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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shawn Andrews

Types of Headaches Chiropractic Can Help With

Headaches are something that people don’t realize chiropractic care can help with, and unfortunately, a lot of people just put up with the “normal” headaches. Let’s go over the three main types of headaches that people experience and how chiropractic can help with each one of those.

Tension Headaches

The first and most common type of headaches are tension headaches. A tension headache usually starts back in the back of the neck. The pain can then follow the course of the suboccipital (SO) nerve (pictured below). People may feel pain in the back of the head, along the entire course of the SO nerve, or at specific locations along the nerve course, or a mixture of all three.

With tension headaches, there is often neck pain and/or tightness. This type of headache responds really, really well to chiropractic care. My patients often remark that they wish they had taken action sooner to get relief because chiropractic care is so effective at giving them relief.

Migraine Headaches

The next type of headaches, which is also very common, are migraine headaches. Migraine headaches usually have a pulsatile or throbbing sensation to them, and they are usually one-sided. We have lots of success with migraine headaches as well, but often these are trickier to get under control. There are a lot of things that can trigger a migraine.

Food can be something that triggers migraines. Unfortunately one of the most universally loved foods can cause migraines for some people. The nitrates that are added to bacon and ham can contribute to the incidence of migraines.

Hormonal changes and some medications can also contribute. In our office, we always make sure to take a whole-person approach to patient care, especially when it comes to migraines.

Cluster Headaches

The third major type of headache is cluster headaches. These headaches are rarer. They respond very well to chiropractic care.

A cluster headache is a very severe type of headache. Just look at how the pain was portrayed in the above drawing. Some patients describe the pain as a sharp, searing rod of iron being stabbed through their head. It is an intense pain that has caused some patients to contemplate suicide.

The pain is one-sided, right above and around the eye, and sometimes feels like the pain is shooting through the skull. On that same side, there will be a runny, watery eye and/or nose.

In my experience cluster headaches respond very, very well to chiropractic care. We don’t quite know what causes cluster headaches, but my theory is that it’s a tension headache gone wild, so to speak. So that’s why I think it responds very well to chiropractic care.


If you have headaches of any kind, we can help you. We start with a thorough history and exam so we know exactly what we are dealing with. We always look at the root causes of the headaches and promise to get you the best results as quickly as we can.

If you suffer from headaches, please give us a call at (507)-345-1926.

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