Anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine understands how debilitating it can be. The throbbing, pulsing pain, the dizziness, the excruciating pressure between the eyes, the extreme fatigue, and the nausea often leave you unable to function.
If you have ever had a headache so bad that when you bend over to pick up an object it feels as though your eye is going to explode or the lights in the room are unbearable due to the pounding pain in your head - you may be suffering from a migraine.
A migraine is not just a severe headache. It’s a disabling neurological disease that more than 37 million Americans suffer from.1 If you or a loved one are one of the unlucky few plagued with migraine, our professional chiropractors can help you find the pain relief you desire.
What is Migraine?
Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men.2 People of any gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity, or background can get a migraine with its symptoms varying greatly for each person.
Migraine is thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. However, what causes this brain activity is largely unknown as most times there is no specific trigger or cause.
Common triggers reported by migraine sufferers include:
- certain foods and/or allergies
- poor nutrition or skipping meals
- alcohol, smoking, and some medications
- sleep disorders
- changes in weather or barometric pressure
- hormonal changes in women
- brain injuries
Women tend to experience migraines three times more often than men which are believed to be in relation to hormones and tend to worsen with hormonal fluctuations.
You may experience one or more of the above triggers or you may have no known triggers at all. Each person experiences migraines and their causes differently, however, there are common symptoms that appear in several people during a migraine attack.
What are the symptoms of migraine?
Often appearing spontaneously and without reason, migraines can cause a multitude of symptoms that can vary greatly from person to person and may include:
- Throbbing, pounding, or pulsating sensation and pain on one side of the head or both sides
- Pain and/or a feeling of pressure in or around the eyes, cheeks, and face
- Increased pain with physical activity or any movement
- Dizziness, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and/or smells
- Lack of comprehension and/or effects on speech
Some migraine sufferers also experience what is called an aura. Migraine with aura refers to visual symptoms such as seeing flashes of light, shapes, or bright spots and experiencing blind spots or vision loss. Aura normally occurs before the pain of a migraine begins, and fully resolves in an hour or less. However, it can increase the risk of dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and the ability to function normally.
How long should a migraine last?
There are four distinct phases of a migraine attack: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome which can last between four hours and three days with individual symptoms varying in strength and longevity. Some symptoms such as fatigue (prodrome symptom) could begin days before pain sets in, and end days after the pain recedes. Whereas aura symptoms may only last for a few minutes before pain and are only reported in 20% of migraine sufferers.
The prodrome phase normally occurs before pain develops, however, around 75% of people with migraine don’t recognize it as the beginning of an attack as it can cause symptoms such as irritability, food cravings, and tiredness which can be thought of as a normal part of daily life.
The postdrome phase (after the headache subsides) includes symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. Sometimes called the “migraine hangover”, 80% of people with migraine experience it and report it lasting from a few hours to days afterward.3
Thankfully, migraine sufferers do not normally experience any symptoms between migraines. However, those who have experienced migraine in the past are prone to suffering from future episodes.
What treatments relieve and prevent migraine?
Migraine has no cure. Therefore, numerous migraine sufferers turn to over-the-counter pain relievers and medications to treat migraine during the attack or to try to prevent severe pain at the first sign of symptoms. Unfortunately, this does not treat any underlying triggers or causes and can have unwanted side effects, especially with long-term use.
Natural non-invasive treatments such as chiropractic care work to relieve current pain and act as a preventative measure against future attacks by reducing the frequency, severity, and duration of attacks of migraine before they occur.
How can chiropractic care help me?
Chiropractic care can be a great way to manage and relieve pain caused by migraines as it aims to optimize the health of the neuromusculoskeletal system and overall body function. Natural non-invasive treatments based on your individual needs can reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of attacks of migraine before they occur allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest.
This is done through a whole-body approach to migraines to discover the root cause of the attacks and release pressure and stress from the spine and nervous system allowing your body to function normally.
Research published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine showed that people who received chiropractic adjustments on the upper cervical area, reduced their drug consumption by 80%, lowered days of migraines per month by 97%, and experienced an amazing decrease in pain and functional disability associated with migraines by 100%.
Chiropractic Benefits for Migraines Include:
- Natural, effective pain relief
- Helps prevent future migraine attacks
- Reduces migraine severity and longevity
- Restores normal body function to nerves, muscles, tendons, etc. for overall body wellness
- Education and lifestyle recommendations to enhance healing and reduce the risk of reoccurrence of migraines
If you or a loved one are suffering from migraine attacks, book an appointment today to see how our doctors can help restore your quality of life.
We understand that not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, so all new patients receive a consultation, examination and if necessary, an x-ray. Then our doctors will review your condition and walk you through an easy-to-follow treatment plan that’s unique to you.
There’s no pressure when you visit our office. Our friendly staff want to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
The information on this page is intended for informational purposes only. We put this page together to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of the benefits of chiropractic care. This page is not meant to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.