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Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines are among the most common of health problems. Although seldom dangerous or life threatening, they can be quite debilitating. Patients report a poor quality of life, and often postpone or cancel fun activities with family and friends. Maybe the most serious effect of headaches is that it seriously interferes with the fun, loving atmosphere that could exist in the family. Parents with headaches know it is really hard to be patient and loving with a spouse and children when one's head hurts.

Patients often resort to drugs to treat the symptoms but less than half of them report relief, and most know that the headaches will be back when the drugs wear off. Furthermore, pain medication can have dangerous side effects such as bleeding ulcers and liver damage. It is estimated that "painkillers" kill more than the pain: upward of 20,000 patients die of complications related to such drugs, and more than 100,000 patients sustain significant injury requiring hospitalization each year. Moreover, research showed that abuse of such drugs was the largest single factor in transforming episodic headaches into chronic headaches... how ironic!

What if there was a better way?

The RAND Corporation (Research and Development), an internationally respected non-profit corporation that conducts research and development for the US government and the private sector, performed a full literature review of no less than 507 articles on the efficiency of chiropractic adjustments in the treatment of headaches and migraines.

The reported success rate (cure or marked improvement) of the studies was between 72% and 90%. Most importantly, the best designed study reported that the success rate was maintained two years after treatment. The improvement applied equally to common and classical migraine, and for male and female patients. What an envious record! The same literature review also calculated that adjustments are 1000 times safer that drugs!

How can chiropractic adjustments help headaches so much? When the bones in the spine become slightly misaligned or are not moving properly, they can interfere with the nerves going to the muscles of the neck and head (causing tension headaches), and/or with the blood supply to the head (causing migraines). Chiropractors call this interference a subluxation. When an adjustment is given, normal nerve function is restored, thus relieving the pain. It's that simple!

We have also found home exercises and nutritional recommendations can be very helpful, but they differ depending on each individual case - headaches can be caused by so many different causes.

So the next time you have a headache, don't reach for the pill bottle, call us for a consultation.

Patient Stories

Jose Quiroga

Jose was very skeptical that Chiropractors actually help restore people’s health and wellbeing. In December 2010 he was in a three-car accident, in which both other vehicles hit him. From the accident Jose suffered severe headaches,...

Susanna Waldner

Susanna came to our office complaining of constant daily headaches, heartburn and numbness in her arms but the most unusual of her complaints was that she had completely lost her sense of smell (even to a dirty diaper!) After three cranial...

Julia Kleinsasser

Julia Kleinsasser was referred to our office because she suffered from severe migraines. These migraines were so intense that she even has had to be hospitalized on IV and needed Demerol shots. After receiving cranial adjustments she felt...


Patient Stories

Jose Quiroga

Jose was very skeptical that Chiropractors actually help restore people’s health and wellbeing. In December 2010 he was in a three-car accident, in which both other vehicles hit him. From the accident Jose suffered severe headaches, which were affecting his eyesight, his nose was completely plugged, his back and shoulders were very sore from being jarred in the vehicle. Jose has now been coming to Dr. Pierre for 21 visits and when asked what he thinks about Chiropractors now he raised his hand and says, “I am a believer”. Jose says that his nose is now completely unplugged. He has very few headaches and his neck and back are doing much better. Jose says he will continue to come for regular adjustments to keep his health at an optimal level!

Susanna Waldner

Susanna came to our office complaining of constant daily headaches, heartburn and numbness in her arms but the most unusual of her complaints was that she had completely lost her sense of smell (even to a dirty diaper!) After three cranial adjustments her sense of smell started coming back, as did her taste. Now her sense of smell and taste are completely restored; in fact her sense of smell may even be
a little over sensitive to some odors (yes, some things may be better left un-smelled!) Her headaches are rare now, a “surprise” she calls it if she gets one and it usually only happens if she is really tense or tight. We thank Susanna and her colony for their support in driving 2 hours each direction for her care. We are a little sorry that Susanna now will have to endure some of life’s less than pleasant smells but we are thrilled that her health has improved so much!

Julia Kleinsasser

Julia Kleinsasser was referred to our office because she suffered from severe migraines. These migraines were so intense that she even has had to be hospitalized on IV and needed Demerol shots. After receiving cranial adjustments she felt significant pressure relief in her head. Along with migraines, Julia suffered from sciatic problems causing her to be unable to sleep on either side and major heel pain while walking and even sleeping. With adjustments and orthotics (arch supports) her heel pain was gone and her hip pain was better too. Julia experienced knee pain, which made it difficult for her to work and sleep on her sides. Just a few short adjustments later, no more knee pain. Julia felt as though she had no circulation in her hands. As well she had significant shoulder pain that required her to lay flat on her back with her arms down at her sides in order to sleep. This too is much better with chiropractic care. In general, Julia has significantly improved. Thank you to Julia and her colony for their dedication to her care.


