Understanding Migraines to Better Care for Them in Farmington, MI
Migraines are neurological in nature and have to do with specific changes that occur in the brain. The result of these changes is severe head pain accompanied by other neurological symptoms. Migraines may come on suddenly without warning or be preceded by what is called an aura. This occurs about an hour before the head pain starts and is most often seen as visual disturbances, such as flashing lights, seeing sparkles, or even vision loss.
Symptoms of migraines may include the following:
- Sensitivity to bright or flashing lights, loud noises, and certain smells and odors
- Nausea and sometimes vomiting
- Pain behind one of your eyes
- Throbbing and pounding head pain that affects people most often on one of the head but sometimes on both sides
- Moderate to severe pain
- Pain that worsens with physical activity
- Problems with speech
- Tingling in the shoulders, face, or arms
- Short-term weakness on one side of the body
A day or two before the migraine hits you may feel:
- Energetic and happy
- Very tired
- Hungry or thirsty, craving certain foods, or no appetite at all
After the head pain goes away, you may suffer from something called a migraine hangover. This means you may feel very tired and your muscles may become achy. This can linger for a day or so after your head pain subsides.
Other types of headaches cause severe pain but migraines are unique. For example, cluster headaches are said to be the worst pain ever experienced, but it is not the same as migraine pain. No one really understands why migraines occur. Research is constantly being done to try to find this out. It has been agreed upon that changes in the neurotransmitter levels in the brain can play a role, however.
The following things do not actually cause a migraine, but they can play a key role in bringing them about.
- Flashing lights: This can be faulty fluorescent lighting, a TV with a rapidly flashing picture, or sunlight reflecting off of the waves in a lake or ocean.
- Stress and anxiety: It is unlikely that you will be able to lead a stress-free life, you may be able to reduce your stress and avoid triggering migraines through the use of relaxation techniques, biofeedback methods, and deep breathing.
- Lack of food or sleep: To avoid migraines, some have found keeping a regular routine of eating and sleeping to be quite helpful. Disturbances in sleep patterns and not having enough fluid intake or skipping meals can all be triggers for migraines.
- Hormonal changes: Often women have migraines that are connected to their menstrual cycle. The fluctuating changes associated with this particular time can be a trigger. It is important to remember that patterns differ from one woman to another, so what helps your best friend control her migraines may not work so well for you.
- Certain foods: Studies have not been able to prove that foods actually trigger migraines, but migraine sufferers themselves say they do. Sufferers blame such things as red wine, aged cheeses, soy sauce, MSG, processed meats, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate, to name just a few.
- Tyramine: This is derived from the amino acid tyrosine and causes your blood vessels to contract and expand, leading to a migraine. Certain foods contain tyramine, such as aged cheeses, pickles, aged meats like pepperoni, and soy sauce.
- Caffeine: This can go either way. For one thing, too much or too little caffeine can induce a migraine. However, some people find caffeine to be helpful for migraines. Again, this is something that depends on the individual.
A migraine journal is a great way to keep track of personal triggers. After a migraine is over, write down everything you did, starting a day before the head pain started. Such things as weather conditions, what physical activities you were doing, what foods you ate (including beverages), and how much stress you were under. Looking back on these things after a few migraine attacks can help you see a pattern beginning to develop. This can help you to identify your triggers and avoid them in the future, hopefully leading to fewer headaches overall.
Alleviating Migraines Through Proper Spinal Alignment
Upper cervical chiropractors, such as those here at Premier Family Wellness in Farmington, Michigan, have seen much success in caring for patients with migraines by making sure the spine is properly aligned. It has been seen in various research studies that the C1 and C2 vertebrae are often the underlying cause of migraines. A study was conducted observing 101 patients who suffered from migraines and other headache types. One of these participants was a female figure skater who experienced migraines for 12 years following a concussion where she hit her head on the ice. She tried various medications over the 12 years after her accident with no success. She began seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. After only 3 months of care, her chronic migraines went away. There were many similar stories in this case study, resulting in most of the patients finding their headaches getting better or being eliminated entirely after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care.
We use a gentle method that does not require us to pop or crack the bones of the spine to get positive results. This helps the bones move back into place more naturally, leading to longer-lasting adjustments and fewer trips back to the office later down the road. Once realigned, the body begins to heal the damage done, and migraines often become a thing of the past.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins call 248-478-6203 or just click the button below area
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.