A recent News article regarding HMO coverage of alternative therapies cites a study that claims chiropractic manipulation is ineffective for treating tension-type headaches. It should be noted that this finding is contrary to other research.
A recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics showed that chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine was as effective as the traditional pharmaceutical treatment (amitriptyline) at relieving chronic tension-type headaches and had longer-lasting effects. The article goes on to propose a number of anatomical relationships between the head and neck, which may account for this finding.
It should be no surprise then that headache is the second-most common reason given for visiting a chiropractor. Currently, a large, government-funded, multicentered study comparing traditional pharmaceutical treatment to chiropractic is being conducted in Canada. When completed, this study should provide the definitive word.
Perhaps a combination of medical and chiropractic care will be the answer for many chronic headache sufferers.