Brad Sawatsky

Bradley Sawatsky came to our office in August 2007 for headaches and migraines that he had been experiencing for years. He would get them a few times a month and were bad enough that he had to come back from school, and he would just lie down in his room with no light or noise, usually for the rest of the day. Not a fun way to spend the day for an 11 year old! His mom was a bit skeptical about chiropractic helping him, but was open-minded enough to give it a try. The headache severity and frequency started decreasing right away after he started to get adjusted, and now he doesn`t get headaches anymore. His mom can`t believe the difference and is so happy with the results. Thank you Mrs. Sawatsky for your trust, and thank you Brad for being so good at keeping your schedule of appointments; you are a great patient!

Barbara Waldner

Barbara Waldner came to our office complaining of sinus problems and headaches/migraines. Her sinuses had been a problem for years with infections almost one after another. She took so many doses of antibiotics that she said her and Zithromax were almost best friends. Her migraine headaches were daily and scored an 8/10 on a pain scale. One time, her migraines were so bad that “the doctor stuck two needles into her neck to freeze her head so she wouldn`t feel the pain”. After spinal and cranial adjustments, she says she`s “a different person all together.” It is amazing when the ears and sinuses are drained how great the head can feel. Barbara thanks all of us at Harper chiropractic for the wonderful treatment. It is our pleasure and thrill to be able to help with such a chronically severe sinus problem. 

Helen Plesko

Helen Plesko came to our office in May 2006 with headaches, dizziness, low energy, back pain, hypertension, and a sore foot. She had decided to do something about all that. At 51, she was worried that her life quality would just continue declining with time, as it did for her mother. Helen followed an intensive chiropractic schedule to make deep changes in the way her nervous system worked. She experienced gradual improvement and now, one year later, she is totally energized! Her headaches are gone as are the back pain and sore foot. In combination with a body cleanse, her blood pressure is now within normal limits. But the most exciting change is probably the amazing increase in energy that she has experienced. She has so much energy that she now goes to the gym on a regular basis and even practices body combat! Wow! Thank you, Helen, and congratulations on your commitment to your health!

Margaret Hofer

Margaret Hofer came to our office because of significant TMJ (jaw) pain that started when she was 10 years old. She wore splints and had severe clenching/grinding problems, so much so that she broke 3 sets of dentures. She also had very bad daily headaches because of the jaw problems. Also, earaches and ringing in the ears were commonplace for her. We started with cranial work to straighten the alignment of her head, face and jaw. Within 3 or 4 cranial adjustments she was already looser and not clenching, eliminating the headaches. By the fourth cranial, she also noticed her eyes improving and by cranial #5 she came to the office with no glasses! Half way through the cranials, she started clenching again, because her dentures no longer fit her face, which had significantly changed shape. Eventually, her dentures were refitted and she no longer clenches or has headaches, earaches, or wears glasses. Also, numerous family members have noticed how much her face has actually changed shape. Thank you Margaret and colony for your dedication to care. They drove 2 hours each direction, often twice weekly for adjustments. What a thrill to see the changes!

Miriam Quiroga

Miriam Quiroga consulted our clinic in July 2006 for back and leg pain, headaches, dizziness, low energy, anxiety and panic attacks, heartburn, difficulty breathing and irritable bowel syndrome. On chiropractic examination, it was clear that Miriam`s nervous system was subject to severe interference from multiple spinal subluxations. Of special interest was the fact that Miriam had been trying to get pregnant for years but could not. After a few short months of chiropractic care, she announced to us that she was not only pregnant with one child but two! Miriam was adjusted regularly during her pregnancy and Scarlett and Xander, two beautiful healthy babies, were born (naturally!- rare for twins) on July 22, 2007. They were checked and adjusted as soon as they came out of the hospital. Miriam couldn`t believe how calm they were and how well they slept after being adjusted. It`s amazing what will happen when the nervous system starts working properly. Additionally, all the other symptoms Miriam complained about at her initial visit disappeared or greatly improved. Thank you Miriam for your trust and confidence!

Caylee Rothe

Caylee Rothe came to our office with a month-long, non-stop severe headache/migraine. It started in the neck and base of the skull on the left side. She literally had a walnut sized knot in the muscles on the left base of her skull and an almond sized knot on the right side.We started adjusting Caylee and she felt horrible after the first adjustment. 

However, she noticed that the left occipital muscle knot was already almost gone. Although the knot came back within a few hours, the fact that it had disappeared so quickly gave her hope, so she stuck with us and relief came several adjustments later. Caylee also had a stomach "flare-up" while under care. With adjustments and some nutritional recommendations, her stomach is much better.

Thank you, Caylee, for your trust. We are thrilled that you are doing so well.

