Chiropractic Management of Migraine Headache
Just as puzzles are completed piece by piece, the evidence for the positive effects of chiropractic care for migraines is slowly filling in and revealing a clearer picture. That picture depicts a more meaningful role for chiropractic care in both the prevention and treatment of migraine headache. A recent Norwegian systematic review of manual therapies for migraine prevention (4 Feb 2011) concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulation and some other conservative interventions appear to be equal to medications (propranolol & topiramate) in their ability to prevent migraines.
Although most of the published research supporting chiropractic treatment of migraine is based upon case reports, there have been other studies including a limited number of randomized clinical trials. A previous 2001 systematic review by Bronfort et. al. concluded that “SMT appears to have a better effect than massage for cervicogenic headache. It also appears that SMT has an effect comparable to commonly used first-line prophylactic prescription medications for tension-type headache and migraine headache. This conclusion rests upon a few trials of adequate methodological quality. Before any firm conclusions can be drawn, further testing should be done in rigorously designed, executed, and analyzed trials with follow-up periods of sufficient length.” Since this review favorable research continues to build. There is a great need for the profession to provide stronger support for research because the stronger studies are the most needed and the most costly.
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