Do you really need drugs to stop them?

If you say “Yes, of course.” you have to ask yourself one question; “Will the drugs change the reason you get horrible headaches or just block out the pain?”… Most people know that the more drugs you take the more you will need over time. If your headaches return over and over again the drugs you take will become less and less effective. It makes sense to find out if your horrible headaches can be treated by non-drug means. Using effective treatments so that they become less and less and go away without leaving you with pain or with a drug problem. Here is what we have learned in 37 years of practice.

Where are the horrible headaches really coming from?

After a whiplash or concussion, headaches, including migraine headaches can keep happening for years. Long after your whiplash or your concussion has healed you may still have headache symptoms. Unless, you receive treatment to work on the real cause of your headache pain. What is the real cause of these long term horrible headaches? Head and neck researchers found that the majority of headache pains don’t come from inside your head.  These headaches commonly come from nerves and muscles in your upper neck!  (1) (2) (3)

The reason for this has to do with the neck bones.Improperly moving neck joints can irritate the nerves going to your head.

Neck muscles may also harbor trigger points that send pain to your head while though your neck only feels stiff. That sense of neck stiffness is often the first sign that of a lurking problem. But most people do nothing about simple neck stiffness.

Both joints and muscles in your neck area can cause headache pain. In fact they are the most common cause of headaches. But often the last thing most people think of when seeking treatment. Most people just reach for their pills, until the pills don’t work anymore.

The Better Non-drug Treatment For Horrible Headaches

A study from 2016 showed that chiropractic adjustments of the neck and upper back were more effective than mobilization and exercise in relieving headaches. And, the benefit lasted up to 3 months later when the study checked on how the people were doing.  Another study noted that headaches due to neck and upper back issues do not respond well to medications!

The bottom line is: if your headaches are not responding well to medications, they could be coming from your neck. Want to stop taking drugs for your horrible headaches? Try chiropractic therapy at our office. Our care includes gently freeing up stuck joints and special muscle trigger point work. Then we teach you  stabilization exercises to make sure your headaches go away and hopefully stay away.

With the experience of 37 years in practice we are here to help with gentle, natural and effective care. Call us at 978-535-6155.


(1)  Emil Seletz, MD, Journal of the International College of Surgeons “Craniocervical injuries and the postconcussion syndrome” 1957 and another article in  California Medicine in 1958 “Headache of Extracranial Origin”.

(2)  Irritation of some of the nerves in your upper neck can even cause a migraine type pain pattern of pain over one side of your head with pain behind the eye on the painful side. ((Dr. Seletz article in Journal of the American Medical Association in 1958 titled : Whiplash Injuries: Neurophysiological Basis for Pain and Methods Used for Rehabilitation”).

(3)  Nerves from the 3 upper most nerve roots from your neck send signals up into the area of the brain that is responsible for headaches. (You can learn the anatomy and physiology of how this happens in the article by Nikoli Bogduk, MD, PhD in the 1995 journal Biomedicine and Pharacotherapy, “Anatomy and Physiology of Headache”

Neck Pain Treatments