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Can An Upper Cervical Chiropractor Really Solve Your Headache Problems?

Do you often have headaches that make it hard to do your daily tasks? Does the pain interfere with your ability to enjoy things? If this sounds like you, there’s good news. You don’t have to endure constant headaches or migraines. Whether your head hurts because of a neck injury, high blood pressure, a concussion, or something else, upper cervical chiropractic care might help you find relief.

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who can help with different injuries and health issues, such as headaches and migraines. Using specific methods, they focus on the root cause of your headache pain and can often provide fast relief. Chiropractic care is a natural and holistic way of taking care of your health, which may also contribute to your overall well-being.

In upper cervical chiropractic care, the main focus is on adjusting the top two bones in your neck — the C1 and C2 vertebrae, also known as the atlas and axis. These two bones are crucial because they balance your head and have a unique role compared to the other neck bones.

By Sebra | Adobe stock

A slight misalignment in the atlas and axis can cause changes throughout your spine. Since they are part of the cervical spine, made up of 7 neck bones, they also help in ensuring proper blood flow to your brain through tiny bone loops called vertebral foramen.

The atlas, in particular, is super important as it surrounds and protects the brainstem at the point where it connects to the spinal cord. Even a tiny misalignment in the atlas can impact the central nervous system by putting pressure on the brainstem and reducing blood flow.

Illustration of the cervical vertebrae by VectorMine | Adobe stock

Having frequent headaches can be really frustrating. They not only hurt, but they can also affect your daily life and make you not feel like doing anything. When people wake up with a headache, they often take painkillers for temporary relief. However, it’s better to figure out the root cause of chronic migraines.

There are different reasons for headaches, like eye issues or sickness, but your body might also be a factor. Neck pain can cause certain types of headaches, and getting upper cervical chiropractic treatment can be really helpful. These headaches can be as painful as tension headaches, and chiropractic care can manage and prevent both types of headaches.

You might be skeptical about whether an upper cervical chiropractor can truly help with your headaches, but they really can.

What Causes Constant Headaches?

We’ve all experienced headaches at some point — those annoying pains in our heads that can be triggered by stress, loud noises, or even a bit too much to drink. Headaches can range from a minor bother to intense pain that disrupts our daily routines. While occasional headaches are common, dealing with constant or chronic headaches is a different challenge.

To understand the causes of headaches, it helps to know there are two main types: primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches stem from issues within your skull, head, neck, blood vessels, or chemical activity in your brain. Examples include migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.

On the flip side, secondary headaches are symptoms of an underlying condition. The root medical issue triggers pain nerves in your head, leading to headaches. Various conditions can contribute to headaches, including concussions, dental problems, high blood pressure, dehydration, hangovers, ear infections, influenza, certain medications, external pressure, and even strokes.

How Can Upper Cervical Chiropractors Treat Headaches?

Many headaches, especially those linked to neck problems, often come from issues in the neck. When the upper part of your neck is not aligned properly, it can put pressure on nerves and affect blood flow, leading to headaches. Upper cervical chiropractors can help by fixing these misalignments, reducing irritation in nerves, and improving blood flow. This tackles the root causes of headaches, unlike typical treatments that mainly just relieve symptoms.

Dr. Brett examining a patient

Adjusting the Upper Cervical Region

Upper cervical adjustments are a special kind of chiropractic treatment that’s not like the typical back cracking you might think of. Instead of forceful moves, practitioners use gentle techniques to fix misalignments in the upper part of the spine without the need for strong pushes. They personalize these adjustments based on detailed pictures and careful diagnosis of each person’s body and situation. The aim is to make a long-lasting correction to the alignment, which helps in lowering how often and how severe headaches happen.

Going Beyond Simple Changes: A Holistic Way of Treatment

Upper cervical care goes beyond just fixing your spine. Those who provide this care also teach you about how to live a healthy lifestyle. They give advice on things like how to sit properly, use your computer in a way that won’t hurt your back, eat well, and manage stress. The goal is to help you take charge of your health and avoid getting headaches again.

By looking into the root reasons for headaches and taking a holistic approach to health, upper cervical care offers a way to not only ease pain but also promote healing. As we delve into the advantages and success of this specialized care, it’s evident that upper cervical chiropractic plays a crucial and transformative role in dealing with headaches.

What The Research Says

Many people look for ways to get rid of headaches, and one interesting option is upper cervical chiropractic care. Research studies and trials have shown that this type of chiropractic treatment might help people with headaches. The evidence suggests that chiropractic care not only works but also explains how it might make headache symptoms better.

Clinical trials

One important study on using chiropractic care for headaches is the IMPACT Study. This research looked at how combining chiropractic therapy with regular migraine treatments can significantly reduce migraine pain. Essentially, it suggests that getting chiropractic adjustments alongside usual treatments can help manage migraines better.

There’s also a study on kids aged 7–14 that checked if chiropractic spinal manipulation works for recurrent headaches (BioMed Central). The results showed that children who received chiropractic care had fewer headaches and felt better overall compared to those who didn’t. This indicates that chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective for kids dealing with headaches.

What Else Can Upper Cervical Chiropractors Treat?

Many people are surprised to find out that upper cervical chiropractic care can effectively relieve headaches or migraines quickly and efficiently. It’s not just about cracking your back; chiropractors can also treat various medical conditions and offer preventive care to improve your overall fitness and avoid future injuries.

Wondering what else upper cervical chiropractors can help with? Check it out:

  • Lower back pain.
  • Nervous system issues.
  • Neck pain and stiffness.
  • Joint problems and limited mobility.
  • Whiplash.
  • Shoulder pain.
  • Knee pain.
  • Sports-related injuries.
  • Car accident injuries.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a chiropractor or your primary care physician before starting any treatment. In many cases, your doctor can recommend a reputable upper cervical chiropractor if they think you could benefit from this type of care.


While headaches might not seem as serious as a herniated disc or torn muscle, they can still seriously affect your daily life. Headaches or migraines can make it hard to talk to people, do well at work, and enjoy the little things in life. Having constant headaches can even lead to other health issues like anxiety, stress, or depression.

If you’re dealing with constant headaches, don’t just rely on aspirin. Think about seeing a licensed upper cervical chiropractor nearby. These experts know how to deal with various injuries and health problems, including headaches. Through special adjustments, they can ease headache and migraine pain and improve your overall well-being. Just think about how much a clear and pain-free mind could change things for you.


Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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