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Kids with Migraine: How Chiropractic Can Help

Headaches are common in children, but their treatment presents a challenge for doctors. The medical approach to treating children with headaches involves both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. To add to the evidence of the safety and effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy, a team of researchers recently published a case report of chiropractic care for a child with migraines.

The case study involved an 11-year-old boy who had suffered from recurrent headaches for the past four years. The patient had previously been diagnosed with “migraine-type headaches.” Prescribed medications provided only minor, temporary relief from the patient's mild to moderate headaches, occurring two to three times per month.

The patient underwent five sessions of chiropractic care over four weeks. Each treatment involved high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts to sites of spinal segmental dysfunction. Nine months following treatment, the patient reported experiencing only a “couple of mild headaches but no migraine-type headaches.”

The researchers described this successful chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with migraine-type headaches, but cautioned against generalizing for all pediatric migraines. They encourage greater reporting of case studies to build the foundation for further research investigating the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments for the treatment of pediatric headaches.


Alacantara J and Pankonin K. Chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with migraine-type headaches: a case report and selective review of the literature. Explore 2010; 6(1): doi:10.1016/j.explore.2009.10.005.

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