Headaches: The Spinal Connection

The root of many headaches sufferers’ pain lies not in their head but in the spine of their neck. Specifically, scientific studies indicate that a common spinal condition, called vertebral subluxation, is the hidden cause of many patients’ pain.  The good news is that chiropractic care safely and effectively corrects this disorder - and the pain associated with it!

You may ask what vertebral subluxation is…

A vertebral subluxation is an area in the spine where movement is restricted or bones are out of alignment.  In patients with headaches, vertebral subluxations are often identified in the spine of the neck, also called cervical spine.  These are frequently associated with a straightening or reversal of the neck natural curve ( “ texting neck”).

Vertebral subluxation are triggered by a myriad of elements such as poor posture, inadequate exercise and emotional stress.

Why does vertebral subluxation cause headaches?

The spinal column consists of a series of vertebrae stacked one on top of the other.  The vertebrae are separated by gel- like intervertebral discs, which absorb shock and provide cushioning.  Tendons and muscles connect the vertebrae of the spine with the muscles of the back, neck and head. Through the center of the spinal column runs the spinal cord, a primary component of the central nervous system that joins the brain at the brain stem (around nose-level).  Nerves extend out from the spinal cord between vertebrae - transmitting information to and from structures throughout the body and the brain. Imbalance of the upper back and neck leads to a common type of cervicogenic headache, which means coming from the neck. This may also be the origin of a migraine headache.


Chiropractic is an effective therapy for migraine headache, according to a paper presented at the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Fifth Biennial Congress in Auckland, New Zealand.  Investigators evaluated 122 patients with migraine headache; 81 participants completed two months of chiropractic care, and the remaining subjects served as controls. According to the report, 22 percent of chiropractic patients enjoyed remission of their migraines. Nearly 50 percent experienced significant reductions in the intensity of each episode.

According to Chiropractic Biophysics, “The late Alf Breig MD, PhD, ( a leading neurosurgeon in his time) demonstrated that reductions in the neck curve can stretch the cervical spinal cord and brainstem by as much as 4.2 cm (1.68 in) and that this stretch is transmitted all the way down to the nerves in the lower back region. Obviously over time, this stretch on the nerve tissue can put the body in a state of dis-ease and lead to a number of altered health consequences.”  One of the the health consequences being headaches.

How Chiropractic care eliminates triggers of headaches…

Chiropractic care eliminates the source of head pain by correcting vertebral subluxations by gentle force to the spine. I would suggest frequent checkups depending on lifestyle, stress level, exercise regime and work environment.

So, ask your doctor of chiropractic what checkup schedule is right for you. If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, don’t delay - schedule an appointment before the onset of pain. Contact us at 479-636-5322 and website https://www.abundantperformance.com/.