Targeted chiropractic care can treat migraine headaches. The root cause of many headaches involves neck or spine misalignment, which can be addressed by precise chiropractic adjustments.

Migraines affect at least 39 million people in the United States alone. It is a needless epidemic when many of these migraine sufferers could see a chiropractor and greatly improve their quality of life.

Looking for migraine relief? Dr. Ty Cazoli is the best chiropractor in Denver, Colorado for treating migraines and chronic pain. Schedule your appointment today by filling out this contact form or calling 303-955-8270.

How Spinal Adjustments Impact Headaches

Adjustments by an upper cervical chiropractor can positively impact most headaches by relieving pressure on pinched nerves and promoting a healthy nervous system. Studies indicate that spinal manipulative therapy can reduce duration and severity of migraine headaches.

Read more: Migraine Headache vs. Non-Migraine Headache

Some people have major spinal misalignment. Most people have a little misalignment — enough to cause minor but annoying health problems. Spinal misalignment can cause headaches, migraines, fatigue, chronic inflammation, and many other health issues.

Spinal adjustments help correct misalignment, stopping inflammation and allowing the nervous system to work properly.

Can being out of alignment cause migraines? Yes, your spine being out of alignment can cause migraines. Not all spinal misalignment leads to migraine headaches, and not all migraines are caused by spinal problems. But a lot of migraines do result from spinal misalignment.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines

What are the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment for migraines? The evidence-based benefits of a chiropractic manual therapy for migraines include:

  • Relieves chronic migraine pain
  • Decreases duration of migraine
  • Reduces inflammation, which can lead to all sorts of health problems
  • Relieves muscle tension and musculoskeletal pain
  • Improves breathing, which is good for overall well-being
  • Increase blood flow for stress relief and muscular oxygen supply
  • Promotes healthy nervous system, strengthening muscles, including in the neck

Possible Risks of Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines

Chiropractic care is a safe method of treatment, but risks and side effects are possible. Most side effects occur within the first few hours following spinal adjustment, as a result of muscles and vertebrae settling into their correct position.

Clinical trials reveal a lot more adverse effects from prescription and over-the-counter drugs than chiropractic treatment of migraine headaches. In fact, chiropractic care reduces your need for dangerous medications.

Can kids get chiropractic care for headache pain?

Yes, kids can get chiropractic care. Highly-qualified chiropractors are prepared to provide pain-free, gentle chiropractic adjustments to teens, children, even babies. Almost a million children in America deal with various types of migraines. They need treatment, too.

The alternative is anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals that expose them to man-made chemicals and long-term adverse side effects. (There’s a reason that the US government has recently recommended pregnant women should not take ibuprofen.)

Factors That May Determine Treatment

Chiropractors generally formulate treatment plans on an individual basis. Everyone’s situation is unique, and there are multiple factors that determine your treatment plan, including your medical history, your migraine triggers, and the type of migraine you’re suffering from.

What is the best type of chiropractic care for migraines? Upper cervical chiropractic is the best type of chiropractic care for migraines. “Upper cervical” refers to the top two vertebrae of the upper spine — the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2) — in the neck area. Adjustments of your neck’s vertebrae are better than many medications at reducing migraine pain and frequency.

Type of Migraine

Depending on the type of migraine you’re dealing with, chiropractic may or may not be the right treatment choice for you.

A lot of migraine patients experience spinal misalignment, but some do not. If you have migraines because of a reason besides spinal issues, a chiropractor may recommend alternate treatments for migraines. (Chiropractic care may still benefit you besides migraine pain.)

Migraine Triggers

If you have certain migraine triggers besides posture, injury, motion, etc., talk to your chiropractor or healthcare provider about what is actually triggering your migraines and how to avoid those triggers.

In certain cases, chiropractic is not necessary for migraine treatment if dietary or lifestyle changes are all that is required. (Of course, chiropractic care is good not just for migraines, but also for your overall health.)

Personal Medical History

Depending on your personal medical history, your chiropractor may adjust treatment.

For example, if you have nutritional deficiencies, they may recommend supplements to complement chiropractic therapy. If you have severe musculoskeletal disorders, your chiropractor will adjust you differently. If you deal with medical anxiety, they will do everything to make you comfortable.

Complementary Therapies

Conventional doctors and researchers would classify chiropractic care as complementary therapy. (Perhaps if the drugs they prescribed actually worked, chiropractors would be offended.)

Other complementary therapies for migraine relief include:

  • Stress management
  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Trigger point therapy

Trigger point therapy

Trigger point therapy is a manual soft tissue therapy that releases muscle tension through sustained pressure, posture correction, electrical stimulation, dry needling, and muscular mobilization.

Trigger point therapy “may reduce frequency, intensity, and duration of attacks” of migraines and other types of headaches. However, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, promotes holistic health through physical examination, physical intervention, patient education, and rehabilitation. This therapy helps your body function better, including improved range of motion and ability to move with less pain.

Physical therapy is a common treatment method for migraines and tension headaches, but more studies are needed to verify its benefit for migraine sufferers.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is where a qualified massage therapist rubs skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments in a precise way meant to relieve physical and mental tension.

Patients report that symptoms of migraines decrease after massage therapy. Whether this significant improvement is due to manual muscular manipulation, stress reduction, or a placebo effect needs to be explored in future studies.


Acupuncture describes the safe insertion of thin needles through the skin at precise points. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that acupuncture re-balances the flow of energy (chi) in your body.

Some studies have found acupuncture to be superior to pharmaceuticals at reducing migraine pain, severity, duration, and frequency.

Stress management

Stress can cause many health problems, including headaches, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental health disorders. Learning to manage chronic stress may prevent various diseases, such as migraines.

Ways to manage stress include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Meditation, mindfulness
  • Consistent sleep schedule
  • High-quality sleep
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga
  • Prayer
  • Talk therapy


What causes migraine headaches?

The most common causes of migraine headaches include:

  • Spinal misalignment
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Certain dietary triggers
  • Strong smells
  • Dehydration
  • Stressful situations
  • Low-quality sleep
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weather changes

What is the best treatment for migraines?

The best treatment for migraines depends on the root cause of your migraine headache. The most effective treatments include:

  • Chiropractic care (spinal or neck adjustment)
  • Prescription medication
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Avoiding known migraine headache triggers
  • Applying a hot or cold compress

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is an educated and qualified healthcare professional who specializes in neuromuscular and spinal disorders.

Chiropractic care can help with migraine attacks, cervicogenic headaches, neck pain, back pain, concussion recovery, osteoarthritis, athletic or automobile injury, vertigo, brain fog, and so much more.

How often should I get chiropractic care?

Recovery from an injury or severe disorder may require 2-3 chiropractic sessions a week for a short time. Maintaining general wellness may require 6-24 visits per year.

Talk with your chiropractor about individualizing a treatment plan that caters to your unique situation.

We’re Here to Help

Most conventional migraine treatments involve a one-size-fits-all approach and pharmaceuticals that may cause a host of side effects. At Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic, we make an individualized plan to address the root cause of your migraines.

Schedule your appointment with Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic today! We reserve Fridays for traveling patients.

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