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Headache: The Management of Pain and Disability

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Headache: The Management of Pain and Disability

The Chiro.Org Blog

We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 5 from RC’s best-selling book:

“Clinical Chiropractic: The Management of
Pain and Disability: Upper Body Complaints”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.

Chapter 5:   HEADACHE


Headache is one of the most common complaints presented in a chiropractic office. It is not unusual for a few adjustments to correct a problem for which the patient has suffered for years and sought relief from a score of allopaths in vain. Nevertheless, headache is not a simple problem. Its origin may be traumatic, inflammatory, neurologic, psychologic, vascular, endocrine, metabolic, neoplastic, degenerative, deficiency, congenital, allergic, autoimmune, or toxic.

     The Value of a Complete History

A thorough case history is mandatory. The cephalgia may be acute, chronic, transient or recurring. It may be primary or secondary. It may be unilateral, bilateral, or shifting. It may be localized or radiate from one area to another. Its course may be steady, intermittent, or throbbing. The initial site may be frontal, orbital, temporal, facial, vertex, or occipital. Its character may be perceived as a pressure, a tight band, an agonizing stabbing pain, or a dull ache. Its onset may be rapid or gradual. Its physiologic origin may be local, systemic, or be the result of noxious reflexes. In addition, its structural origin may be in the head, face, neck, cervical spine, or one or more structures far from the site of pain. Thus, a disorder in almost any function or tissue of the body may be the primary focus or a contributing factor to the complaint.

Review the complete Chapter (including sketches and Tables)
at the
ACAPress website

About the Author:

I was introduced to Chiro.Org in early 1996, where my friend Joe Garolis helped me learn HTML, the "mark-up language" for websites. We have been fortunate that journals like JMPT have given us permission to reproduce some early important articles in Full-Text format. Maintaining the Org website has been, and remains, my favorite hobby.


  1. Dr. Kevin Smith October 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Awesome article. I just attended a continuing education seminar on the diagnosis and treatment of headache (which was done by Dr. Charles Annunziatta). Terrific seminar and it really helped to get me organized with how I approach treating headache. This article is also extremely high value content. I plan on re-reading it numerous times.

  2. Nicolas April 24, 2010 at 4:10 am – da mejor. Guardar va!

  3. Excellent job.

  4. catholic university book store August 17, 2010 at 3:09 am

    hi, really enjoyed this blog post! Shed light on a few things I didn’t understand. Thank you.

  5. seattle chiropractor November 8, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Important information, considering nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches.

  6. Sean J. Lotterer D.C. August 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I agree, a thorough history is very important in handling chronic headache cases. I am motivated to be a better clinician that I may better serve my patients. Thank you for this valuable information.

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