Many different patients come into the office complaining of migraines and/or headaches on a daily basis. Commonly, many of these patients are students, work on computers, spend a lot of time looking down. The prevalence of migraines has been increasing and I want to help
decrease their effects and help people understand why they are experiencing them.
What Is a Migraine?
It is pressure and a recurrent throbbing headache in the head that typically affects one side of the head (but it can affect both sides) and can be often accompanied by nausea, disturbed vision, and/or hearing. You may experience an aura, but an
individual can still have a migraine without an aura as well. Migraines are usually debilitating and can interfere with you reading, focusing, doing homework, exercising, and even make your eyes and head sensitive to light.
Now the golden question is what causes migraines? There are many different triggers in our lives that can cause them, but no matter the cause ultimately a migraine is a warning sign that there is an imbalance in the body. Your environment, past experiences, or traumas can
play a huge role in the tension, fascial adhesions or subluxations present in the body. A migraine is a result of physical, chemical, or emotional stress or interference in the bodies normal function. In our office we look at the physical problem, the misalignment of the neck bones, that can be a source of your migraines. One reason that “text neck,” computer work, looking down, or studying causes neck pain and/or headaches is due to the constant stress that looking down puts on your neck muscles and cervical spine. Getting into a car accident is also another factor that can cause stress on the neck and disrupt the alignment of the upper cervical and start causing someone to start experiencing migraines/headaches.
The brain lacks pain receptors, but with the structural and muscle imbalance there can be inflammation and irritation of the nerves at the base of the skull and the trigeminal cranial nerve can be irritated and cause the throbbing pain on one side of the head/face.
What Can You Do If You Have a Migraine?
Using an over the counter medication may decrease the symptom short term, but won’t take care of the actual problem. If you are getting recurring headaches and migraines that is a good indicator that there is underlying reason for your pain. Consider getting checked for an upper cervical subluxation (misalignment) at your local chiropractor. The misalignment could be causing an increase in your intracranial pressure causing🡪 migraine. The intracranial pressure is controlled by the nerves, muscles, and bone structure at the base of the skull (an example of this is pictured above), There are small intricate muscles at the base of the skull that tighten up when there is a misalignment in the neck and put pressure on the nerves at the base of the skull that wrap up and around the head.
At Pro Chiropractic we help individuals release the physical tension that is put on the body by correcting upper neck misalignments and the muscle trigger points (possible fascial adhesion) that are also a common factor in causing migraines. We also take pride in helping people decrease the frequency and amplitude of their migraines through specific chiropractic analysis and care. If you are suffering from migraines let us know and we would like to eliminate your migraines and headaches all together. In our office we can also evaluate the structure and function of your spine through our thermography scans and digital x-rays if deemed necessary. If you have any further questions or concerns about the headaches or migraines you are experiencing don’t hesitate to ask for help. We are here to help get you back on your feet, enjoying the beautiful Gallatin County and all the beauty it has to offer.
There are a number of other factors that can/may trigger migraines, including:
- Hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, when they have a major drop in estrogen.
- Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
- Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
- Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
- Stress. Stress at work or school can cause migraines.
- Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells — including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others — can trigger migraines in some people.
- Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep may trigger migraines in some people, as can jet lag.
- Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, playing sports, accidents, or injuries may provoke migraines.
- Changes in the environment. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
- Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
Dr. Jenny Vine Pro Chiropractic, Bozeman, MT