The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics & Duke Evidence Report published a study stating that cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache. What the results of the study showed were that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. Four weeks after cessation of treatment, the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.
Tension headaches are associated with both trigger points and joint dysfunction originating from the upper cervical spine.
Specifically the areas that need to be addressed are the upper cervical spine and the occiput. Specific muscle work needs to be performed at the base of the skull focusing not only on the posterior muscles but also the lateral and anterior cervical muscles. Posturally, most people sit in front of a computer for 6-7 hours per day. During this time shoulders are slumped forward and heads tend to be anterior to the position of the body. This allows your trapezius, levator, and SCM to be in an improper position. After a certain amount of time this creates what we call a micro-trauma because you sit in an improper posture for a certain amount of time.
If you are having headaches it is important to get chiropractic care. Adjusting will change the length of the muscle.
It turns down what are called the spindle cells in the muscle. It is also important to have focused muscle work by your chiropractor. In our office we perform scar tissue work on muscles that have been damaged by either micro-trauma or major trauma like a car accident. We find that it reduces the chronic nature of the headaches.