Chiropractic Treatment for Migraine Headaches
What are migraine headaches?
Everyone has had a headache at some point and we are all familiar with the throbbing feeling that can linger and really slow down your day. But there is more than one type of a headache, and chronic migraine sufferers will tell you they experience many other symptoms that can put a screeching halt to all activity for hours and even days. Migraines come with the throbbing sensation but also cause sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain.
Certain people with migraines may be able to predict the onset of an episode due to a trigger or early warning symptom, but the exact cause of migraines is unknown. Most theories acknowledge an interruption in either nerve activity, blood flow to the brain, or both. Because the precise origin of migraine headaches is unknown there is no known cure for a chronic migraine condition. Migraine sufferers are typically advised to avoid known triggers and get enough exercise and sleep. Over-the-counter medications help some find relief, but others report instant relief of symptoms followed by a “rebound migraine” the next day.
How can chiropractic help manage migraines?
Chiropractic treatment will not cure migraines, but it is one of the few ways to be proactive against migraines and help prevent them. In someone prone to migraine episodes a trigger can often be a misalignment, or subluxation of the spine. Migraines can begin with tension in the neck, but even patients without migraines find keeping their neck free of kinks helps improve frequent headaches. Dysfunctional vertebrae in the neck can cause increased muscle tension and interrupt the nerves that control blood flow to the brain. Chiropractic adjustments relieve the pressure and tension that results in headaches and keep the spine aligned to help it function at its best.
Regular chiropractic adjustments also help facilitate healthy blood flow and nerve function. For a chronic migraine sufferer, it may take weeks of consistent adjustments, but patients will experience a significant improvement in migraine frequency, intensity, or both. Improving alignment of the bones in the neck and spine can prevent headaches and migraines, and adjustments also keep the body in balance.
Adjustments are a safe way to relieve tension and decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines without medication. Pregnant women and anyone who has had spinal surgery should seek approval from their doctor before pursuing chiropractic treatment.