Can Medicine Actually Make Headaches Worse?

Headache, Headaches, Migraines, MigraineAround the world, 46% of people have an active problem with headaches. In the USA, this makes up 10% of people. Headaches are seen more often in women than men. They can be debilitating to those that suffer from them.

Treatment options vary. Some medical doctors may recommend something as simple as changes in eating habits to something as severe as surgery. Almost all doctors will recommend some kind of medication, even though these have not proven to be totally beneficial. This has led to an increase in something called rebound headaches. This occurs when the drugs taken to alleviate headaches may help for a short time but end up producing another headache which is usually more severe in its symptoms.

Even over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), actually list headaches as a side effect. Now some doctors are recommending to stay off of medication for extended periods of time, leaving their patients with little options in coping with headaches.  These patients have begun looking for a natural, long-lasting treatment. Is there any available?

Upper cervical chiropractors have seen much success in treating patients with chronic headache conditions. Our focus is on keeping the central nervous system in balance and functioning at its optimal level. This has to do with a small bone in the upper part of the neck called the C1 or atlas vertebrae. The location of this bone is where the brain and spinal cord connect, forming the central nervous system. If the atlas is misaligned, even by ¼ of a millimeter, pressure can be exerted on the brainstem and headaches can be the end result.

A study performed involving 100 patients who were suffering from headaches reported that each of these had misalignments of the atlas bone. They were treated by an upper cervical chiropractor and within 1 or 2 visits they all had some improvement with some reporting complete remission of their headaches.


  1. Stovner LJ, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarva Z, Lipton R, Scher A, Steiner T, Zwart JA. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalgia 2007;27(3):193-210
  2. Mulcahy L. Migraine studies yield fresh approaches to ward off pain. (accessed 10 July 2015).
  3. Zahn B. Drugs not always the best option for chronic headaches. (accessed 10 June 2015).
  4. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003; AUG (3):1-10

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Johnson Spinal Care and Associates are Apple Valley Upper Cervical Chiropractors trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Our NUCCA Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from post-concussion syndrome in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on our website at

2017-09-19T00:16:22+00:00 May 23rd, 2016|Headaches|Comments Off on Can Medicine Actually Make Headaches Worse?