Migraines are a neurological condition characterized by intense throbbing head pain. It is the 3rd most prevalent and 6th most disabling illness in the world. The pain commonly starts in the forehead, the side of the head, or around the eyes and slowly worsens. Being exposed to loud noises or bright lights, or even making any type of movement, can make migraines much worse. Migraine sufferers can also experience nausea and vomiting. Migraines can occur once or twice a year or as often as every day. Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men.
How Do Classic Migraines Differ from Common Migraines?
Let’s compare the two widely known types of migraines called classic and common.
- Classic migraines: These migraines often begin with an aura or a warning sign. The aura can affect the vision and may involve flashing lights, a pattern of lines, colors, or shadows. Temporary loss of vision may occur, as well as burning sensation or muscle weakness on one side of the body. Migraine sufferers may feel restless, grouchy, and even depressed. An aura can persist for 15 – 30 minutes and may come along with the head pain. In some cases, the head pain may never exist. The headache can be felt on one or both sides of the head.
- Common migraines: These come on more slowly than a classic migraine and do not have an aura. They last longer and disrupt daily activities. Most of the time, the pain is felt only on one side. This is what most people experience.
Why Do Some People Get Migraines and Others Do Not?
Below are some commone migraine risk factors:
- Genetics: If one or both of your parents had migraines, you are much more likely to get them.
- Age: Most migraine sufferers will have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
- Sex: Women get migraines more often than men.
What Is It Like to Have Migraines?
Migraines are very severe and can impede your day-to-day activities, such as aspects of your family life, social affairs, school, or work. Every person experiences migraine in a different way. Those who know their personal triggers can already tell few hours or a day before they experience a migraine that an attack is about to hit. Signs may be heightened energy, excessive thirst, food cravings, moodiness, and fatigue. We will discuss more about the triggers after this. For now, here are the possible migraine symptoms:
- Intense pounding or dull aching pain on one or both sides of the head
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling cold or sweating
- Pain that gets worse with physical activity
- Visual disturbances – blurry vision or blind spots
- Problems with light, odors, or noise
- A stiff or tender neck
- A stuffy nose
- A tender scalp
- Feeling confused or very tired
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraine headaches, download our complimentary e-book NATURAL AND DRUG-FREE WAYS TO END YOUR MIGRAINES by clicking the image below.
What Triggers Migraines?
Triggers are things that may prompt the onset of the migraine. It varies from person to person. Most people with migraines report the following as their top triggers:
- Hormonal Changes: Menstruation, usage of birth control, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy can trigger a migraine.
- Medication: Some medication can give migraines as a side effect. Consult your doctor before taking any medication.
- Senses: Bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells can trigger migraines.
- Illness: Infections such as flu or the common cold can make migraines come about, particularly in children.
- Stress: External stress such as feeling too overwhelmed or anxious, or internal stress like not getting adequate sleep can lead to migraines.
Foods That Trigger Migraines
Certain foods or drinks can also trigger migraines. Triggers differ for everyone, but here is a list of likely suspects:
- Aged cheese
- Caffeine – too much or too little
- Chocolate, cocoa, or carob
- Aspartame or other artificial sweeteners
- Cultured dairy – buttermilk and sour cream
- Beans – pole, broad, lima, pinto, garbanzo, Italian, and others
- Aged, canned, cured, or processed meat – hot dogs, bologna, herring, game, pepperoni, ham, sausage, and others
- Brewer’s yeast
- Canned soup or bouillon cubes
- Nuts and peanut butter
- Meat tenderizer
- Soy sauce
- Pickled, marinated, or preserved foods – pickles, olives, snack foods
- Snow peas
- Pea pods
- Red plums
- Seasoned salt
Caring for Migraines Naturally
Traditional care for migraines includes medications. Doctors may prescribe abortive and preventive medicines. Abortive medication aims to stop migraines before they become too strong. This is taken as soon as you feel a migraine is about to start. Preventive medication is taken every day to reduce the number of migraine attacks.
There is another migraine treatment option that is all-natural and does not come with harmful side effects – upper cervical chiropractic care. Scientific studies have proven its effectiveness. In one study, 101 migraine patients were examined and discovered to have a misalignment in the bones of their upper cervical spine. Most of these patients remembered having trauma to their head or neck before the onset of their migraines. They were all given an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment to their neck, and within 1 to 8 months, 85 of them reported complete elimination of their migraines. The remaining patients all reported a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of their migraines.
Here at Sherwood Spinal Care in Renton, Washington, we use a technique similar to the one used in the study mentioned above. Our Renton chiropractic clinic offers a gentle procedure that does not involve cracking or twisting of the spine. Rather, it encourages the bones to move back into their positions more naturally, resulting in a longer-lasting adjustment. In many cases, this is all that is necessary to experience an improvement in or an end of migraines.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sherwood, call 425-243-1607 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.