Dose-Response of Manipulation for Cervicogenic Headache

The effect of spinal manipulation on neck-related headache outcomes

Nearly 20 percent of the population suffers from chronic headache; it is one of the most common health complaints treated by health care providers. Three types of headaches account for the majority of headaches: migraine, tension and cervicogenic. While doctors of chiropractic have long treated all headache types, it is cervicogenic (also known as neck-related headaches) that has caught the attention of scientists. Characterized by impaired range of motion and tenderness in the neck, cervicogenic headache pain begins in the neck area and moves to the head. No other treatment thus far has been found to be more effective than spinal manipulation for the treatment of cervicogenic headaches.

This is the first full-scale randomized clinical trial to investigate the number of spinal manipulation visits that are required to achieve the best clinical and cost effectiveness outcomes for cervicogenic headache. The study will provide scientific evidence that will inform treatment protocols for clinical practice, third-party payer reimbursement, and schedules of chiropractic care for future research.

We will enroll a total of 256 adults, age 18 and older, who have headaches that are associated with neck pain, neck stiffness or certain neck movements. We will recruit research patients at two sites – Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies and the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon.

Patients 18 years and older are being enrolled at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern.

Project Status: Recruitment complete

Study Name: Dose-Response of Manipulation for Cervicogenic Headache

Principal Investigators: Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD, University of Minnesota and Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, University of Western States

Site Principal Investigator: Craig Schulz, DC, MS, Northwestern Healh Sciences University

Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health – National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH – NCCAM)

Grant number: 1R01AT006330 identifier: NCT01530321