Migraines: More Than Just A Headache
Migraines: Natural Relief with Chiropractic Care
One of my primary reasons for going to Chiropractic College in the first place was because I had migraine headaches and sports-related injuries that were helped by Chiropractic Care.
If you've ever had a migraine, you know that it's more than just headache pain. The debilitating pain can be accompanied by nausea and other symptoms - and it's more common than you may think. Research shows that for every four American households, one person is a migraine sufferer. In fact, 12 percent of the U.S. population suffers from migraine attacks, including children. This means migraines affect more people than asthma and diabetes combined.
It is estimated that 18 percent of women suffer from migraines while 6 percent of men are migraine sufferers. It most commonly affects people who are between the ages of 25 and 55, but even young children have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, migraines can stop you in your tracks, but there are treatment options that can help. Chiropractic care has been shown to help ease the pain, intensity, and frequency of migraines.
What is a Migraine?
Migraines are vicious headaches that can last several minutes to several hours, or even days. They are characterized by intense pulsing or a throbbing sensation that is typically confined to one area of the head. It is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light. The pain can be so severe that you can barely function. Many people find themselves confined to bed in a darkened room, waiting for it to pass. Most patients I find I want to have your migraine headaches but are a combination of muscle tension headaches with migraines.
Many times, migraine sufferers report experiencing an aura, or sensory warning symptoms. For example, sinus headache symptoms, strange smells, blind spots, sensitivity to light, visual disturbances, flashes of light, or tingling in your leg or arm are all common symptoms. They also tend to run in families. If one parent is a migraine sufferer, the child has a 40 percent chance of having migraines as well. If both parents get migraines that chance jumps to 90 percent. It is the 8th most debilitating illness on a global scale.
For the most part, doctors do not know much about what causes migraines. However, there are some things that have been identified as migraine triggers:
- Hormonal changes: at certain times during the month, women experience fluctuations in estrogen, which can trigger migraines.
- Oral contraceptives: medications that change or replace hormones can make headaches worse.
- Certain foods: processed foods, MSG, salty foods, aged cheeses
- Fasting or skipping meals
- Sensory overstimulation
- Intense physical exertion
- Too much or too little sleep
How Chiropractic Care Can Help Migraine Sufferers
Many doctors believe that headaches and migraines may be caused by a spine that is out of alignment. When your spine is misaligned, your entire body suffers. It can irritate the nerves that run from the brain to the spine causing a headache. Fortunately, chiropractic adjustments can help relieve the pain of migraines. In fact, many people report a distinct difference after just one session.
A Doctor of Chiropractic will examine and then align your spine and work with you to create a treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes and diet. Making changes to your sleep patterns and eliminating certain foods from your diet can also help to prevent migraines. By creating a whole-body treatment program, you and your chiropractor can not only help prevent your migraines but improve other health conditions as well.
Your chiropractor may also recommend that if you're suffering from headaches, try to keep a journal to help you pinpoint your own unique migraine triggers. You will record the foods you eat, as well as environmental factors that may affect you, stressors, and sleep patterns. You may also be asked to record when you have migraines, how long they last, and their severity. By tracking these things, you can determine what may be causing your migraines and make adjustments to your lifestyle, thus preventing them. Incorporating chiropractic care as part of your whole body maintenance, as well as migraine prevention, can help you stave off these headaches so you can get on with your life.
If you or a loved one suffers from neck pain, muscle spasms, or migraine headaches, make sure you contact us or give us a call to schedule an appointment. Our Fargo Chiropractors are ready to help you today!