Spinal Health Week

Spinal Health Week


22-28 May 2023

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Headaches Holding You Back?

Spinal Health Week (22 – 28 May 2023) is an initiative of the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA). It is Australia’s longest-running national health awareness campaign dedicated to improving the spinal health of Australians of all ages.

Annually, Spinal Health Week focusses on a specific spinal health issue while promoting the importance of maintaining good spinal health to improve overall wellbeing. In 2023, the campaign focusses on the causes of headaches and the negative effects headaches are having on families, workers and the Australian economy.

With more than 7 million Australians suffering from debilitating tension headaches, and more than 4.9 million suffering chronic migraine1, the economic impact to Australia exceeds $35.7 billion annually2.

During national Spinal Health Week 2023, the ACA is tackling spine related headaches head on by increasing awareness of the painful condition and improving spinal health through effective, low risk3, drug-free solutions that limit the impact headaches have on the quality of life of over 46% of Australians.

If you or someone you know is among the 11.9 million Australians suffering from headaches or migraines and you’re tired of headaches holding you back, consult an ACA chiropractor now and take back control of your life!

Register your support for Spinal Health Week today.

For a list of references, click here.


22 May 2023

New data shows headaches hit 79% of Australian households hard costing the Australian economy over $35.7 billion annually – with stress the biggest trigger.

Today, the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) launched Spinal Health Week (22 – 28 May 2023) with the release of a new survey, ‘The Impact of Headaches in Australia’ revealing the true impact of headaches on the lives of 65% of Australians that costs the Australian economy over $35.7 billion annually.

Spinal Health Week is Australia’s longest-running national campaign (over 25 years) dedicated to improving the spinal health and wellbeing of all Australians. In 2023, the campaign’s focus is on headaches and what Australians can do to minimise the acute impact headaches have on families, workers and the economy.

More Australians suffer from migraine or tension headaches than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined with the survey revealing the most common headache triggers being stress (at home, work and school) and spinal health conditions.

According to the independent survey commissioned by the ACA, ‘The Impact of Headaches in Australia’, stress is the leading headache trigger for 70% of Australian headache sufferers while 96% of ACA accredited chiropractors surveyed observed stress as the most prevalent headache trigger followed by neck pain.

With more than 7 million Australians suffering tension headaches and 4.9 million suffering chronic migraines, headaches are holding Australians back from living their best life by restricting social activity, concentration and productivity at home and work, resulting in a diminished quality of life for many sufferers.

Dr David Cahill, Chiropractor and President of the ACA said, “The Impact of Headaches in Australia survey, shows the disturbing consequences of headaches in the majority (79%) of Australian households.”

The national survey of more than 1000 participants showed 88% of households aged 18-40 years suffer from headaches, 84% of headache sufferers are working-age Australians (18-60 year-olds), while the highest incidences of headaches nationally was in the 31-40 age bracket.

“Alarmingly, Australian headache sufferers cited stress as the leading cause (70%) of headaches, 59% said poor sleep was a contributing factor while 52% reported neck pain as triggers for headache,” said Dr Cahill.

The survey also shows that more Australian women suffer headaches (74%) than men at 54%. Significantly, 59% of female headache sufferers experienced headaches every week. Also more than 71% of headache sufferers reported experiencing spine-related pain.

“Migraine and tension headaches are the most common headache disorders. However, there are many types of headaches and many triggers that cause them. While some may be just a mild inconvenience, others can be severe, chronic and have a debilitating effect on the daily life of sufferers,” Dr Cahill said.

“Headaches relating to spinal health conditions can be cervicogenic (neck related) while tension headaches and migraines can be triggered by stress, neck and spinal problems,” said Dr Cahill.

“While the annual cost of headaches to the Australian economy is in the billions, ACA’s survey has exposed the true cost to headache sufferers as immeasurable when headaches and migraines have a dramatic and debilitating impact on every aspect of their lives,” Dr Cahill said.

“The burden of headaches can rob sufferers of sleep, essential relaxation, social activities, precious time with children, family and friends, and can greatly restrict productivity at home, work and school,” he said.

Of all headache sufferers, 74% said they experienced difficulty concentrating, 70% said they became more irritable, 65% said they lost sleep due to headaches, 59% said they experienced mental exhaustion, 47% experienced physical exhaustion, 41% said headaches impacted their ability to work, and 37% said headaches impacted their ability to perform daily activities.
Of the 514 female respondents, 74% said they suffered headaches, 18% reported their children suffered headaches and 23% said their partner also suffered from headaches.
40% of women said headaches impacted their ability to perform daily activities. 24% reported struggling with depression or anxiety as a consequence of headaches. 23% said headaches impacted their social life. 15% said headaches impacted their ability to engage and play with their children while over 14% said suffering headaches impacted their relationships with family and friends.

