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Headaches are a symptom experienced by an estimated 45 million Americans and lead to more than 18 million office visits a year in the United States.1,2 Headaches are also the number one cause for Americans to take over-the-counter analgesic medications.2 Headaches can be classified as 1) Migraine Without Aura (Common Migraine), 2) Migraine With Aura (Classic Migraine), 3) Tension Type Headaches (Musculoskelatal), 4) Tension-Migraine (Mixed Headache Disorder), 5) Recurring Headaches of a Nonmusculoskeletal nature and 6) Headaches as a Symptom of Ominous Disease.1 The cause and successful treatment vary greatly for migraine headaches and such headaches are often referred to and treated by a physician.1 When the patient chooses treatment outside of the medical model it is most often a chiropractor who is chosen as the care provider.2
The true nature of headaches and the proper treatment for them has been reported on so widely that a number of treatment techniques have emerged. Nonthrust manipulation is done by Physical Therapists in musculoskelatal type headaches with reported improvement.1 Spinal manipulation under anesthesia is reported as being used as early as the 1930's and 1940's. This was performed and documented mostly by medical and osteopathic physicians and was used with the idea that fibrous adhesions had formed within joint capsule. While the medical and osteopathic professions have abandoned this in favor of pharmacology and surgery, chiropractors have continued the research and continue to find success.3 Other professionals have found psychological treatment to have a positive effect on chronic headaches, in particular by reducing the frequency of the pain.5 The Chiropractic upp...

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...nt With Headache,
The Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. 2000; 8(1):25-28.
2. Alix M, Bates D. A Proposed Etiology of Cervicogenic Headache: The
Neurophysiologic Basis and Anatomic Relationship Between the Dura Mater and the
Rectus Posterior Capitis Minor Muscle, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics. Oct. 1999; 22(8):534-539.
3. Herzog J. Use of Cervical Spine Manipulation Under Anesthesia for Management of
Cervical Disc Herniation, Cervical Radiculopathy, and Associated Cervicogenic
Headache Syndrome. Mar/Apr 1999; 22(3):166-170.
4. Guyton AC. Textbook of Medical Physiology, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders and
Company, 1996; 769-770.
5. Passchier J. Psychological treatment of headache: present and future. Headache
Quarterly, Current Treatment & Research. 2001; 12(2):109-12.

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