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Exploring the Efficacy of Chiropractic Care in Managing Migraine Headaches: A Scientific Insight

Migraine headaches are a prevalent health issue that affects one in six people worldwide leading to significant disability and diminished quality of life.

This blog aims to shed light on the evidence supporting chiropractic interventions for managing migraines, with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial model of healthcare.

Understanding Migraines and Chiropractic Care

Migraines are more than just headaches; they are complex neurological events characterized by intense, throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pathophysiology of migraines involves various neurological and vascular changes, highlighting the complexity of this condition.

Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractors employ a range of techniques, with spinal manipulation being the most common. The premise behind chiropractic care for migraines is the potential relationship between spinal health and neurological function.

Evidence Supporting Chiropractic Care for Migraines

Recent research has started to illuminate the potential benefits of chiropractic care for migraine sufferers. A systematic review and meta-analysis by Chaibi et al. found that chiropractic may reduce migraine days and intensity compared to control treatments. These findings suggest that spinal adjustments could influence the biomechanical and neurological aspects contributing to migraine development and severity.

Furthermore, a randomized clinical trial conducted by Tuchin et al. explored the efficacy of chiropractic spinal adjustments in reducing migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication usage. The results demonstrated significant improvements in the chiropractic group compared to the control group, providing preliminary evidence supporting this therapeutic approach.

Mechanisms of Action

The exact mechanisms by which chiropractic care might alleviate migraines are not fully understood; however, several hypotheses exist. One theory suggests that spinal manipulation may lead to favourable changes in central nervous system function, particularly within the brainstem and cortical areas associated with pain processing. Additionally, chiropractic adjustments may reduce muscle tension and improve vascular flow, potentially addressing some of the peripheral factors involved in migraine attacks.

Integrating Chiropractic Care into a Multifaceted Approach

While the evidence is promising, it is crucial to approach migraine management from a holistic perspective. Chiropractic care should not be viewed as a standalone solution but as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include lifestyle modifications, and other non-pharmacological interventions. Collaborative care, involving healthcare professionals from various disciplines, can provide a well-rounded approach to migraine management, emphasizing the patient's overall well-being and quality of life.

Concluding Thoughts

As chiropractic research advances our understanding of migraines and the potential role of chiropractic care, it is important to continue rigorous scientific research to establish clearer guidelines and recommendations. In conclusion, while further research is needed to fully understand and validate the

efficacy of chiropractic care for migraines, current evidence suggests that it could be a valuable component of a multidimensional treatment strategy. As healthcare practitioners, our goal should always be to provide safe, effective, and patient-centered care, guided by the best available evidence and our commitment to the well-being of those we serve.

Click here to watch an interesting video about Chiropractic Care and Migraines.


Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed.

Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children.

Yours in Health,

Dr's Mark & Julie


1. Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. J Headache Pain. 2011;12(2):127-133.

2. Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000;23(2):91-95.


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