A migraine is a neurological condition that is most known for being accompanied by an extremely painful headache. This excruciating pain can last for hours or even many days. This condition is very common, affecting 39 million of those living in the United States and 1 billion worldwide. Here are a few interesting facts about migraines:
- Those with migraines can often identify what is triggering their attacks, such as allergies, headaches, weather changes, stress, and bright light.
- Attacks can often be avoided if one is alert to the warning signs.
- Before the head pain of migraines begins, many sufferers have a warning sign called an aura.
- Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines.
- Migraines are most common between the ages of 25 and 55.
- Migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the entire world.
What Are the Symptoms of Migraines?
Symptoms of migraines can vary for each person and may start awhile before, just before, during, and after the head pain. Typical symptoms are:
- Throbbing, pulsing, severe head pain
- Moderate to severe pain usually only on one side of the head, but can be on both
- Inability to complete routine activities due to head pain
- Sensitivity to light, sound, or certain odors
- Increasing pain during physical activity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Some people have sweating, diarrhea, changes in body temperature, and stomach issues
What Are Migraines with Auras?
Auras are perceptual disturbances that indicate to a person that a migraine is about to come on. Auras can include:
- Zig-zag lines in the visual field
- Stiffness in the shoulders, limbs, or neck
- Seeing sparkling or flashing lights
- Blind spots or blank patches in your field of vision
- Unusual or unpleasant smells
- Pins and needles feeling in the arm or leg
- Problems with speech
Caring for Migraines
Most ways to care for migraines focus on preventing an attack before it happens or relieving the symptoms once they have begun. There are some things you personally can do to help curb migraine pain:
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid foods that may trigger migraines
- Get regular exercise
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce stress in your life
Some people opt for medication to alleviate their migraines as they are not familiar with any other natural solution that works. Some medications that may be suggested by your doctor are:
- Aspirin combined with acetaminophen and aspirin (ex. Excedrin Migraine)
- Anti-nausea drugs
- Vitamins and herbs (cannabis, CoQ10, feverfew, magnesium citrate, B12, melatonin, riboflavin)
Additional suggestions may include:
- A gluten-free diet
- Spinal cord stimulator implantation
- Vision correction
One thing to be aware of is something called a rebound or medication overuse headache. This comes about when one takes too many painkillers and they begin to bring on worse headaches than a migraine. Taking pain medication for more than a couple of days a week can cause these headaches to begin.
Triggers for Migraines
Some common triggers to be aware of are listed below. It is highly recommended that you keep a migraine diary and record what you did before a migraine came on. Such things as weather conditions, physical activity, what foods you ate, and your stress levels should be recorded. This will help you see a pattern develop and help you avoid future migraines. Triggers can be:
- Bright lights
- Loud noise
- Cigarette or other smoke
- Temperature changes
- Strong odors
- Physical or emotional stress
- Anxiety and depression
- Being tired
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Alcohol consumption
- Food with tyramine, MSG, or nitrates
- Hormonal changes
- Chocolate, nuts, avocado, citrus fruit, onions, dairy products, pickled or fermented food, peanut butter, nuts, and bananas, to mention just a few
- Certain medications
Research Gives Insight into Migraines
Dr. Raymond Damadian has done much research into the field of migraines and how they are related to upper cervical misalignments. Dr. Damadian, born in March of 1936, actually invented to MRI and the upright MRI. By using an upright MRI, he was able to see just how much cerebrospinal fluid is going to and leaving the brain. He came up with the theory that if a misalignment is present in the bones of the upper cervical spine, the inhibited cerebrospinal fluid flow is unable to remove metabolic waste from the brain and can lead to such things as migraines and even multiple sclerosis. He documented some cases that show success when caring for this type of misalignment through upper cervical chiropractic care, including the disappearance of lesions on the brain when the problem was corrected. The top bones of the neck, the atlas and axis, are particularly to blame here as they are very susceptible to misaligning.
Migraine Natural Relief Novato CA
Finding a Natural Solution
After considering what Dr. Damadian discovered, it would make sense that correcting the misalignments in the upper neck could lead to a resolution or, at the very least, an improvement in the problems associated with the hindered cerebrospinal fluid flow. And this is exactly what has been discovered.
A study involving a 54-year-old woman who had suffered from migraines and vertigo for over 10 years reveals just how much upper cervical chiropractic can help. After just 3 months of this type of care, her symptoms went away and she was able to go on with her life.
We use a method that differs from traditional chiropractic in that it does not involve popping, twisting, or cracking the spine. Rather, we use gentle adjustments to help the spine naturally move back into alignment. This stabilizes the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and reduces intracranial pressure. Our patients report positive results in only one or two visits.