Rivertown Health & Wellness - Migraines
It’s a rare person who has never had a headache, but migraines are a different story. The Migraine Research Foundation notes that as many as 39 million people in the US suffer from these severe headaches. The majority cannot work or function during a migraine. Although medication for headache & migraine treatment is available, a chiropractor can also help. Here’s what you need to know about migraines, from Rivertown Health and Wellness of Stillwater, MN.
While migraines do cause headaches, this problem is actually a neurological disease. A migraine seems to result from a complex cascade of neurological, vascular, and hormonal activity in the brain. One theory is that excitable brain cells become more active and trigger the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Hormones, especially estrogen, seem to play a role, which may be why women are more likely to suffer migraines. Blood vessels abruptly expand and contract during a migraine, which contributes to the pain.
Migraines often occur in the wake of exposure to what are known as migraine triggers. Each person has a “threshold” for foods, stress, sleep, and other activities. A single sip of red wine may not be a problem, but a full glass can act as a trigger. Combining triggers increases the risk of a migraine. Common triggers include sleep deprivation, alcohol, bright lights or sunlight, stress, caffeine, and changes in barometric pressure. Chocolate, citrus, food additives, and some medications can also trigger migraines.
Headache & Migraine Treatment
Treating a “regular” headache is much easier than treating migraines. Medications are available in both prescription and over the counter form. However, medications have side effects and many are not particularly effective for migraine headaches. Medications may be used as a preventive strategy or to treat a migraine once it occurs. Sometimes the medications are used to manage symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, rather than to actually treat the migraine. Lifestyle changes, although more difficult, are often more effective.
The Chiropractor and Migraine
Migraines often feature a musculoskeletal component. Postural habits and stress can increase muscle tension, which acts as a migraine trigger. Spinal adjustments, massage, and other chiropractic treatments can be helpful. However, it is often the area of lifestyle adjustments where a chiropractor can be most helpful. The goal of chiropractic is to promote overall wellness. Recommendations include dietary changes, corrective exercise, supplements to promote optimum nutrition, normalization of sleep patterns, and stress relief.
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, please call Rivertown Health and Wellness at (651) 439-2712 for a free consultation. We offer headache & migraine treatment to patients of all ages at our office located on 5640 Memorial Avenue N, in Stillwater, MN, as well as the full range of chiropractic services.