Doctorate of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 1977 from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.
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Chiropractic Treatment & Management of Headaches
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While chiropractors are primary health care practitioners, it is incumbent to diagnose or at least differentiate the types of headaches and often this requires working together with medical physicians, specialists and advanced imaging techniques.
 
Certainly there is agreement that the cervical spine (neck) is part of, and sometimes completely the cause of many headaches (“cervicogenic” headaches).
 
Research
Hack et al in the journal Spine 1995;20(3):2482 presented evidence of connective tissues between the posterior neck muscles and the pain-sensitive dura (myodural bridges) in the upper neck that gave a strong anatomical basis for cervicogenic headaches (neck nerves to head). When such is experienced from the back of the neck to above or behind the eyes, this is also termed “greater occipital-trigeminal syndrome.”
 
Boline et al in JMPT 1995:18;148 reported research that chiropractic therapy was superior to Amitriptyline medication for reducing severity and frequency of headaches.
 
In 2001 the respected Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Centre summarized research to that time concluding that chiropractic manipulative therapy for headaches had two advantages over medication, namely it targeted the source of pain (neck) and was safer…. “chiropractic manipulative therapy is effective with cervicogenic headache.”
 
In 2002 Jull et al published in the journal Spine 27(17):1835 research on 200 patients diagnosed with cervicogenic headaches and found the group receiving chiropractic manipulative therapy of the neck had “significant reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches” and which benefits were “still evident at 12 months follow-up.”
 
Biondi in the journal Headache 2005;Vo.45;Iss.6 concluded that “chiropractic management is more effective in treatment of tension-type headaches and is “most effective for patients with a high frequency of headaches.”
 
Haas et al in the 2007 World Federation of Chiropractic Congress studied 80 patients with cervicogenic headaches and concluded that chiropractic management was more effective than a control group therapy.
 
In 2010 Haas and Spegman published research in Spine 2010;10:117 which determined that of 80 patients (274 were excluded) with cervicogenic headaches (divided into 4 groups), the group receiving chiropractic therapy twice weekly for 8 weeks had 50% fewer headaches and used 33% less medication. Further research was proposed to study if additional chiropractic management would yield even less headaches ratings.
 
In 2010 Brontfort et al in Chiropractic and Osteopathy 2010;18:3 reviewed randomized controlled trials in the U.K and U.S. and concluded that chiropractic manipulative therapy is effective for cervicogenic and migraine headaches.
 
Many researchers have concluded that the vast majority of headaches arise from sensory input from the neck facet joints and associated nerve roots…
eg. Sterner in Journal of Spinal Disorders 2001; Barnsley et al in Pain 1994;58; Kidd in Headache 1993; Wallis in Spine 1993 and many more.
 
Chiropractors also advise headache patients about other possible contributing factors such as food triggers, behavioural issues (sleep irregularities, eating exercise, etc), environmental stimuli, activity factors, lifestyle, some of which require interdisciplinary collaboration.
 
How can you determine if your headaches could be from your neck?..... if you have pain localized to the neck and back of the head, aggravated or precipitated by special neck movements or sustained neck posture, resistance to or limitation of passive neck movements, abnormal tenderness of neck muscles, if motion xray study reveals limitations in neck flexion and/or extension.
 
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