The fact that women are more affected by headaches according to the survey was verified in an internal ACA chiropractor survey where 95% reported female patients are the most afflicted by headaches and 62% of chiropractors said many headache patients also present with other spinal health conditions.

Chiropractic healthcare may relieve headaches and migraines in many cases, and may also be able to effectively treat the cause to minimise headache re-occurrence and other spinal health problems which, according to the ACA chiropractor’s survey, 66% of chiropractors saw an increase in patients presenting with headaches during the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased stress and neck pain induced by poorly set up workspaces at home.

Of those respondents in the independent survey that said they’d consulted a chiropractor for headaches, 89% reported headache relief with 81% also reporting gaining additional spinal health benefits.

Following chiropractic treatment, 86% of female patients reported relief from headaches. 42% reported their headaches either significantly improved or were totally resolved, and 81% reported gaining additional spinal health benefits including relief from back and neck pain, improvements in mood, sleep, flexibility and energy resulting in improved overall quality of life.

“However, according to the survey, Australians appear to consider headaches to be a ‘normal part of everyday life’ and only treat the symptoms with over the counter medications rather than seek professional, drug-free healthcare to identify and treat the cause which can often be spine-related,” Dr Cahill said.

“What we found troubling is that over 50% of headache sufferers only treated the symptoms by popping a pill rather than consulting a chiropractor to relieve headaches and limit re-occurrence by treating the cause rather than masking an often treatable spinal health condition,” he said.

While medication has a role to play in managing some headaches, all medication should be considered in light of potential side effects that is not without risk, including the commonly used painkiller, paracetamol.

With the recent decision of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to reduce the maximum size of paracetamol product packs due to the marked increase of paracetamol poisoning cases and toxic liver diseases caused by paracetamol overdose; consulting a chiropractor for drug-free treatment of headaches is a far healthier option and the leading treatment of choice among many headache sufferers.

ACA chiropractors are Australia’s leaders in providing proven relaxation methods and drug-free holistic healthcare that treats the underlying causes of headaches and not just the symptoms.

People experiencing headaches can download ACA’s free Headache Fact Sheet from consultachiro.org.au and for drug-free pain relief, headache sufferers should consult an ACA accredited chiropractor who can provide quality chiropractic healthcare encompassing stress management, good posture, regular exercise, rest and a healthy diet to promote overall health and wellbeing.

During national Spinal Health Week 2023, the ACA is tackling spine related headaches ‘head on’ by increasing awareness of the painful condition and improving spinal health through effective, non-invasive, drug-free treatments to limit the impact of headaches on the quality of life of over 13 million Australians.

– ENDS –
spinalhealthweek.org.au | consultachiro.org.au
#SpinalHealthWeek #ConsultAChiro #Headache #HeadacheConsultAChiro #ChiropracticHealthcare

For interviews, images and vision for National Spinal Health Week, contact: Insight Communications: 02 9518 4744
Clare Collins M: 0414 821 957 E: [email protected]
Alice Collins M: 0414 686 091 E: [email protected]

MEDIA CENTRE: Download high resolution images and footage click here: bit.ly/SHW-23

Supporters Registration Page

For over 25 years Spinal Health Week (22 – 28 May 2023) has been the annual national health awareness campaign aimed at improving the spinal health of Australians of all ages.

With more than 7 million Australians suffering from debilitating tension headaches, and more than 4.9 million suffering chronic migraine and the economic impact to Australia exceeding $35.7 billion annually, our 2023 focus is on headaches.

During national Spinal Health Week 2023, the ACA will tackle spine related headaches head on by increasing awareness of the painful condition and improving spinal health through effective drug-free solutions that limit the impact headaches have on the quality of life of over 46% of Australians.

By registering your support and participation today, you will receive a digital Spinal Health Week Tool Kit with various resources to help educate Australians about positive spinal health and well-being.

By working together this Spinal Health Week, we can help Australian’s take back control from the debilitating effects of headaches.

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are the most common cause of a headache in the general population causing mild to moderate pain.4 It is estimated that up to seven million Australians suffer from tension-type headaches.5 Tension headaches can cause mild to moderate pain and are often triggered by stress or fatigue.

A tension headache is often described as a ‘hat band’ tightness around the forehead, temples, and back of the head. When a tension headache is infrequent and relates to specific stress – they are referred to as ‘episodic’. However, when they occur most days over a period of one month or more, they are referred to as ‘chronic’ and require active and ongoing care.

Chronic tension-type headaches may be the result of pressure and fatigue, but can also frequently be attributed to physical problems, psychological issues, or depression. Other triggers may include poor posture, eye strain from excessive screen time, dehydration, caffeine dependence or withdrawal, smoking, and bright and or noisy environments. Chronic tension headaches can be disabling.

