As it’s Migraine awareness week this week 5th – 14th September we only thought it would be right to release a blog about migraines. Becky the clinic owner and head chiropractor here at Back2Balance has written all about what a migraine is, the causes, different types and treatment. Continue reading to find out more…
What is a Migraine?
It is characterised by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, episodes affect one side of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to three days
. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Up to one-third of people affected have aura: typically a short period of visual disturbance that signals that the headache will soon occur. Occasionally, aura can occur with little or no headache following, but not everyone has this symptom.
The cause of Migraines
About 15% of the population suffer with migraines. They are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraine affects slightly more boys than girls before puberty and two to three times more women than men. The risk of migraine usually decreases during pregnancy and after menopause. The underlying mechanisms are not fully known. They are, however, believed to involve the nerves and blood vessels of the brain.
Types of Migraines
- Common- migraine without aura
- Classic- migraine with aura
- Cluster- one sided stuffiness, tears, pain around the eyes.
- Abdominal migraine- abdominal pain, nausea, absence of a headache.
- Basilar migraine.
Other possible diagnosis
- Tension headaches- usually pain both sides of the head, and not sever pounding pain
- Temporal arteritis
- Acute glaucoma
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Treatment for Migraines
Typically the medical route is medication and a variety of quite strong drugs. As chiropractors and osteopaths we will always try to reduce or irradiate migraines in a natural way. After a thorough consultation, we here at Back 2 Balance would look to the physical, chemical/nutritional, and emotional factors that could play a part in the cause of migraines.
There is some evidence that magnesium can help migraines, as does other supplements. Reducing typical triggers including alcohol, dairy, chocolate etc are advised. If nerve and blood flow are the causes of migraines, then improving posture, neck movement and function, would impact the causes of the migraine.
Click here for the link to a research article concluding that spinal manipulation may be an effective therapeutic technique to reduce migraine days and pain/intensity.
And here for an article that found Chiropractic spinal manipulation resulted in fewer headaches and higher global perceived effect, with only minor side effects. chiropractic spinal manipulation might be considered as a valuable treatment option for children with recurrent headaches.