Migraines can be caused by flashing lights, lack of food, lack of adequate rest, anxiety or stress, certain food triggers etc. In women, they can be caused by hormonal changes. Some people that suffer from migraines know exactly what causes them, others do not find a direct link.
Migraines are thought to be caused by dilatation and constriction of the blood vessels in the head. Some new research suggests that there may be an inherited aspect to them.
People often confuse other headache types with migraines. The diagnosis of a migraine is not as simple as it seems. For example, the International Headache Society recommends the “5,4,3,2,1 criteria” to diagnose migraines without aura. This stands for:
- 5 or more attacks
- 4 hours to 3 days in duration
- At least 2 of unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate to severe pain, aggravation by or avoidance of routine physical activity
- At least 1 additional symptom such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound
A typical approach to treat migraines, is to do two things:
- Prevent the attacks
- Relieve the symptoms during an attack
- Stress management such as exercise, relaxation, etc
- Lifestyle changes are also useful. This can be avoiding triggers, eating well and regularly, making sure you are well hydrated.
- Maintain your ideal weight.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Chiropractic care.
- Acupuncture can also be beneficial.
Since this is a chiropractic blog, I wanted to focus on the chiropractic side of migraine treatment. Chiropractic care has been shown to be beneficial for migraine sufferers. I have seen it personally in practice over the years. There has also been some studies which show this too. A study out of Australia looked at 123 migraine sufferers and divided them into two groups, a chiropractic group and a control group. The results of the chiropractic group were really interesting:
- 22% of patients had a substantial reduction – which means more than 60% of their symptoms reduced over the course of the treatment.
- Another 50% had quite noticeable improvement. They found that they had reduced frequency of migraines, the length of the migraine itself was less or they didn't require the medication as much.
"Chiropractic is not the be all and end all, but for a good percentage of migraine sufferers the neck is a significant contributing factor, and for them chiropractic treatment is really effective. I'm not saying that everybody's going to be cured, but there's very little to lose”.
In some other research, a case study found that a 72 year old women with migraines for 60 years was treated with chiropractic care. Her migraines stopped and had not re-occurred at her 7 year follow up. The author in this study, concluded that a certain sub-set of people suffering from migraines may respond well to chiropractic care.
As you can see, three are some natural approaches to easing the pain of migraines as listed above. There is also a possible link between chiropractic care and relief from migraines. If you are a migraine sufferer and haven’t tried chiropractic care as a possible treatment option, or if you want to try something different than the usual medication approach, then maybe it is worth giving chiropractic care a go. As Dr Tuchin said, there is very little to lose. If you would like to find out more, or would like to book an appointment, contact me here. Your body may thank you for it.
- Table adapted from www.physiopedia.com