Migraines are a very common problem, one that actually affects up to 1 billion people worldwide. This is why it is the third most prevalent illness in the world, and it ranks number six among the most disabling conditions. It can adversely affect people, with 9 out of 10 not being able to normally function or work when they have an attack.
A migraine attack is much more painful compared to normal headaches. Once it starts, it is not easy to stop as well. Treatment is better focused on preventing the migraines from starting in the first place.
Symptoms Of Migraines
Many people think that a migraine is simply a headache and while a severe headache is one of the symptoms, there are others that would differentiate it.
Migraine sufferers report feeling pain on one or both sides of the head, and this pain feels like pulsing or throbbing. They also experience photophobia (or being sensitive to light) and a blurred vision, among other visual disturbances. They will feel lightheaded and some might faint. Another common symptom is being hypersensitive to smells and tastes. In severe cases, they will report motor function loss or even partial paralysis.
Some patients have auras before an attack, and this might happen between 20 and 60 minutes before. The good thing is, they will be able to take steps that can stop the attack or at least minimize it. However, this is not a certain way to completely avoid migraines.
What Causes Migraines?
There is no known exact cause of migraines, but research has pointed to specific things that trigger an attack. This can include foods (salty or processed foods, for example), beverages (caffeinated ones and alcohol), hormonal changes, and stress. Getting too much or too little sleep can trigger it as well, including medication like oral contraceptives and vasodilators.
Physical exertion and sensory stimuli like bright lights or strong smells should also be avoided. Lastly, changes in weather or jet lag may cause a migraine attack.
Treatment For Migraines
There are two kinds of migraine treatment, abortive and preventative. Abortive medications will treat the symptoms, and the most common of this is pain relief. Most patients turn to pain medication once the migraine attack begins and will stop the pain and discomfort.
On the other hand, preventative medications may be taken daily so that migraines will not happen as often or will not be as severe. These medications may only be obtained with the prescription of a doctor, and a few of them have unpleasant side effects.
However, there are also other ways to deal with life with migraine. Changes in diet, sleep, and lifestyle can help prevent attacks or lessen their severity. Some of these treatments may include acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic, and massage therapy.
Chiropractic Treatments For Migraines
Studies have proven the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments to reduce or treat migraines. Specifically, one study stated that 72% of patients benefitted from these visits, reporting noticeable or even substantial improvement. This is one of the reasons why migraine sufferers are turning to their chiropractor to get relief.
The most common approach is to do a spinal manipulation, focusing on the cervical spine. This will restore balance to the body, as well as relieve it of pain and even prevent future episodes.
Another popular treatment is to do adjustments. By restoring the proper range of motion, nerve interference is also stopped and the attacks can be reduced. The chiropractor will evaluate first which parts of the body have limited motion and should be targeted for treatment.
At times, chiropractors work on relaxing ligaments and muscles so that chronic migraines are relieved. Manual therapy is used to loosen the knots in the muscle tissue and balancing tight muscles. Thus, trigger points get released and the cause of chronic migraines is stopped. In fact, it might be these tight muscles in the back or neck that leads to migraines.
Other approaches like hot and cold packs may also alleviate some pain and discomfort before and after an adjustment.
Chiropractic care is a proven way to treat those suffering from chronic migraines, which is why doctors should recommend this kind of migraine headache relief as an alternative to pain medication. In the end, it will be better for the body and may even prevent migraines from happening in the first place.