Migraine Headaches

One of the most common complaints seen in our Boulder chiropractor office is headaches. While there are many causes for headaches, there are 4 major types: Cervicogenic Headaches, Cluster Headaches, Migraine Headaches, and Tension headaches.

The most commonly seen headache in the Boulder area is a tension headaches. Tension headaches are caused by tight muscles in the back of your head that squeeze on nerves leading to headaches. You can read more about tension headaches in another blog by clicking here.

Migraine headaches are recurring head pain that is due to changes in the vascular or nervous supply to the head and brain as well as changes in local muscles and joints of the neck.


There are two types of migraine headaches: a migraine headache with aura and a migraine headache without aura. Migraine with aura makes up about 20% of all migraines while those without aura make up about 80% of all migraine headaches.

A classic migraine headache is accompanied by an aura or prodrome - symptoms of the nervous system that precede a migraine and are usually followed by a headache. Usually the symptoms that precede the headache are visual, such as a light or vision changes, or they cause a change in smell.

Females are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than males. There are typically triggers associated with the onset of the headaches including: hormonal changes around menstrual cycles, stress, allergies, medications, or vasoactive foods. 80% of migraine headache sufferers report nausea while 50% actually have vomiting.

In nearly all headache cases, we find multiple tight muscles in the neck. These muscles can squeeze or impinge the nerves or blood vessels that ascend to the head and brain. This often leads to increased headache and neck pain.

Chiropractic manipulation has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and the intensity of migraine headaches. Often, a person suffering from migraines can benefit from mobilization of the vertebrae of the neck as well as muscle work in the area to reduce tension.

At Boulder Sports Chiropractic, we start with a thorough history and exam to identify the type of headache that you’re suffering from.

We then use a number of muscle techniques designed to release the muscle tension. Active Release Technique (ART) is designed to restore normal glide between the tissues, Graston Technique is designed to help break down scar tissue and break up muscle knots, trigger point dry needling is used to break up persistent muscle knots and help release the deeper muscles that typical massage and muscle techniques cannot reach.

Once we release the muscle, we can get the joints to mobilize and restore normal joint motion.

After that, we give you physical therapy exercises and home stretches to strengthen the appropriate muscles and restore posture. Eliminating future flare ups.

If you’re looking for migraine headache relief in Boulder, schedule an appointment to get out of pain.