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What is a migraine?

woman with severe headacheMigraine headaches and common headaches are distinct ailments with different causes, symptoms, and recommended treatment regimens. A migraine is itself a neurological condition characterized by an intense headache that may last between 4 and 72 hours. Symptoms include throbbing, pulsating pain on one side of the head, visual disturbances, and sensitivity to light, sound, and physical exertion.

Factors contributing to migraines include genetics, hormone fluctuation, and stress levels, among others. Factors related to stress, both physiological and psychological, can be successfully addressed by chiropractic care.

How can chiropractic help?

Chiropractic seeks to correct neuromusculoskeletal pathology via conservative intervention. In the case of migraine patients, studies demonstrate the success of chiropractic treatment via skeletal alignment and release of muscular tension that is posing physiological stress to the body.

Studies investigating the efficacy of chiropractic for migraines:

A randomized control trial by Tuchin and colleagues demonstrated decreased severity and length of migraine headaches with chiropractic intervention. They also found that subjects with migraines had a decrease in medication use for pain control while treated with spinal adjustments. In 2019, Bernstein and colleagues corroborated these findings and also found decreased anxiety in migraine patients who underwent chiropractic adjustments. The proven intersection and complementation between neurological, psychological, and chiropractic care substantiates their argument for increased chiropractic care in tertiary healthcare settings.


Bernstein, C., Wayne, P. M., Rist, P. M., Osypiuk, K., Hernandez, A., & Kowalski, M. (2019). Integrating chiropractic care into the treatment of migraine headaches in a tertiary care hospital: A case series. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 8, 216495611983577.
Migraine headaches: Causes, treatment & symptoms. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2022, from
A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2022, from

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