Headaches are a real pain. They can derail your day, zap your concentration and make it hard to even think clearly. Being able to think clearly and calmly allows us to make decisions, process emotions, and carry on with our day-to-day lives. Many people have occasional headaches, but frequent headaches that affect your ability to sleep or get on with your day can be disabling. Luckily chiropractic care has been shown to help alleviate the pain of headaches, and even help prevent future ones from happening. Read on to learn how your chiropractor can help you shake off pesky headaches and get back to living your life.

Different types of headaches

Common types of headaches are tension, migraine, and cervicogenic headaches.

Tension-type headaches commonly present as band-like tension around the head, whereas migraine headaches usually result in pain on one side of the head and are commonly accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

With cervicogenic headaches, the neck is the source of the problem but the pain is perceived in one or more areas of the head and/or face. The causes of headaches are not always well understood but a family history of headaches, neck stiffness, and stress are common factors.

How can chiropractors help with headaches?

Chiropractors can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches. Current evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including manual therapy, can be effective in treating cervicogenic and tension headaches.1 Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.1 The treatment options may include:

  1. Manual therapy – such as adjustments or ART. Manual adjustments can help inhibit pain signals at the level of the spinal cord
  2. Soft tissue therapy – this can relieve pain and inflammation, and prevent further injury or aggravation
  3. Low Level Laser Therapy – cold laser therapy helps can inhibit pain signals in nerves, and relieve inflammation that may be contributing to the headache
  4. Rehabilitation – your chiropractor will show you specific rehabilitation exercises to help relive and prevent future headaches
  5. Lifestyle changes and education – your chiropractor will do a full assessment and help you discover which lifestyle factors may be contributing to your headaches
  6. Referral and co-management – at Evolve, our chiropractors work in conjunction with Registered Massage Therapist Nancy Na and Dr. Peter Wood, Dr. TCM and Registered Acupuncturist for complete patient care

It’s important to take headaches seriously. Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches, if you frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting worse. Seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury, or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.

Please note that any advice in this article doesn’t replace personalized medical advice from a professional.

Email us at info@evolvevancouver.ca to book your appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors.


1Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, Marcoux H, Potter B, Ruegg R, Shaw L, Watkin R, White E. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011;34(5):274-89.