Research has shown that manual therapy such as chiropractic care has been effective in the reducing frequency, intensity, and impact of a headache, both at a short-term and long-term follow-up.6

Chiropractic care provides an effective, reliable drug-free treatment for tension headaches and minimises reoccurrence.  ACA chiropractors are Australia’s leaders in chiropractic care – a proven, effective, low risk treatment for headaches.


Find a Chiropractor

Cervicogenic Headache

A cervicogenic (neck related) headache often presents as pain that starts in the neck7 and is caused by disorders affecting the top of the spine, involving the bones, joints, muscles, or ligaments of that area.

Typically, a cervicogenic headache is usually one-sided, beginning in the neck, and then spreading to the region of the eyes, forehead, and temples.8

Most of the time it is accompanied by uncomfortable neck pain, and as a result, your range of neck motion can be limited – but this is not always the case. Cervicogenic headaches are 2-3 times more common in females9 and are most common in people who are 30 to 44 years old.10

During a cervicogenic headache pain is of variable duration and of moderate to severe intensity – but not excruciating or throbbing.11

As it is believed that cervicogenic headaches are caused by disorders affecting the top of the spine, chiropractic care can be an effective form of treatment.

ACA chiropractors are university-trained healthcare professionals that apply precise and gentle spinal adjustments to correct spinal imbalance to successfully treat headaches.


Find a Chiropractor


Migraines often begin as a dull headache, developing into a constant, throbbing, and pulsating pain at the temples, and at the front or back of the head. They are usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise. Despite its impact, migraines are often under-diagnosed and under-treated.12

Studies have shown that migraines affect over 4.9 million Australians.13 71% of migraine sufferers are women, which is thought to be due to hormonal factors.14 It is also estimated that a whopping 7.6% of migraine sufferers experience chronic migraine, which equates to more than 15 migraines per month.15

20% of migraines are ‘Classic’ migraines (with Aura) and 80% are ‘Common’ migraines (without Aura). An Aura is an important symptom that typically precedes the headache itself and includes blurred vision, blind spots, and pins and needles in the face, hands, or arms.

Unfortunately, migraines can begin in childhood, but often appear in a patient in their 20s or 30s. It is relatively uncommon after the age of 40, however different migraine types affect patients in different stages of life. Migraines can be a complex and varied disorder with a spectrum of severity, types and symptoms, which your chiropractor can help identify.

ACA chiropractors can help diagnose migraine and provide drug-free care that’s been shown to decrease migraine duration and severity.


Find a Chiropractor

Headache Fact Sheet

To learn more about headaches and the potential benefits of chiropractic care, download our Headache Fact Sheet.

This comprehensive resource provides valuable insights into the different types of headaches, common triggers, and how chiropractic care can help alleviate pain and improve your quality of life. Don’t let headaches hold you back. Consult a chiro today for drug-free pain relief and take back control of your life.

Download our Headache Fact Sheet to embark on your journey to a pain-free existence.

Download Headache Fact Sheet

Find a Chiro

Chiropractic care is not a one size fits all healthcare option. Chiropractors carefully assess each patient individually and tailor their care accordingly.

By using a variety of non-surgical techniques, such as specific spinal adjustments, manual therapy and low-force intervention, chiropractors offer a drug-free, hands-on approach to spinal healthcare.

Find your local ACA chiropractor


Online Competition

Enter our Spinal Health Week online competition for your chance to win an Apple iPad 256GB Wi-Fi (Space Grey) 9th Gen worth $799.00.

Simply tell us in 50 words or less ‘how chiropractic care has helped alleviate your headache symptoms’.

SHW Online Competition 2023 Winner: Daisy Carter – WA

Colouring Competition

We invite all the young children to participate and showcase their artistic skills by entering this competition for their chance to win either a RukusFx Motion Controlled Music Mixer (for ages 7-12) or a Chalkios Mega Sidewalk Chalk Set (for ages 6 and under).

To enter the competition, all you need to do is download and print the colouring sheet. Then, get creative and colour the sheet in your own unique way.

SHW Colouring Competition 2023 Winners:

(6 and Under)
NSW: Prisha Pandey
ACT: Heidi Cole
VIC: Hazel Surowka
QLD: Spencer Jean Nothdurft
SA: Cynthia Feasey
WA: Sum Ying Lam

(7-12 Years)
NSW: Poorvi Pandey
ACT: –
VIC: Luella Baldock
QLD: Ruhi Kumar
SA: Ella Rose
WA: Ariana Foti


Media Contacts

Media Release:
New data shows headaches hit 79% of Australian households hard costing the Australian economy over $35.7 billion annually – with stress the biggest trigger.

Download Media Release

For interviews with Australian Chiropractors Association representatives and case studies contact:

Media Contact:

Clare Collins | 0414 821 957 | [email protected]

Alice Collins  | 0414 686 091 | [email protected]

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