Migraine headaches are much more severe than other types of headaches. They are actually a very complex collection of neurological conditions that affect nearly 10% of the population. A migraine is a vascular headache that is thought to affect the brain’s blood vessels. Pain may be located on one or both sides of the head.
Migraines are typically recurrent. If you’ve had one migraine, there is a high likelihood that you’ll have another one at some point in your life. Along with pain, migraines may cause nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells, dizziness, and pale skin. Numbness and tingling can even radiate down through the arms to the hands. Pain typically increases with physical activity.
Some people experience auras before an attack. Auras are any number of neurological signs such as: seeing wavy lines, spots, or flashing lights in your vision, tunnel vision, or blind spots. Auras can manifest in the other senses, too. Strange smells and tastes, loss of touch, pins and needles sensations, and difficulty with recall or speaking can all occur. These symptoms usually fade as the head pain begins.
- They tend to run in families.
- Women are more likely to get them than men.
- Migraines can be debilitating to the point that they affect your ability to carry out your daily activities.
- Attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours.
- Migraine is a chronic disease that often occurs in conjunction with anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.
- Migraine sufferers are frequently undiagnosed and untreated.
- Children and adults can get migraines.
Everyone experiences migraines differently, but there are four typical stages of a migraine attack. Not everyone experiences all four, and not every person experiences every stage each time.
- Prodrome. The prodrome stage can last a few hours to a few days. It is characterized by physiological changes like difficulty sleeping, irritability, or sensibility to light or sound. This stage is sometimes called the the “premonitory” or “preheadache” phase.
- Aura. Migraine auras can manifest as visual disturbances like seeing spots or flashing lights, or they can affect the other senses. This is generally the shortest phase and also the least common. Sometimes the aura and headache phases happen simultaneously.
- Headache. The phase defined as the true headache part of a migraine is known to last 4 to 72 hours. Pain is throbbing or pounding and is poignantly severe.
- Postdrome. A sort of migraine hangover, the postdrome is known to last one or two days.
CHIROPRACTIC MIGRAINE CARE
The first step to treating a migraine is to determine the trigger. This is not always easy or even possible. The precise causes of migraines are not well understood, and the triggers for migraines are as individual as the people who suffer from them. From dietary factors to increased stress to weather conditions, many things can set off a migraine.
If a migraine’s trigger is in the neck, Pinnacle Chiropractic can probably help. Chiropractic treatment can usually bring 70-90% relief from migraines. There are a few treatment options for migraines:
- Chiropractic Adjustment. Chiropractic adjustment can target neck-related migraine triggers. We have found that migraines are frequently triggered by a misalignment of the cervical spine. If a person is predisposed to have migraines, a subnormal or reversed curvature of the cervical spine is likely to trigger migraines. Chiropractic treatment can correct cervical spine curvature to limit the triggering of migraines. Chiropractic targets the trigger, so it is preventative instead of just masking symptoms.
- Rest and Relaxation. Rest and exercises to relax the muscles can ease tension around the head and neck. The muscles in these areas can become taut in conditions of stress or migraine-related pain. Relaxation techniques are particularly helpful for making it through a migraine attack.
- Surgery. Surgery is a last-resort for migraine sufferers and is typically used to treat migraines that likely result from serious injury. Surgery targets and deactivates headache trigger sites in the brain.
If you suffer from frequent or debilitating migraines, you may not need to. Come see our Highlands Ranch chiropractor to find relief.