While most ‘answers’ to migraines are drug-based, at Hinterland Chiropractic we use the latest research to find the most effective strategies for patients enduring this debilitating problem.
What is a Migraine?
Migraines often come with warning signs – preceded by visual disturbances, tingling in a limb, or an ache beneath the eyes and forehead (Pain Med 2008; Epub). Then comes the main event, throbbing pain, nausea, light sensitivity and vertigo.
According to Headache Australia, over 3 million Australians suffer from migraines with women disproportionately represented in that total. One study suggests female sex hormones, along with environmental and cultural factors, are responsible for the gender imbalance (Med Hypotheses 2008; Epub).
The effects of migraines are not just on the sufferer. In Taiwan migraines account for 3.7 million annual sick days, worth at least $4.6 billion (J Chin Med Assoc 2008;71:74-8).
Limitations and Dangers of Migraine Drugs
Chronic migraine suffers experience health issues beyond the pain of migraine alone. Along with migraine drugs, migraineurs often take additional prescription medications and suffer from a spectrum of gastrointestinal and psychiatric issues (Headache 2007;47:65-72).
Migraine diagnosis can be imprecise and the condition is also undertreated, which can lead to self- medication (Headache 2008;430-41).
Unfortunately, the traditional approach to migraines often involves medication with potentially hazardous side effects. Worse, some studies show that such drugs may only make migraines worse over time, and that nearly half of the ‘effectiveness’ of drugs may be due to the placebo effect (J Pediatr 2008;152:527-33).
Chiropractic Treatment Can Ward Off Headaches
Chiropractors have long been aware that spinal conditions cause headaches, including episodic migraines (JVSR 2006;1-9).
Particular spinal culprits include reduced neck mobility, forward head posture, the action of certain facial and occipital muscles (Headache 2007;47:662-72). Muscle injuries are also linked to migraines (J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2007;37:33-9).
Many types of headaches, including migraines, are accompanied by discomfort of the neck muscles (Expert Rev Neurother 2005;5:355-62). Specifically, fatigue in the neck flexor muscles appears to be tied to headache occurrence (Eur J Pain 2007;11:764).
In addition, if there is restricted movement in the neck, or if the spinal bones (vertebrae) in the area are slightly out of place — a problem known as vertebral subluxation — nerves may become irritated and this can induce a migraine.
Fortunately, research shows that chiropractic treatment for vertebral subluxation has clear benefits for migraine sufferers whose migraines are related to dysfunction in the cervical spine (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2007;30:408-18).
Chiropractic Alleviation of Migraines
Chiropractors and other health-care practitioners often recommend physical management of neck problems that cause migraines. In an extensive analysis of clinical trials, Harvard Medical School researchers compared results for physical therapy, massage and other nondrug options as remedies for headache.
Outcomes showed that chiropractic adjustments helped with tension-type headaches that have migraine-like symptoms (Headache 2005;45:738- 46). In a review of more than 19,000 patients, this type of care was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events (Spine 2007;32:2375-8).
- Acupuncture has been demonstrated to be a migraine cure (Curr Treat Options Neurol 2008;10:20-9)
- Wet-cupping (Am J Chin Med 2008;36:37-44)
- Endurance training
- Physical Therapy
- Aromatherapy with application of essential oils to “pressure points”
- Neck exercises
- Take a warm bath or shower
- Rest in a dark room
- Apply a cold compress to the forehead or back of neck
- Drink fruit juice, particularly tomato juice
- Massage the face, head, neck, and shoulders
Supplements Doctors of Chiropractic May Recommend
- Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) – Reduces migraine pain and frequency
- Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) – Thought to prevent migraines
- Magnesium – Migraines may be related to magnesium deficiency
- 5-Hydroxytryptophan – Helps create the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin
- Vitamin B3 – May interrupt blood flow disruption that leads to migraines.
- Reishi – Some individuals report success against headache pain.
Note: Never use a supplement without consulting with a doctor!
See Us at Hinterland Chiropractic in Gold Coast
If you have migraines, don’t wait for the next one to hit. Instead, empower yourself by talking to your Gold Coast chiropractor at Hinterland Chiropractic. At Hinterland Chiropractic, we provide holistic advice and treatment for a variety of health issues.
We are always happy to see new patients!
Visit us soon and receive a COMPLETE Consultation and Examination. Yours for ONLY $45!