Many people know that chiropractic care is great for helping with lower back and neck pain relief. However, some may be surprised that chiropractic treatment can help with relief of pain for migraine headaches. This article will discuss a mechanism of cause of migraine headaches, how chiropractic care brings relief of migraine headache pain and a case study detailing how a patient suffering from migraine headaches was able to be helped by chiropractic therapy.
Let’s begin with a brief discussion of migraine headache. A textbook migraine headache is typically one where a person experiences pain on one side of the head or the other. Is usually not found on both sides of the head. A person suffering from migraine headache typically has what is called a prodrome. A prodrome is an abnormal sensory feeling such as loss of peripheral vision, squiggly lines in the visual field, ringing in the ears or a tingling feeling of the face and upper part of the body. The prodrome usually precedes the actual pain of the headache by minutes to hours. Someone who gets repeated or frequent migraine headaches usually knows when it is coming because of the prodrome.
When the actual headache pain sets in it is usually very excruciating. The sufferer is usually sensitive to light and wants to be in a dark room. They also may suffer nausea and thus feel like they want to lie down. For most is almost impossible to carry on with their everyday activities of work, family time and recreation.
Migraine headache researchers have found that there seems to be abnormalities with normal blood flow of the head. Arteries bring blood throughout the human skull. These arteries are surrounded by small muscles which contract and relax and thus control blood pressure. Research shows that for some reason, arterial muscles contract and dilate improperly which they attribute to migraine headache pain.
Chiropractors have had success helping give relief of migraine headache pain for many decades. Spinal nerves that are found in the upper neck, which is called the cervical spine, have an effect controlling normal arterial muscle action. If there is nerve irritation from a misalignment or improper movement the upper cervical spine chiropractors are trained professionals who may be able to help. A doctor of chiropractic is able to restore proper movement in alignment of the spinal bones through a chiropractic adjustment. This helps restore normal nerve integrity and can help bring migraine headache relief.
In my 35 years of chiropractic practice I have had the opportunity to help many people gain relief from their migraine headaches. One was a young woman who had suffered with couple or several headaches every week from the time she was a child. She had seen numerous specialists had every diagnostic test available including MRIs, CT brain scans, vascular studies, allergy sensitivity tests and others. The only help she got was by taking medication. However, she was only allowed to take a limited amount of the medication due to the side effects. The rest of the time she was at the mercy of the headaches.
When I initially evaluated her in my chiropractic practice I found that she had significant misalignments of the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine causing nerve irritation. We set about with a series of treatments to correct the alignment. After a few weeks she noticed fewer and less intense headaches. Following a couple months of chiropractic treatment she suffered virtually no more migraines. She has told me how this has made a great impact improvement upon her life and it has been rewarding to have been able to be of help.
Hopefully, this article will encourage patients suffering with migraine headaches to explore chiropractic care for opportunities to gain relief of migraine headache pain.