​​​​The American Headache Epidemic: What on Earth are Doctors Missing?

   By Dr. Donald Liebell

   You've taken every drug on the market.  Every medical test comes up negative; but you're still crippled by severe pounding headaches that strike with a vengeance, and squeeze you head like it's in a vice.  You close yourself off from the world, retreating to a dark corner, robbed of precious time with your friends and family when the migraine "monster" rears its ugly head. 

   Every day is filled with uncertainty -- your life

spiraling downhill in misery, as you wonder, will

these headaches ever go away? 

   You swallow pills every day, worried about how

the side effects of the drugs are wreaking havoc

on your lifer, kidneys and stomach.  

   But what do you do?  What choice do you have?

    With estimates of 45 million sufferers in the U.S., chronic headaches are one of the top reasons for visits to the doctor.  Even so, it just doesn't seem like headaches are a major priority for the medical community.  According to noted neurologist, Dr. Joel Saper, "Migraine is a serious and underestimated health problem.  Patients are subjected to unnecessary procedures and preventable consequences."  Migraines are not only disabling, they can be life threatening.    
    The National Migraine Awareness group, MAGNUM, reports that more people died in 2003 from migraine related strokes than were murdered with handguns!  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that frequent migraines are actually associated with an increased likelihood of BRAIN DAMAGE.  It is uncertain at this point whether or not the lesions result in other health problems.  However it's further evidence that migraines should not be taken more seriously as a distinct medical condition. 

   Some doctors think Migraines are genetic.  Others disagree (I do, in most cases).  Either way, most doctors consider Migraines to be a mystery with no cure.  Still others say they are NOT mystery (more on that in a moment).
    The American Academy of Pain Medicine has reported that 150 million workdays per year are lost due to headaches.  Migraines are even common among children, which can lead to dire consequences. According to Dr. Richard Lipton, MD in the Journal of the American Association for the Study of Headache, “A history of migraine may set children up for a lifetime of underachievement.”   The doctor also reported in USA Today,
Virtually all medications to treat headache can become a cause of headache if overused.”The National Headache Foundation calls this the "rebound effect."  Your body actually produces more headaches so you’ll give it more drugs.   

     Yet people keep praying for miracle drugs, and the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry capitalizes on that huge demand. 

   But do any of their drugs ever address the physical causes of headaches? 

   Or do they merely temporarily suppress symptoms and keep you dependent on buying them indefinitely?  

    Why don't most doctors offer preventative, corrective, and drug-free treatments?

    With profits from the drug-based approach to merely maintaining and managing headaches sky-high, it's no wonder little attention is put towards corrective natural treatment. Fortunately there has been breakthrough research which reveals one of the very common physical causes of headaches... along with effective DRUGLESS treatment too. Is it possible that the average doctor is simply unaware of the technologies that are bringing blessed relief to chronic headache sufferers?      

    The Hidden Cause of Headaches You Have NOT Been Told About      

   The proper treatment of headaches depends on diagnosing what’s causing them. Fortunately, a growing number of visionary doctors and scientists have focused on an extremely common cause that can be linked to both migraines and muscle tension headaches:

  We say that many headaches are caused by hidden problems in the upper neck— specifically, that physical misalignment of the upper neck (cervical spine) and the base of the skull, creates inflammation of nerves and blood vessels, which can cause pain in the head.  

   This explains why MRI and CT scans of the head rarely reveal anything causing headaches. World-renowned medical researcher, Nikolai Bogduk, MD has said: “People in control of the headache field have not, cannot, or will not recognize that the neck-based, or cervicogenic explanation is best.     

   Dr. Bogduk is not alone. In 1995 a medical team at Syracuse University established scientific anatomical proof that damage to structures in the neck cause nerves to send pain signals to the brain, affecting cranial nerves.  Dr. Peter Rothbart, MD, founder of the North American Cervicogenic Headache Society proclaimed the Syracuse results a minor miracle:
    “Some brilliant people have put their hearts, souls, and minds to this headache problem and haven’t come up with anything. All we’ve been able to do is treat people with an array of medicines, one after another, and hope the side effects won’t be too bad… We couldn’t believe it at first. We’ve been able to put together a scientific explanation of how neck structure causes headaches — not all headaches, but a significant number of them.”  

   Further proof came from scientists at the University of Maryland, who discovered a physical connection between muscles, nerves and headaches — a previously unknown muscular connection between the base of the skull and the first bone of the neck, called the Atlas Vertebra.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed this remarkable discovery with digitized “virtual human” dissection. 

   Headache Relief & Prevention Without Medication     

   It turns out that for decades, certain doctors have been trying to tell the public about this neck headache connection — offering a drug-free, non-surgical, corrective procedure.  The research discovery merely confirmed what was already known!  But with our nation’s focus on pharmaceutical-based treatments, our knowledge has largely fallen on deaf ears.

   We are specialists within the chiropractic profession, known as Upper Cervical doctors.   We are doctors who specifically focus on treating conditions related to structural imbalances of the upper neck (upper cervical spine).     I've been an upper cervical doctor, licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine since 1993.  I have a passion for helping migraine sufferers. I am board certified in a procedure called Atlas Orthogonal (AO).  Its precise, geometry-based analysis reveals structural and mechanical imbalances of the upper neck.   

