Study Shows Chiropractic Helps Headaches

A study published in the February 2010 issue of The Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society, provided additional evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic for certain types of headaches known as “cervicogenic headaches”. A report on the results of this study was also published online on February 26, 2010, on the site “Modern Medicine”.

In this study, 80 patients with chronic cervicogenic headaches were divided into three groups. Two of the groups received various forms of chiropractic adjustments, which the study authors called Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT), and one group received just a light massage so as to be able to compare the results. Results were calculated using standard pain scales. Data from the subjects was collected every 4 weeks for a 24 week period.

The researchers found that the groups that received chiropractic showed significantly greater improvement in pain scores as compared to the group that got just light massage. Those receiving the chiropractic care were more likely to have a 50-percent improvement in their pain. The two groups of patients who received chiropractic care were only given either 8 or 16 chiropractic sessions. The study did see a slightly better response for the group receiving more adjustments, but due to the study parameters, no data was available beyond 16 visits.

Dr. Mitch Haas and a team of researchers at Western States Chiropractic College, were quoted in their conclusion as saying, “Our pilot study adds to an emerging picture of spinal manipulative therapy dose for the treatment of headache. It showed that a plateau in intervention effect might be found in the range of eight to 16 treatment sessions, although a dose effect at these treatment levels cannot be ruled out. The study also adds to the support of spinal manipulative therapy in moderate doses as a viable option for the treatment of chronic cervicogenic headaches.”

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