If you get regular migraines, you know the unique kind of pain they bring on. Unlike tension headaches, these are debilitating attacks.
Researchers aren’t clear about what exactly causes some people to get migraines, which makes it difficult to treat them. Although mediations are available, they are not always effective, and they have unwanted side effects. That’s why many of the 39 million migraine sufferers in the United States are turning to alternative solutions.
Dr. Dana Robinson at Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center helps many of her patients in the Redwood City, California area get much-needed relief from their migraines with regular chiropractic care.
What’s a migraine?
A migraine is a neurological disease. It may or may not come with warning signs in the days and hours leading up to the main headache, such as thirst, constipation, mood swings, and food cravings.
As the attack draws closer, many migraines are accompanied by an aura stage where neurological disturbances cause visual impairment, difficulty speaking, bright flashes of light, and numbness or tingling in the extremities or face.
While in the throes of the migraine attack, the pain is usually on one side of your head (though it can affect both sides) and hits you with throbbing pulses. Many sufferers become nauseous and vomit during a migraine episode, which lasts on average from 4 to 72 hours.
Afterward, you may feel weak, disoriented, and wiped out for hours or days. It’s easy to see why migraine is the sixth most debilitating illness in the world.
Traditional treatments for migraine
Migraines are considered primary headaches, which means they are a condition unto themselves, not a symptom of another condition. Again, the direct cause is unclear (although it’s believed that genetics, brain chemicals, and nervous system disorders may play a role). However, many things are known to trigger migraines.
Learning which conditions, substances, or situations trigger your migraines is the first step in preventing as many episodes as possible. Common triggers include:
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Aged cheeses
- Food preservatives
- Weather changes
- Hormonal changes
- Bright lights
- Strong smells
- Physical activity
These are just a few of the possibilities; everyone is different. Keeping a migraine diary can help your suss out your triggers and avoid them.
Medications can also help migraine sufferers. Some are taken to prevent migraines, and some are taken to abort an attack, but sufferers report concerns about them regarding:
- Timing (most effective when taken at precisely the right moment)
- Side effects (medication-overuse headaches, nausea)
- Interactions with other medications
- Incompatibility with other conditions (hypertension, liver and kidney problems, heart problems)
- Risk of stroke and heart attack
Because medications are hit-or-miss at best, alternative treatments can be a safer solution for many migraine sufferers.
Chiropractic care as a treatment for migraine
Migraine is a complex condition with many variables and many unknowns. If you find a solution that works for you, consider yourself fortunate and stick with it. But if the traditional treatments haven’t brought you any relief, chiropractic care might just be the answer.
The primary goal of chiropractic spinal manipulations is to realign your body to relieve pain, improve function, and promote healing. Studies have shown that chiropractic care for migraines may:
- Reduce the frequency of your attacks
- Decrease the intensity of your pain
- Shorten the duration of your attacks
- Lessen your level of disability
Dr. Robinson thoroughly assesses your health and history before recommending a course of treatment. She lets you know the right schedule for spinal adjustments and may ask you to keep a migraine diary to refine the treatment according to what works best for you.
With the personal, expert care you get at Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center, drug-free migraine relief may be in your grasp. Call us or request an appointment online to learn more.