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What most people know about migraines is that 1) the causes are so varied it can be hard to track and 2) when you suffer from them, they can be (and often are) debilitating. While the causes are varied, how can you determine if cervical spine dysfunction may be a contributing factor for your head pain?

Last April (2019) a leading research journal, Headache, published a systematic review showing that spinal manipulation could have a promising effect on headache symptoms, including duration and intensity of migraine pain in those who suffer from migraines. 

While this is something we have seen great results with in our office, the exciting thing about this journal publication is that it broadens the clinical and research insight beyond tension headaches. Up until recently most literature has revolved around tension based head pain. This is exciting because we understand that migraines are a major debilitative condition for 39 million Americans, and oftentimes other interventions fall short. 

Migraine sufferers are often our most successful patient cases, and we see dramatic improvement with 85-90% of these patients within weeks to months. Most of our migraine patients come to us after they have already tried most available treatments and medications, but we don’t have to be your last resort. 

So how do we determine if dysfunction in the neck is a contributing cause of your migraines? 

To start, our office always begins with a complimentary consultation to determine if we are the best fit for your needs. If we aren’t, we will let you know exactly who to go to. We only accept patients who we believe we can make significant strides towards improving their quality of life. Our consultation process helps us screen patients to make sure we will have a high chance of success in helping you reach your goals. 

Some of the things we look for when discussing your migraine symptoms include: 

  • Is there an underlying biochemical issue?
  • Is there a dietary issue?
  • Are hormonal imbalances a contributing factor?
  • Is poor biomechanical movement of the neck at play?

How can you tell if the neck is a culprit?

  • Is there an inability to turn the neck fully side to side?
  • Is there a decrease in ability to differentiate between 2 points on the neck when pressure is applied?
  • Is there pain and tenderness in the neck when touched?
  • Does touching the neck create or recreate the same pattern of head pain?

How is our approach different?

Many offices focus on one thing: the adjustment. We go further because we understand that lasting healing arises from keeping the whole person at the front of everything we do and that patients with the best results receive customized care that includes the adjustment, soft tissue release, rehabilitative exercises, lifestyle modifications, and dietary recommendations. 

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