Tackle migraines with multi-faceted approach

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

A migraine is an intense, pounding headache that can last for hours or even days and usually begins in the forehead, the side of the head, or around the eyes. Any movement, activity, bright lights, or loud noise can make it hurt more. Nausea and vomiting are common during migraines.

Migraines happen once or twice a year, monthly or even daily. Around 15% of the population, including children, suffer from them with women 3 times more likely to have migraines. Common types of migraines are classic and common migraines. Classic migraines start with a warning called an aura, which involves changes in sight (flashing lights, colors, or wavy lines. They may feel a prickling or burning on one side of the body.) Common migraines often start slower, without an aura, last longer and commonly affect daily activities. Other types of migraines are silent, retinal, hormonal, cluster, and cervicogenic.

They are usually self-diagnosable and lab tests or imaging are rarely required.

The main cause of migraines is unknown, but they're thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain.

Recent research points to dysfunction in the neck or cervical spine and the surrounding muscles and soft tissue. This includes a common finding of straightening of the cervical curve leading to pressure and tight muscles causing trigger points, muscle imbalances, nerve irritation, inflammation, and vertebral segmental dysfunctions. Another cause of migraines is upper crossed syndrome; which occurs when the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and chest become imbalanced as a result of repetitive stress, prolonged sitting, or poor posture.

Most traditional treatments for migraines target the symptoms and not these new causes just described. The goal in our office is to eliminate them completely or decrease their intensity and frequency to tolerable levels. We do this through Chiropractic Adjustments, Myofascial Release, Rehab and Stretching, Acupuncture, Posture Training, Trigger Point Injections, Natural Nerve Blocks, and nutritional counseling. This multifaceted and multidisciplinary integrated health team approach has been proven to be more effective in patient outcomes and satisfaction than traditional medical care alone.