When migraines hit people, grabbing a pain reliever is often their first choice of remedy. Little do they know, a chiropractor for Migraine in Zeeland, Michigan can also help.

Migraines are excruciating and disabling. They are neurological in origin, mostly known for causing: 

  • Visual disturbances (aura)
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Throbbing and pounding head pain often affecting one side of the head
  • Sensitivity to smells, noises, and lights
  • Nausea and vomiting

Many migraineurs experience an aura—it strikes and serves as a warning sign of an impending migraine episode. Migraines are so crippling that they can drain a person’s energy to perform their everyday routines. They can leave some people without a choice but miss school or work. 

More often than not, headache specialists or doctors prescribe medications to migraineurs for relief. Medications can help you feel better and get relief from pain. However, drugs can have dangerous side effects. If you fail to take them according to proper dosage, they can cause more harm than good. If you choose to take medications to deal with your migraines and headaches, you must understand and follow all instructions carefully.

Types of Migraine Medications

There are two categories:

Medications for preventing migraines (Preventative care)

These are daily medicines that help prevent the onset of migraine attacks, and doctors usually recommend them when you are having more than 15 migraines within a week. Medications under this category may take several weeks or even months to work properly. These are good for other health conditions, and they’re known to help give migraine relief as well.

Medications for stopping migraines (Acute care)

When your migraines are only mild to moderate, you get the option to start with an over-the-counter drug to help counteract the pain. These medicines usually have fewer side effects compared to prescription drugs. If this does not work, other prescription drugs may also help. You can also take a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications. For example, naproxen or acetaminophen can be used together with prescription medicine like triptan.

Let’s take a look at what these medications are and what their common side effects would be. 

Medication for Preventing Migraines (Preventative Care)

#1. Beta-blockers

People with high blood pressure often receive this prescription. Beta-blockers are drugs that reduce the effects of stress hormones on your blood vessels and heart.

  • Timolol
  • Atenolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Nadolol
  • Propranolol

Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Depression

Medication for Migraines (Acute Care)

Any patient needs to understand that if they are going to take these drugs for more than two times per week, it can potentially lead to rebound headaches or medication overuse headaches (MOH). This kind of problem is more severe than migraines. As the name indicates, it is a kind of headache that occurs due to drug overuse. The only way to get rid of MOH is to halt all medication use immediately.

#1. Painkillers

You can take some over-the-counter painkillers for migraines, but a doctor’s prescription is necessary. In addition to Tylenol (an analgesic that can relieve pain), there are medicines which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that reduce inflammation and give pain relief.

  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Ketorolac

Side Effects (due to long-term use):

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart attack

#2. Ergotamines

These medicines cause blood vessels around the brain to contract, leading to a decrease in migraine pain.

  • Methysergide
  • Ergotamine and caffeine
  • Methylergonovine
  • Dihydroergotamine

Side effects: 

  • Toxic if taken in high doses 
  • Can cause congenital disabilities
  • Heart problems

Who should not take Ergotamines?

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Those with heart disease

Another warning: These drugs should never combine with antifungal or antibiotic medications.

#3. Triptans

These drugs increase the serotonin levels in the brain, which constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Thus, it can help relieve migraines.

  • Almotriptan
  • Fovatriptan
  • Eletriptan
  • Naratriptan
  • Sumatriptan
  • Sumatriptan and naproxen
  • Rizatriptan
  • Zolmitriptan

Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tingling or numbness in your toes
  • Discomfort or tightness in your throat or chest

Who should not take Triptans?

  • People with heart problems
  • Those at risk of having a stroke

Triptans can cause potentially deadly serotonin syndrome if taken with other medication that increases serotonin, like antidepressants.

#4. Opioids

These are potent painkillers. Opioids get only prescribed if you cannot take any of the medications, as mentioned earlier.

  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Meperidine

Side effects: 

  • These drugs carry a grave risk of drug addiction. As a result, it gets prescribed as little as possible.

The drugs on this list are just some of the medications often used to treat migraines. There are 87 medications listed on WebMD.

Due to the possibility of severe side effects and other concerns, many patients are turning to natural ways to care for migraines. A chiropractor for Migraine in Zeeland can help you find drug-free migraine relief. Let’s look at one option that can give long-lasting results.

Relief with the Help of a Chiropractor for Migraine in Zeeland

There is one fundamental cause of migraines that people frequently overlook: A misalignment in the bones of the neck or upper cervical spine. Within the neck are the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) bones, which can easily misalign because of their mobility and function. A head or neck trauma can cause a misalignment in these bones. 

When misalignment happens, the brainstem endures extreme pressure. As a result, the brainstem malfunctions and restricts cerebrospinal fluid and oxygen flow from reaching the brain. Migraines are an unpleasant result.

Here at Balanced Health Chiropractic Center of West Michigan, our chiropractor for migraine in Zeeland will take care of your migraine pain. One of our upper cervical chiropractors will use a gentle and precise method to encourage your misaligned bones to return to their proper position. Most of our patients report a significant improvement in the severity and frequency of their migraines once they receive our NUCCA technique. Since it is a natural and drug-free method of care, our patients enjoy long-lasting relief without any dangerous side effects to worry about at all. Click here to contact us.