The Women's Journal

Chiropractic Addresses Headaches

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Hour head is pounding and the thought of doing anything at all merely makes you want to lie down, or the nagging headache across your forehead is making it difficult to do your work. Headaches are a symptom and they have specific diagnostic categories. The most common is primary headache and includes what is known as migraines with or without auras, tension headaches, cluster headaches and medication overuse headaches.

Many patients will manifest warning symptoms called auras before the onset of pain and may include anxiety, fatigue, blurring or bright spots of vision and unilateral peripheral numbness or tingling.

As is most often the case, the key in the diagnosis and, thus the causal factors, exist in asking the right questions. What is the quality of your pain? Is it a throbbing or pounding sharp pain that we would characterize as a vascular type headache? Or is it more of a dull, steady, constant pain that may start at the base of the skull or in the forehead and spread over the entire head, creating a feeling of pressure, like a vise? 

The most common, nonvascular headache is the tension headache. This is usually caused by tightening in the muscles of the face, neck or scalp, usually as a result of poor posture. Many times, this tightening will result in nerve impingement or vascular compromise, resulting in pain and pressure. Relaxation of these muscles can afford great relief for the patient. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is also considered a nonvascular headache, as are sinus infections, inner and middle ear infections and dental infections.

Of interest is the fact that many migraine sufferers also have low levels of serotonin. This connection is the basis behind the use of medications such as Imitrex, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. To date there have been 35+ years of research using serotonin precursors with positive clinical outcomes.

The list of factors that trigger migraine headaches is rather long and includes things such as low serotonin levels, food allergies containing and releasing histamines, alcohol, chemicals in processed foods, withdrawal from caffeine, stress, hormonal changes, exhaustion, weather changes, glare or eyestrain and too little or too much sleep.

And then we must also consider nutrient deficiencies to include essential fatty acids, riboflavin which would impact mitochondrial energy metabolism, and deficiency of magnesium.

The effective treatments may include the use of several botanical therapeutics, acupuncture and dietary changes. However, the most common and easiest to assess first is the cervicogenic type headache. As a chiropractor, that would also be the first avenue to assess by palpatory findings and the use of X-rays. All the other methods would be secondary. The results of chiropractic adjustments yield such rapid results that addressing joint mechanics of the cervical spine makes for a happy patient.

Again, where is the pain, what is the quality of the pain, and when do you notice the pain, can all provide the clues to the appropriate type of treatment for the fastest relief. For more information call 302-994-1010 for fast relief, or visit


Cynthia Crosser is a Doctor of Chiropractic and a Fellow with the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture. She completed two postgraduate programs: Chiropractic Neurology and Physical Rehabilitation. She is currently in the process of certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine.


“Since working with Dr. Crosser my health and well-being has changed dramatically! As a woman in my mid 50s I try to stay somewhat healthy or at least I thought so! Experiencing stubborn weight loss, bloating and poor gut health I was in a slow spiral to poor nutrition and health. Through Dr. Crosser’s guidance, high quality nutritional supplements and her unwavering dedication to her patients I have never felt better! Thank you, Dr. Crosser!! Everyone should have just one hour with you to see how they can make improvements for a healthy lifestyle!” ~ June E.

For more information, contact us at 302-994-1010 or through our website at

Wellness within reach!

Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling