Migraine Headaches

Chiropractic & Migraine Headaches – Vero Beach

A migraine is one of the worst types of headaches that you can experience. Not only can they be completely debilitating, but they can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. This can make it difficult for an individual who experiences migraines to live normally and to work regularly.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, almost 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. They often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraine headaches, in part because the source of a migraine is unknown.

Symptoms of a Migraine

There are a number of symptoms that can occur prior to the onset of a migraine as well as during an actual migraine. Additionally, these symptoms can be classified into four different stages.

  1. Prodrome Stage - This stage occurs a day or two before the attack. Symptoms can be subtle and can include constipation, mood changes, neck stiffness, food cravings, frequent yawning, increased urination and increased thirst. 
  2. Aura Stage - People who commonly experience migraines are very familiar with the aura stage, which can occur right before or even during a migraine. The aura stage involves mostly visual disturbances, but can also include sensory, motor and verbal disturbances. These are all symptoms of the nervous system and can include vision loss, bright spots, flashes of light, prickling sensations in the arms or legs, difficulty speaking, hearing noises or music that aren't there, a weakness or numbness in the face or on one side of the body, and uncontrollable movements.
  3. Migraine Attack Stage - During an actual migraine, you're likely to experience a throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of your heat. You'll be more sensitive to light and sounds and sometimes to scents and touch. Blurred vision and lightheadedness are common as well, and in some cases, the migraine may be so severe that it could cause nausea, vomiting or even fainting.
  4. Post-drome Stage - The post-drome stage occurs once a migraine has subsided. During this period of time, which can last upwards of 24 hours, you may experience confusion, dizziness, weakness, moodiness and a sensitivity to light and sound.

The Causes of Migraines

Although the cause of migraines is not known, there are known factors and triggers. For example, genetics appear to be a factor as does gender (women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines). When a migraine occurs, blood vessels constrict. This is why changes in vision occur. After they constrict, they will dilate, which floods the brain with blood, in turn causing the pain that comes with a migraine. Common migraine triggers include the following:

  • Certain types of foods and drinks
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Stress
  • Sensory stimuli, such as bright lights, sun glare, and loud noises
  • Sudden changes in environment, such as the change in weather
  • Certain medications
  • Changes in your sleep pattern

Migraine Treatment

Since the cause is unknown, there is no cure. However, there are ways to prevent the onset of a migraine as well as help reduce the pain during a migraine. Certain triggers can be identified, which can then be avoided. Certain pain relievers can help relieve mild migraines. Medications such as triptans and ergots have been found to be effective treatments as well.

Chiropractic Care as Migraine Treatment

Medical treatment isn't always effective. Whether it is or it isn't, you may want to consider chiropractic care. Spinal manipulations can help to lessen both the severity and the frequency of your migraines. Chiropractic care can also reduce your dependency on medication and won't result in the side effects that some medications cause.

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