Rachel Hofer

Rachel Hofer was referred to our office by her sister-in-law (who had cranial adjustments and found relief from migraines). Rachel had migraines since she was 9 years old. Even as a little girl, she took aspirin constantly. Her migraines were always around/behind her right eye. She would avoid going out because crowds would just increase the tension and pain in her head. We began adjustments and cranial work in March 2005. She stopped having daily migraines after the first cranial adjustment. She had twins in October and suffered severe post-partum depression and had two migraines in that time. The second migraine disappeared after another cranial adjustment and she has had no migraines since. She feels as though she has a new life. She could never imagine before what it could be like to live without pain. She has five children at home, all under the age of 7, including infant twins. She is certainly very busy! 

She is not sure how she could have coped if she was still having migraines. Rachel`s son, Jayden also had bad frontal headaches for 3 years. Doctors checked everything including his eyes, and were unable to find anything wrong. We started doing cranial work on Jayden and he has not had a headache since. Playing on the computer previously would most certainly bring on a headache, but now he can play on the computer after school without resulting in a headache. 

Thank you to Rachel and her colony for their dedication to their chiropractic care. It is a 1½ hour drive each way for Rachel to come to our office, but Rachel made her appointments without fail! We are overjoyed to make such a change in people`s lives.

Martha Kleinsasser

Don`t give up hope for migraine headaches!
Living with migraine pain for most of my life, I would wake up with searing pain on one side of my head, and then it would work its way down and around the neck. I tried pain relievers but I was nauseated with most headaches and was unable to keep anything down. I was very sensitive; anything seemed to trigger a headache: excitement, fear, food, light, and fragrances. It was very intense; the headache would last all day and for several days, causing needless suffering. But I never gave up hope!

At the age of 50, I learned about cranial treatments at the Harper Chiropractic Clinic. At my first visit in August, I was assessed, and at my next visit I received cranial treatment. I had cranial treatments for 18 weeks, one each week. I did find that the first five treatments were affecting me; I had some discomfort for a day, but it got better, and then with every treatment that followed I was getting better. I still do some follow-ups, and I am so happy! I would advise anyone who suffers from such headaches to take the time to visit Dr. Liana Harper. It`s well worth it!
Martha J. Kleinsasser

John Waldner

John had a very significant head injury when he was bucked off a horse 7 years prior (~1995) and was unconscious for 20 minutes. Since then he had extremely bad migraines and he was popping pills like candy. Adjustments from the chiropractor near his home would give him some relief for maybe one day. His life and job were very affected by the headaches; he even had to turn down a job because he could not do it due to his head. John started getting cranial work and already in 3 cranial adjustments he felt “definitely better”. By 8 cranial adjustments he said, “We can quit now it’s unbelievable how I’m doing so good!” Things would still bring on his headaches but they were way less severe. By 12 cranial adjustments John said, “I’ve never felt better”.

Now 4 years later John comes in for just a spinal “tune-up” occasionally, and he still says, “I’ve never been better”. Thanks to his dedication to Chiropractic and our office as he drove 2 hours each direction once per week for care for him and his daughter. Incidentally he’s driving it once again as his son had a bad fall and head injury and is now getting cranial care too. Thank you John and Dorothy for your trust and confidence in chiropractic and in us!

Nella J. Hofer (Plainview Colony)

I initially came to see Dr. Liana Harper for severe headaches. I would get up every morning with headaches that were often unbearable. I could not even sleep during the night because I was so restless. At times I even got nauseated from them. I had got to the point that I had to do something about it. I had been to so many chiropractors that I didn't believe anyone would or could help me. Iwas scared of anybody working on my neck. Dr. Liana took x-rays and showed me how my neck was "way out of whack". She started giving me spinal and cranial adjustments. These drained my sinuses and helped me sleep at night. I feel more happy and alive now; my life has changed dramatically since my headaches are cured.

I went on seeing Dr. Liana for quite a bit and she has also helped me cure my earaches and ear infections. I have had trouble with my ears ever since I was born. I always banged my head against the wall to try and release the pressure in my ears. I had been to so many medical doctors, not to mention all the antibiotics that I took. I even had my tonsils taken out in order to help my ears. Yet, nothing seemed to help. Anything that I read about clearing up earaches or ear infections, I tried, hoping maybe it would work. After 13 treatments, for all of this, I'm like new. With no more ear infections and earaches, this is truly a miracle.

I recommend to anyone with any of these conditions to go and give chiropractic a try. It can change your life as much as it did for mine.

Tamie Bene

Tamie's story cannot be told on one page. Following a botched surgery on a knee almost 20 years ago, Tamie ended up having a cascade of medical problems and over 25 more surgeries to this date, including the amputation of two limbs and injury to her spinal cord. When she presented to our office, she had massive full body muscle spasms with severe shaking. Incredible headaches were present 24/7 and she had severe pain in multiple areas of her body. Chiropractic care not only significantly decreased pain and headaches, but Tamie states that it has given her more freedom by being able to do more things and decrease her pain medications. But what really makes her special and why we chose her to be patient-of-the-month is her incredible will to live and her amazing personality despite all her problems. She is an inspiration to us all.