to the brain.

So everyone… I’ve never seen anyone who comes in here and not have some benefit to their migraines. And I love reading my testimonial book, which I hadn’t done for a while till I was preparing to speak in this video, but we have a testimonial book here. It’s a tiny fraction of the testimonials that we’ve received verbally. We’re so busy helping people that we don’t take the time to sit and collect people’s testimonials. So if you have one, by the way, please share it with us, but this is just in the headache and migraine section. I’m gonna just share a few of these, and I do have their permission to share these. This is from Lucia Ruiz. She said, “When I began chiropractic care at Chiropractic First, I had headaches. I felt very bad, but now, everything has changed. Now, I feel so much better. Thanks to God, Dr. Todd and his team, my life has changed so much for the better.” This is Susan Winter. She said, “Hi, my name is Susan, the world’s biggest chiropractic skeptic. I came to see Dr. Todd after five years of taking 1600 mg of Advil a day. With one adjustment, my headaches were resolved, and for the first time, I didn’t wake up with a headache and head straight for the coffee and the Advil.”

This next one is from Amy Rigger. She says, “I’ve dealt with migraines and back pain especially in my neck and shoulders since a car accident in 1980. I went to various chiropractors periodically over the years but never any regular care. My migraines occurred every two weeks like clockwork, and any stressful situation seemed to mess my upper back and neck up.” And that’s just like we’re saying, the three T’s or four T’s stress that out. “The migraines put me out of commission for 12 to 36 hours. Seven months ago, I started coming to Chiropractic First for regular care, and I’ve had only two migraines during that time. When they started, I came in for an adjustment and they went away in two to three hours. My son and husband have also been coming in and seem to feel better than they used to, not as tired, hurting as much, etcetera. Coming to Chiropractic First has improved the quality of our life, and we look forward to maintaining our improved health.”

I’ll share one more from Janine Snyder. “The last four years of my life have consisted of one headache after another. I’ve suffered from tremendous headaches that would keep me in bed in such a position as to not move my head. I’ve been a patient at Chiropractic First for two months, and it’s been a wonderful seven weeks since my last headache. I’ve tried living on pills for this problem, but that never fully went away. All it took was one week at Chiropractic First to straighten my neck up enough for the headaches to go away completely. I praise God for the gift He has given Dr. Todd and for the wonderful staff who make every visit a joy.”

It goes on and on and on from skeptics to people who are converts. And it’s because we do our care right, and we do it with heart and we do it specifically. When we have very particular measurements of the alignment of the upper neck and we correct that and we measure it on the x-ray, we see amazing results. Now, another question that I get with that is, what about kids? We are seeing kids younger and younger with headaches, with birth trauma is a huge, huge effect. And there was a study done recently in 2015, a group of osteopaths who are usually medically licensed providers who often work with their hands, they did an exam on 100 newborn babies just hours old in the hospital. They found out of 100 babies, 99 of them had subluxation or misalignments in their upper neck right from birth, 99 out of 100.

And the interesting thing about that study, if you read the whole study, is it said that the multiple… The babies who were excluded from the study, those who had respiratory trouble or needed any type of medical intervention, they were left out of the study. So there may have been 30 or 40 more babies born that day that they just left… Or those weeks during the study that they just left out of the study because they were so traumatized. Well, if they had checked those, it would have been 40 out of 40, so 139 out of 140 who have subluxation from birth. Subluxation is an absolute epidemic among kids; therefore, we’re seeing more and more and more headaches and migraines in kids. With kids, it’s so easy. If we start early, they need way less care, way less adjustments and way softer adjustments.

Chiropractic care is safe, it’s gentle, and it’s effective when it’s done right and with the right x-rays and the right measurements. So we don’t always x-ray kids, depends on their age and their history of trauma and everything, but we will take the best absolute care of you and of your family. So I hope that answers any questions you may have about headaches and migraines, and as always, if you are interested in finding out, if we can help you, just contact us on our contact information below or in our contact section on the website, and we’d be honored. One of the great things about our office is we never charge to sit down and talk about your needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us through the form here or just call us and we’d be happy to sit down. So thank you for sharing and listening.

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