Chiropractic treatment for migraine

Migraine is a common cause of disability. Official statistics report that about 14% of Americans suffer from migraines, and many of these people miss work or school as a result of their condition. Some people have them only occasionally, while others suffer multiple times a week or even daily.

Many migraine sufferers have tried many different ways to treat their condition. There are certain medications that can be useful for some patients, but they don’t work for everyone and can also cause undesirable side effects. Often, patients have tried eliminating certain foods, reducing stress, improving sleep, and other lifestyle factors in an effort to get control of the migraines, but they continue to find themselves suffering from this debilitating condition.

Fortunately, migraine sufferers looking for a drug-free treatment method have another option. Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be effective for migraine, and we offer this service here at Chester Chiropractic Center. How can chiropractic help with migraine? Let’s first understand a little more about this common problem.

What is migraine?

A migraine is not just a bad headache. It does involve throbbing pain, which is usually felt on just one side of the head (although the location may vary). Many people with migraine experience nausea and/or vomiting along with their headaches. Additionally, migraine is usually associated with a condition known as photophobia, in which lights seem too bright and cause pain or discomfort, as well as phonophobia, or a similar discomfort with sounds. The pain and these other symptoms are often severe enough to prevent the migraine sufferer from functioning during an attack.


Many people with migraine also experience a phenomenon known as aura before their headaches. This usually consists of a patch of light or zigzagging lines, which covers up a portion of the sufferer’s vision. The aura will appear, grow for a while (usually 20-60 minutes), then slowly fade out; the headache may begin during the aura, or may start afterward. Not everyone with migraine experiences auras.

What causes migraine?

The cause of migraine has been a subject of much research. Although it was formerly regarded as a problem of blood flow, migraines are now believed to be a neurological phenomenon. The cells of the brain become overly active, which leads to the production of a variety of substances that lead to irritation and pain. Although it’s not certain exactly what starts the chain of events that leads to a migraine, researchers believe that irritation in certain nerves leads to a cascade of events that results in a migraine.

Chiropractic treatment for migraine

In general, chiropractic treatment of migraine is focused on manipulation to improve function in the spine, especially the cervical spine (the neck). Dysfunction in the spine can cause irritation of nerves, which can in turn trigger a migraine. By restoring the spinal joints to healthy function, chiropractic can reduce this irritation and help to stop migraines before they start.

In addition, tightness of the muscles of the neck and upper back is believed to be a potential cause of migraines in some people. By restoring the healthy function of the spine, chiropractic treatment helps to reduce the amount of tension in these muscles. In some cases, Dr. Barnes may also use adjunct treatment methods, like muscle stimulation, to help release areas of tension in these muscles. Some patients may also benefit from treatment by our expert massage therapist, to help address areas of chronic muscle tension or imbalance that might be causing migraines.

Are you looking for a way to treat migraine?

Although many people think of chiropractic as a way to treat pain in the back and neck, the truth is that this form of treatment has many more widespread uses. In fact, a large study showed that one in five people who sought treatment from a chiropractor had headache as their main health concern. If you’re considering trying chiropractic treatment for your migraines, you’re certainly not alone!

Here at Chester Chiropractic Center, we offer a variety of treatment methods that can help those with migraine, including spinal manipulation, muscle stimulation, and massage therapy. Dr. Barnes is committed to her patients, and only offers those treatment methods that are scientifically validated. She stays up to date on the latest research, so she can ensure that her patients receive the best possible care.

If you’re among the millions of Americans suffering with chronic migraine, and you’re looking for an effective, drug-free treatment method, we invite you to give chiropractic a try. With few if any side effects, chiropractic can be a great option for many migraine patients. If you’d like to learn more about what chiropractic treatment for migraine involves, or if you’d like to try it for yourself, please contact our office to book an appointment.