Relief for Migraine Headaches
Migraines are a severe form of headaches that affect 16% of the world population, and can incapacitate the person experiencing it. They are recurring and they can be very debilitating. They tend to throb or pulse unilaterally (on one side) and cause photophobia (light sensitivity) and nausea. Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, and may even last days.
Due to the severity of the migraine pain, along with nausea and inability to concentrate, oftentimes, the migraneur (person who gets migraines), are unable to go to work or school. In addition, many who suffer with migraines, often miss family activities. For those that suffer with migraine attacks; they are fully aware how these headaches can truly disrupt everyday life.
Current statistics state that over 36 million Americans suffer from migraines and that it is the third most common disease in the world. Three out of four migraine sufferers are female.
The symptoms of migraines vary from person to person, but the majority will feel severe, and oftentimes debilitating pain in their head. Migraines can be experienced differently by the same person on different occasions. Other migraine symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Throbbing head pain
There are a variety of triggers that can be the cause of migraine activation in people. Some of these triggers can be avoided, while others are inevitable in daily life. Some of these triggers include:
- Stress – chronic stress, or even daily “hecticness”
- Bad Diet
- Not enough sleep – or going to bed too late, or waking up too early
- Certain foods – particularly processed with MSG, autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed soy protein. Also some people sensitive to chocolate and certain cheeses and nuts.
- Caffeine – too much or skipping a morning coffee
- Changes in weather – due to air pressure changes
- Bright lights – or flickering lights of certain frequency
There are migraine treatments that can be used during a migraine to help abort the migraine headache. There are also preventive measures that can be taken to ensure that the frequency and severity of migraines is lessened over time.
Some of these treatments are:
During a Migraine
- When experiencing a migraine, people tend to lie down and rest in dark places where bright lights won’t bother them. Ice packs on the back of the neck, and/or on the forehead may help.
- Many people take NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen to alleviate headache pain. The problem is, there are numerous side-effects; some minor, and some more severe.
- There are also prescription medications that can be taken at the onset of a migraine. Most of these are in the Triptan family of medications. Some names include: Almotriptan (Axert), Eletriptan (Relpax), Rizatriptan (Maxalt), Sumatriptan (Imitrex) and Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
- Staying hydrated is also an important way of maintaining blood flow and lessening the pressure in your head
There are also preventive measures like massages that can help keep tension and stress out of the muscles and your head.
- Relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation can lower stress levels and help the body to relax
- Food diaries can help you determine what foods may cause you to trigger a migraine
- Losing weight can also help keep migraines at bay, if you are currently overweight
- Hormone therapy can help women when it comes to hormonal headaches
- Chiropractors can also help with reducing muscle tension and normalizing neural pathways in order to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches
Chiropractors have an all-natural approach to helping keep your body at its best. They ensure that the body is in homeostasis by ensuring that all nerve pathways are functioning and that the body is in alignment. With regards to migraines, the theory is that the migraine originates at the trigeminal nucleus, which extends to the C2 spinal segment. The body needs to maintain balance for all pathways to work properly. The adjustments provided by doctors of chiropractic is a way to have a whole-body approach to wellness and a reduction in migraines, ** without medications.
Dr Spitz has been helping patients with tension headaches and migraines since 1982. If you’d like to be evaluated, to see if chiropractic care can help reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines, call us at 860-583-4346 or complete the online form to request an appointment HERE.
* Migraine pathophysiology: anatomy of the trigeminovascular pathway
** Chiropractic spinal manipulative treatment of migraine headache