    The Atlas Orthogonal procedure
is performed utilizing a specialized instrument that is mathematically calibrated to deliver a safe, painless, split-second sound vibration to the upper neck. This re-positions the bones to decreases compression on nerves and arteries without surgery.  

       Headache medicine basically blocks pain signals, but it doesn’t treat the structural neuro-vascular (nerve and artery) imbalance — that requires delicate, precision physical correction.  I’m very proud to be equipped to help supposedly "hopeless" cases, ending people’s dependence on headache medication.  Atlas Orthogonal (AO) is one of several drugless treatments that I use to treat patients with chronic headaches and other neck-related conditions.  Click HERE to Learn All About Atlas Orthogonal treatment

-Dr. Donald Liebell 

​Donald K. Liebell, DC, BCAO

477 Viking Drive Suite 170

Virginia Beach VA 23452 
8:30AM - 6:30PM M,W,F 

(By Appointment Tu, Sat) 


The Liebell Clinic: Chronic Pain & Wellness Solutions

​​​      I'm here to help, and I'll be glad to personally answer your questions.  Please type your first name in the box on the contact form.  Please check the box to receive email updates to give me permission to correspond with you by email, and type your question in the message box.  

   I respond to questions in the order I receive them, 

usually within 1-3 business days.  My responses are for

general information only, and must not be considered as

advice for specific medical treatment or diagnosis

.   For appointments, please call my office at: (757) 631-9799.  

     Your email address or other information is confidential; I will never share it with anyone, nor will it be used for any form of solicitation.   I look forward to your questions! 

Natural & holistic, whole-person, wellness-based Healthcare - Drug-Free & Non-Surgical Pain Relief


He Gave Me My Life Back!
“Over 15 years ago I was in a terrible car wreck in California.  I suffered for many years with agonizing headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.  I went to dozens of doctors and spent over $20,000.  The worst part is that these so-called ‘experts’ did NOTHING for me…not until I moved to Virginia Beach and was treated by Dr. Liebell.  He knew just what to do at the top of my neck to fix the cause of not only my headaches, but ALL of my pain!  This was in 1993 and today (2008) I am still headache free.  All the other doctors, tests and pain medications were worthless in comparison.

- Ellen Diggs,  Virginia Beach

World-Renowned Research Scientist

Supports the Neck-Based Approach to Headaches

"People in control of the headache field seemingly h ave not, cannot, or will not recognize that this model for cervicogenic [neck based] headache is not only the best evolved of all headaches but is testable in vivo, in patients with headache complaints. No other form of headache has that facility."

Nikolai Bogduk, MD, PhD, 
professor of anatomy at Newcastle, Australia

"I wouldn’t be holding down the job I am today if it weren’t for the Atlas procedures getting rid of my chronic headaches"  

It’s shocking that our government isn’t funding widespread knowledge of this healthcare.   Every headache sufferer should get their atlas checked.”

- S. Freedman, Newport News, VA


Migraine Research from the

Neurology Department of the

University of Essen, Germany  

Dr. Diener recently revealed that the area known as the brain stem has a "possible migraine generator."  He indicated that a study of nine migraine patients revealed persistent overactivity at this area at the base of the brain (at the top of the neck)resulting in impaired regulation of expansion and contracting of blood vessels.

Dr. Hans Christoph Diener, M.D.  

Finally I Can Work Again!

“Before coming to see Dr. Liebell, I went to a bunch of doctors that pretty much gave me pills to stop the pain.  When the pills wore off, I had to take even more of the same pills.  I had headaches so bad that I couldn’t play with my new baby boy.  Finally I can work again and I can pick up my son.  Not only did Dr. Liebell help me with the pain, but also he showed me what was causing it with charts and graphs.  His care improved my whole life.

- Alvin H., Norfolk, VA

Medical Researcher Reports 
Scientific Explanation for

Neck-Headache Connection

"We couldn't believe it at first. We've been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches -- not all headaches, but a significant number of them."  It's true that chiropractors have been saying this for years. Unfortunately, many (medical) doctors tend to have a jaundiced view of chiropractors, but they were right about headaches."

Dr. Peter Rothbart, MD,

founder of the North American

Cervicogenic Headache Society 

“Since I have received the upper neck treatment,

I have not had a single headache of ANY kind... 

Over 1 year... It’s wonderful!!  I’ve been able to play

tennis and work and not take any medication for

headaches or my back (that pain’s gone too)”

– Linda M., Virginia Beach

Dr. Liebell's Atlas Orthogonal
Method is a Lifesaver!

“I spent thousands of dollars on medical care for my 17 year old son’s constant headaches since he was in the fourth grade... Nothing ever helped.  Dr. Liebell diagnosed the actual cause of his life-long headaches in less than 5 minutes.  In less than 2 weeks Dr. Liebell was fixing the problem and Nick’s headaches began to decrease until they just stopped coming on at all.  
This was without drugs, surgery and best of all – without a huge cost!!  His Atlas Orthogonal method

is a lifesaver for Nick.”  

- Kathleen A., Virginia Beach