The Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Cervicogenic Headaches

In this study, researchers set out to determine the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches (headaches caused by disorders within the cervical spine). 53 patients were placed into one of two groups which received either,

  1. chiropractic spinal manipulation 2X/week for 3 weeks, or,
  2. deep friction massage and low-level laser treatments in the upper back and neck region 2X/week for 3 weeks.

After the 6 weeks researchers found that those receiving the chiropractic spinal manipulation:

  1. decreased their use of analgesics by 36%, compared with 0% in the no-spinal manipulation group
  2. decreased their number of hours they experienced headaches during the day by 69%, compared with 37% in the no-spinal manipulation group
  3. decreased their headache intensity per episode by 36%, compared with 17% in the no-spinal manipulation group

Nilsson, DC, MD et al. JMPT 1997;20(5): 326-33O.