Upper cervical chiropractors in Michigan, such as our team at Balanced Health Chiropractic Center of West Michigan, provide care for migraine patients.
Migraines are a neurological condition. They are more than just severe headaches. The Migraine Research Foundation reports that 39 million Americans have migraines. A genetic factor seems to play a role in migraine development for some people, but not for all migraine sufferers.
Migraines do not have an identifiable underlying cause, such as a tumor. For this reason, doctors consider them primary headaches. Some migraineurs experience one-sided head pain, while others feel pain on both sides.
Migraine headaches can range from moderate to severe and may hinder your ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Most migraine patients choose to rest in a cool, dark, quiet room whenever a migraine attack occurs.
Migraine episodes can last anywhere from four hours to a couple of days. The extreme headache may ease up, but it can still cause weakness, low energy, and other symptoms for anyone who suffers from them.
The Different Migraine Types
According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, migraines and other headache disorders ranked as the second leading cause of disability globally. The number of female migraineurs is three times more than male migraineurs.
There are different types of migraines, and doctors give a diagnosis based on symptoms. They rely on the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD), one of the recognized classification systems for migraines and headaches. The International Headache Society established the ICHD.
Below are the types of migraines acknowledged by ICHD.
- Migraine without aura
- Migraine with aura
- Migraine with typical aura
- Migraine with brainstem aura
- Hemiplegic migraine
- Retinal migraine
- Chronic migraine
- Complications of a migraine
- Status migrainosus
- Persistent aura without infarction
- Migrainous infarction
- Migraine aura-triggered seizure
- Probable migraine
- Probable migraine without aura
- Probable migraine with aura
- Episodic syndromes possibly associated with a migraine
ICHD does not recognize the following migraine types, but some doctors still use them in practice.
- Tension migraine
- Stress migraine
- Silent or an acephalgic migraine
- Ocular migraine
- Sinus migraine
- Cyclic migraine syndrome
- Gastric stasis migraine
- Seasonal migraines
If you suffer from migraines on a regular basis, physicians may advise you to keep a migraine journal to identify your triggers and avoid future attacks. Some of the things you should track in the journal are foods you eat, drinks you consume, the weather conditions, your physical activity levels, stress levels, etc. You should also write down the symptoms you had during an episode, their intensity, and duration. This can help your doctor classify the migraine type you have and provide the care you need. It may also help you recognize your personal migraine triggers.
Common Migraine Symptoms
Migraines display different symptoms for every person and episode. Some migraine symptoms have a direct connection to another condition. If you experience unbearable migraine pain, or pain that is different than you normally experience, it is best to seek medical help. It may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs attention.
The following are the typical signs and symptoms of migraines:
- Throbbing or pounding headache
- One-sided pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to sound
- Sensitivity to smell
- Having blurry vision
- Aura (visual or sensory disturbances)
Some migraineurs also experience these:
- Extreme fatigue
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Numbness and tingling
- Puffy eyelids
- Problems concentrating
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Food cravings
- Neck pain
Migraine Triggers to Avoid
Triggers are things that may start a migraine episode. Every person has different triggers. They are not universal, but there are common triggers that many migraineurs report:
- Stress, skipping meals, abnormal sleep patterns, fasting, drinking alcohol, dehydration, exercise, and over-exertion
- Menstruation, pregnancy, fluctuations in hormone levels, taking oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy
- Bright or flickering lights, strong smells, air pressure (air travel), smoke or pollution, and motion sickness
- Medication side effects, overuse of pain relievers for headaches, and taking oral contraceptives
- Bright sunlight, sudden changes in air temperature, changes in barometric pressure, and either high or low humidity
Effective, Natural Relief for Migraine Patients
Upper cervical chiropractors in Michigan have been providing care for migraine patients with a high success rate. Here at Balanced Health Chiropractic Center of West Michigan, we focus our attention on keeping the correct alignment of the uppermost bones of the neck – the C1 and C2 vertebrae.
Migraines may develop when these bones shift out of alignment. Why is that so? Misalignment of these vertebrae can put pressure on the brainstem. When this happens, the brainstem begins relaying incorrect signals to the brain. Also, a misalignment in this delicate area can hinder the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid getting to or leaving the brain.
Upper cervical chiropractic care employs a gentle method that encourages the neck bones to return into position without the use of strong force. Instead, the bones realign gently, and the results are often longer lasting. This means fewer chiropractic adjustments down the road and more money saved!
Upper cervical chiropractic was successful in resolving chronic daily migraines and tension headaches of a 35-year-old woman in a case study. After just three months of care, the woman reported the disappearance of her migraine episodes. If you suffer from migraines, give upper cervical chiropractic care a try. You may find the relief you’ve been looking for. Fill out our contact form to set an appointment at one of our two offices. We are located in Zeeland, Michigan, as well as Grand Rapids, Michigan.