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Chiropractic treatment is a viable alternative to pharmacological treatment for migraine and intractable headaches, and could be considered if:
• The patient's use of migraine medications is contraindicated.
• The patient has found the medications ineffective.
• The patient would prefer not to use medications.
• The patient is pregnant or breast feeding.
What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is a method of adjusting the bones in your body to improve your nervous system function and allow healing from various ill health problems. Joints can be realigned to relieve pain such as backache, sports injuries and migraine.
Does it Work?
A recent review in the Journal of Headache Pain showed that female migraine sufferers who had been diagnosed by a neurologist had a 50 percent improvement in the severity of their migraines, compared to only a 13 percent improvement for women undergoing physical therapy.
In another study carried out in Australia, the patients were divided into three groups, one group had cervical manipulation done by a chiropractor, the second group had it done by a physical therapist or doctor and the third group had cervical mobilization done by a physical therapist or doctor.
They found that all three groups benefitted from the treatment. Chiropractic adjustment was found to be as effective as physical therapy and treatment by a doctor, despite doctors being doubtful of its use before the trial. Twenty months later, all the patients were followed up and they all showed further improvement.
The review also looked at other forms of alternative therapy such as massage therapy. They concluded that chiropractic treatment, relaxation, massage therapy and physical therapy may be equally as effective as drug treatments for migraine. (1)
Help for Pregnant Migraineurs
Women who suffer chronic migraines may find they go into remission when they get pregnant, or that the migraines ease. This is because pregnancy produces more endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller.
Hormones are also more stable during pregnancy. Women cannot get menstrual related migraines when pregnant.