50% Reduction in Cervicogenic Headaches with Chiropractic Care

Many people are aware that chiropractic is effective for back pain, but did you also know chiropractic can help headache? In recent years, a growing body of research is demonstrating that chiropractic care is effective for certain types of headaches such as migraine, tension-type, and cervicogenic headache.

Cervicogenic headache is a common condition we treat in our office in Florham Park, NJ. These headaches are characterized as pain at the base of the skull, along with radiating symptoms in the face, neck, and upper back. Cervicogenic headaches get their name from where they begin in the cervical spine, or neck. It's common to experience accompanying symptoms of dizziness, neck pain, and migraine-type symptoms.

Most of our patients with cervicogenic headache in Florham Park developed the condition after a car accident or auto injury such as whiplash. It is believed that cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a type of referred pain that develops after a neck injury affecting the vascular, muscular, neurogenic, osseous, or articular structures of the neck.

Since chiropractors specialize in maintaining spinal health, correcting dysfunction in the cervical spine can significantly reduce headache symptoms for many patients with CGH.

One study published in The Spine Journal compared the effects of chiropractic care to light massage in a group of 80 patients with CGH. Patients were treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude chiropractic adjustments, like what Dr. Rivano offers his patients in Florham Park. The chiropractic patients had substantially better results than the light massage group. On average, patients under the care of chiropractor had a 50% reduction in headache symptoms and headache frequency.

A more recent study analyzed the effects of another common chiropractic treatment, trigger point therapy, for treating cervicogenic headache. Trigger point therapy involves applying precise pressure to trigger points, or hyperirritable spots of pain located in taut bands of skeletal muscles. Patients who received trigger point therapy had an average 71.1% reduction in headache pain, and a 59.5% reduction in neck pain.

Dr. Rivano uses such evidence-based techniques in treating his patients with headache. First, he'll work to diagnose your headache with an extensive physical, neurological, orthopedic, and chiropractic examination. If he suspects your headaches are a sign of a more serious medical condition like a brain injury or cancer, he'll refer you to the appropriate specialist in Florham Park. If he finds that your headache is the result of tissue injury or dysfunctions within the cervical spine, he'll use gentle chiropractic treatments to get you out of pain. Contact our office to learn more about natural, noninvasive techniques for easing cervicogenic headache and migraine in Florham Park, NJ.


Biondi DM. Cervicogenic headache: a review of diagnostic and treatment strategies. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 2005; 10 (4) 4 suppl16S-22S

Bodes-Pardo G, et al. Manual treatment for cervicogenic headache and active trigger point in the sternocleidomastoid muscle: a pilot randomized clinical trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013; doi 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.05.022.

Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.