Migraines are extremely debilitating and disabling neurological conditions. Nearly 39 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. This number jumps to 1 billion worldwide. Migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world. Out of every four United States households, one has someone suffering from migraines. Migraines can be hereditary. As many as 90% of those with this condition have family members who have migraines too. Women get migraines three times more often than men. Migraines are the sixth most disabling illness in the entire world. More than four million adults have chronic daily migraines, including at least fifteen migraines each month. Depression, anxiety, and sleep issues are common for those who have chronic migraines. Even children can suffer from migraines. In fact, as many as 10% of school-age children are diagnosed with migraines. And migraines have been seen in babies as young as 18 months old. Infant colic is associated with childhood migraines
What Are Migraines?
The throbbing, pounding head pain of migraines is often accompanied by other symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivity to loud noise
Migraines also have distinct phases. Not everyone will go through each phase.
- Premonition phase: This includes changes in mood and behavior and begins hours or days before the head pain starts.
- The aura phase: An aura involves a group of sensory, motor, or visual symptoms that happen just before the head pain. For example, you may experience numbness, problems with your speech, muscle weakness, and hallucinations. Not everyone has this phase.
- The head pain phase: This is when you experience the actual head pain. Throbbing and pounding may be found on one or both sides of the head. Sensitivity to movement and bright light is quite common, as well as extreme exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
- Head pain resolution phase or migraine hangover: The pain may lessen or disappear, but might be replaced with tiredness, problems concentrating, and irritability. In some cases, people actually feel refreshed and revived.
Types of Migraines
There are two basic classifications of migraines:
- A migraine without aura: This is a very common type of a migraine that does not include symptoms that warn of the impending pain.
- A migraine with aura: These migraines are less common, and they have warning symptoms, such as flashing light or zigzag lines an hour or so before the head pain begins.
How Migraines Are Diagnosed
Migraines are generally diagnosed based on your patient history and the symptoms that you are experiencing. A thorough medical exam, including other tests or procedures, may be performed in order to rule out any underlying causes. It is important to keep track of your symptoms so that you can give your doctor the proper information. The following things should be included:
- The time of day when you get migraines
- The specific location of the pain in your head
- How long the head pain lasts
- How the head pain feels
- Any changes in behavior or personality
- How the head pain affects your sleep patterns
- If the head pain changes when you change positions
- How much stress you’re dealing with in your life
- Whether you have had any head trauma in the past or recently
Caring for Migraines
When creating a care plan for your migraines, certain things will be taken under consideration:
- Your age, medical history, and overall health
- The type of a migraine you’re having
- How severe and how often you experience migraines
- How well your tolerance is for certain therapies and procedures
- Your personal preference
When caring for migraines, the goal is to stop them from happening. Some of the following suggestions may help in this area:
- Do your best to try to control the amount of stress you experience in your life.
- Have your diet evaluated to see if you are eating the right food to help your body function properly.
- Take part in exercise on a regular basis.
- Use cold packs applied to the head or neck to help reduce inflammation.
- Use biofeedback training to help control your breathing.
- Avoid known triggers, such as certain foods and beverages (chocolate, red wine, aged cheeses, MSG, and aspartame), not getting enough rest, and not eating on a regular basis leading to blood sugar lows.
- When a migraine hits, you will want to lie down in a cool, dark room until the pain subsides.
- Stay well hydrated, as dehydration leads to migraine attacks.
- Be sure to have good posture and have your upper cervical spine evaluated by a professional.
Migraine Headache Relief Jackson MI
Finding Natural Relief for Migraines
In line with the last suggestion mentioned above, it is a good idea to make sure your upper cervical spine is in proper alignment. A misalignment in this area has been linked to migraine headaches. This is true for a few reasons. For one thing, the C1 and C2 vertebrae were designed to protect the brainstem from damage. However, if they become misaligned due to an accident or injury of some sort, they can actually put the brainstem under stress. This leads to the brainstem sending improper signals to the brain and can cause migraines. Another thing that happens is the misalignment leads to a type of blockage to blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the brain, which is known to be a cause of migraines.
Here at Partnership Park Chiropractic in Jackson Michigan, we use a gentle method that helps the bones of the neck to move back into place naturally, without the need to pop or crack the spine or neck. This allows for a longer-lasting adjustment. Case studies have proven this type of care to be effective for those suffering from migraines. Some patients see improvement in as little as one or two visits.