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Fighting Migraines with Chiropractic Treatment

Are chiropractors a form of alternative medicine?

Well you might not realize it, with a chiropractor Vancouver, WA residents to the citizens of Melbourne Australia have been finding migraine relief with chiropractic treatments. Anyone who has suffered from a migraine knows they aren’t anywhere close to a regular headache. Symptoms are much more severe and are frequently incapacitating. Many standard medical remedies have little to no effect or waning benefits. In cases like these, alternative medicines can provide relief where traditional medicine has failed. Before we consider the latest alternative to migraine pain let’s look at the structure of a migraine headache.

What causes migraine headaches?

Chiropractor Vancouver WAThough there is not an accepted and agreed upon medical cause of migraine headaches there are known triggers. These triggers vary from person to person and may be responsible for the onset or worsening of a migraine. Migraines have been found to be hereditary and can be passed down. Children have a 50% chance of having migraines if a single parent has them. This number is even greater when both parents are sufferers.

There are a variety of known triggers for migraine headaches. These can include a number of things that include:

  • Headaches related to changes in hormone levels due to menstruation.
  • Drink and food triggers like the tyrosine-derived tyramine.
  • Poor quality sleep and overall sleep deficiency.
  • Weather changes like pressure changes may trigger episodes.
  • Certain medications may be the cause of migraines.
  • Caffeine and stress can both be major triggers.

Migraine symptoms can be alleviated through chiropractic care

Symptoms can occur before and during a migraine. Many sufferers frequently cite mood changes, stiffness, yawning, urination and thirst as well as food cravings as many as several days before a migraine. During a migraine, auras may present themselves. These may present as visual, audio, or motor control related symptoms. This includes vision loss, speaking difficulty, hearing or seeing flashes and noises that aren’t there, or jerking movements.

During a Migraine Attack

    • Sensitivities may include sound, light, and even touch or smell. This causes many sufferers to lie in a darkened room until the migraine passes.
    • Pulsing or throbbing pain can occur in and around the front and sides of the sufferers head.
    • Nausea can occur. This may lead to vomiting.

    • Vision frequently blurs.
    • Fainting and lightheartedness are very common.
    • Dizziness and an unusual change in appetite.

The Chiropractic Migraine Connection

There is a major connection between chiropractic work and a reduction in both the instances and severity of migraines. Since it’s unknown what exactly causes migraines and chiropractic work frequently focuses on adjusting nerve pathways, it may correct problems like pinched or constricted nerves.

One study found that 22% of patients receiving chiropractic adjustments in order to reduce their migraines had a 90% reduction in attacks. 49% also reported a major reduction in the intensity of their migraines. This study was performed as a randomized study with a control group at the Chiropractic Research Center of Macquarie University. Including 127 participants from 10 to 70 it confirmed the results of previous and similar studies.

Dr. Peter Tuchin, the chiropractor who performed the study said that, “I think the vast majority of medical practitioners are now open to chiropractic, but there’s a very small percentage who don’t realize what developments we’ve had, what inroads we’ve made.”

“Chiropractic is not the be all and end all, but for a good percentage of migraine sufferers the neck is a significant contributing factor, and for them chiropractic treatment is really effective. I’m not saying that everybody’s going to be cured, but there’s very little to lose.”

Another study found that chiropractic care could be equally as effective as medication for preventing and treating migraines. This makes it an incredibly cost-effective and valuable tool for migraine sufferers. Many insurance plans also cover chiropractic visits. Patients may even be able to get coverage beyond their initial visit limit when treatments are related to migraines.

How can a chiropractor help with your migraines?

Chiropractic Medicine Vancouver WAThere are several different areas your chiropractor will focus on. Reducing migraines doesn’t just mean proper adjustments. There are a number of avenues to pursue and with the help of your chiropractor you can pursue them intelligently. This means focused identification and ruling out of critical factors. Some of the areas your chiropractor may work with you include:

Triggering Factors: One method to determine your triggers is to keep a very detailed diary. The diary should note times and consumption levels for various food, drink, and alcohol as well as sleep cycles, physical exercise, stressors, and additional areas. These help provide a diagrammatic description so that can help you locate patterns of behavior that may be leading to the cause of exacerbation of migraine symptoms.

Look for a chiropractic office with a nutritionist on staff or who has experience with nutrition. This will allow you to formulate a dietary plan in the event foods are found to trigger your condition. Getting everything you need form a single practitioner doesn’t just save you time and money. Keeping your records in one place ensures aspects of your condition aren’t overlooked. Overlooking variables often happens when patients use multiple specialists. One may know or try something the other doesn’t know about. This can harm the results of both.

Lifestyle Factors: For some migraine sufferers part of the problem may lie in their lifestyle. Lack of exercise may be a factor as well as sleep patterns and meal consumption. Diaries and careful adjustments can help narrow down the potential scope of lifestyle factors that can contribute to the problem. A chiropractor can help guide you on the road to recovery and identify any trends you may be missing. This can help divide lifestyle factors that are innocuous from those that are causing migraines.

Stress Factors: Stress can be a major factor where migraines are concerned. In addition to utilizing the diary, chiropractic services can actually help reduce short and long-term stress. Eliminating stress as a factor can severely reduce the length and severity of your migraine headaches. Your chiropractor may recommend additional services like massage therapy. These can also help patients suffering from migraines.