Thursday, April 8, 2010


Most practitioners that deal with the headache sufferer understand the challenge and the devastation headaches can have on a patient’s life.  Chronic headache sufferers are becoming more prevalent as the stressful conditions in our society increase. 

In my twenty years in practice, I have seen many cases ranging from mild tension headache to severe migraine type.  There are many things or a combination of things that can be triggers for headache.  We play detective trying to discover the causes.  These triggers range from food allergies, changes in eye sight, environmental allergies, stress and pathology just to name a few.  However, I would like to discuss one of the most overlooked major triggers, biomechanical dysfunctions of the spine.  I have found that 90% of the patients with headaches of all types have some level in their spinal column that is subluxated (an intersegmental dysfunction of two vertebra causing inflammation).  Due to the relationship of the nervous system and the spinal column, dysfunctions in the normal weight bearing biomechanics can have a profound influence on triggering headaches.  This may be due to the compensatory muscle tension as the body struggles to stay balanced, or from the increased nociceptive input from local inflammation and swelling affecting the tissues at a specific level.

Spinal biomechanical dysfunction is something that should be screened for in all headache patients.  Gonstead chiropractic is a safe and effective way of correcting this aspect of headache triggers.  A careful and thorough evaluation of the spinal biomechanics is essential if these patients are going to be helped conservatively.  Many of the medications currently used are expensive and can have potential side effects.  Chiropractic offers a simple, safe alternative that focuses on the cause and not just the symptoms.

Please give us a call if you would like to know how to screen your patient for this potential problem.

Be Well,
Dr. D. Scott Conklin