There are lots of different types of headaches and each type has an underlying cause that has to be addressed to achieve a satisfactory outcome. A 2020 study from the last two decades suggests that the best conservative, non-pharmaceutical approach for headaches could involve a top down or bottom up approach.
When a headache is caused by musculoskeletal problems, the study found that a bottom up approach will benefit the patient. Cervicogenic headaches are caused by dysfunction in the cervical spine.
So a headache like this will most likely respond well to cervical spinal manipulation and different forms of manual therapy provided by chiropractors. Tension headaches often have a few underlying causes, but the most common is usually tight muscles in the back of the neck. Treatment to relax these muscles can help reduce the amount of headaches and their frequency.
Research to understand migraines is still ongoing, but what seems to be the cause of this type of headache is chemical interactions in the brain. Researchers reported that a top down approach such as cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and neuroscience education might be most helpful to a patient.
Since each case is unique and headaches can have a few different causes, the study notes that the ideal bottom up and top down treatments depend on the doctors reasoning and the experience they have. This means that there is no one size fits all. As an example, there are a few studies that show that migraine headache patients might experience less headaches after receiving manual therapies from a chiropractor.
The study concludes that a multi modal approach is most likely the most effective way to manage migraines. This may include spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, soft tissue therapies, needling, exercise, specific exercise, and cognitive interventions.
Most doctors of chiropractic use most or all of what was listed above. Come see us today if you are experiencing migraines or any sort of headache. Through chiropractic, physical therapy and other treatment options, we have many options to help you. Schedule an appointment today or call us (908) 325-3000