Treatment Philosophy

Treatment Centers Built On Cutting-Edge Research

Because medical research has proven that pain sensitive structures in the neck can produce headache, TMJ & oral-facial pain, the American Headache Institute uses examination and treatment methods for the cervical spine recommended by the Neck Task Force Report (published in the medical journal, SPINE). 


The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders Neck Pain Task Force Committee – comprised of over 50 members, 9 countries, 14 scientific disciplines, 8 universities, 6 years to complete, examined more than 31,000 studies on the cervical spine (the largest review of the evidence on neck pain ever conducted), and produced a  21 chapter, 220-page systematic review, and best evidence synthesis
(Spine 2008;33:4S,S1-S220). Neck Pain Task Force Members President, Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, Ph.D., FRCP (C)

Following The Research, Our Treatment Approach Is…


Manual Therapy


Education & Self-Efficacy

Treatment– Our Focal Points

  • Immediate Relief – The majority of our patients experience significant relief in the first 1-3 visits with over 50% experiencing complete abolishment of all head and facial pain in the first visit.
  • Predictive Relief – Most patients present with symptoms throughout the head and face.  Our unique examination method allows us to predict to you which of your symptoms will be relieved first second, third, and so on.  No other method has this predictive ability.
  • Pain Relief – We have over 200 Pain Relieving Exercise Programs (PREP) to choose from to individually tailor to your cervical problem and bring immediate relief.  They are simple, easy to perform, and effective.
  • Posture Correction – pain provoking postures while sitting, standing, driving, and sleeping will be individually assessed and corrected to maintain relief.
  • Reeducation – Trunk and neck muscles can and will be “retrained” through neuromuscular reeducation to hold the head and neck in stress-relieving positions.
  • Strategies – All programs are enhanced by specific Pain Relieving Strategies designed to supplement all programs for maximal pain relief.
  • Independence – The heart of our treatment approach is to empower patients with the life-long knowledge and ability to relieve and prevent their own pain.
  • Documented Results – We use a scientifically based Documentation System to measure and record improvements in symptom reduction and functional gains.
  • Teamwork – Our team will work closely with your primary care physician or dentist to coordinate your care.
  • Cutting-Edge Neck Care – We are committed to using only scientifically proven examination and treatment methods for the cervical spine.  We review the medical research regularly and have an extensive library of support for all that we do.

Treatment can not begin without a thorough history and physical examination of the cervical spine.

Our Examination

  • We look where others do not – the neck.
  • A safe, meticulous examination of the neck reveals pain relieving positions and movements.
  • Invasive testing such as x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or injections, performed by others, are not repeated here.

For more than 3 decades, we have learned the most insightful questions to ask, and the most relevant tests to perform on your first visit.  Our in-depth series of historical questions often exposes the cervical spines’ involvement.  Our highly specific, meticulously designed examination of neck positions and subtle movements is capable of bringing about a surprising decrease or abolishment in head and facial symptoms. The vast majority of new patients experience a significant alteration of their symptoms during the examination with over 40% reporting a complete abolishment.  In as few as 1-3 visits, the role your cervical spine may play is best answered when controlled repositioning of your neck brings about significant changes in your symptoms. 

Our Examination Advantage

As Dr. Nordin states above, there is scientific support for “subjective self-report” by the patient in monitoring symptom response during examination and treatment. We invented an examination process for head and facial symptoms which we call “Centralization Analysis”.  It relies on patient self-report.

Here’s How It Works

If your symptoms are coming from your neck, the American Headache Institute has discovered which symptoms will abolish first, second, third, and so on, starting with zone 10 (mouth).  We  call this “Centralization”.   Once all of your head  and facial symptoms have been identified in the 10 symptom zones below, your cervical treatment program is aimed at reducing  and abolishing  the symptom  which is farthest from your neck. Watching your face and head  symptoms  dissipate  in  a predictive, predetermined,  and  orderly  fashion,  is our unique clinical discovery and our big treatment  advantage.  Together,  we observe your centralizing symptoms which  demonstrates  the  necks’ involvement and reassures us that the treatment is both correct and effective.

centralizations of head smptoms american headache institute

Our Treatment

For decades, physicians and dentists have known the cervical spine can refer pain into the head, jaw, and face.  And until now, there was little known about how to treat such a neck problem.  Focused exclusively on the neck, your treatment program is individually tailored in 4 specific areas: