Migraine headaches, while being extremely painful, can definitely affect people’s lives. I recall a patient in my chiropractic practice named Gary, who was in his mid-30s and suffered from migraine headaches. When I initially met with Gary, he also brought his wife. We discussed his history of being plagued with migraines for many years. When a migraine occurred, he was incapacitated and had to go to bed with the lights off and the blinds closed. His wife told me that many of their family functions and vacations were dependent on whether or not Gary was having a headache. This article will discuss migraine headaches and how people can obtain migraine headache relief without the use of drugs.
Research is showing that it is increasingly becoming clear, that problems in the neck may play some role with the migraine headaches process. A 2019 research study published in Cephalgia showed that migraine patients with concurrent neck pain had significantly more migraine-related disability than those without neck pain.
The spinal bones of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae. Improper movement or misalignment of the joints of the cervical vertebrae have been found to have a significant correlation with those who suffer from migraines. When the joints of the cervical spine are mal-positioned or move abnormally, they appear to, deleteriously, affect the nerves that can in turn, trigger the onset of a migraine headache. The joints of the cervical spine are called the facet joints. Misalignment and improper movement of the facet joints is called joint dysfunction.
What can a patient expect when initially visiting a chiropractor about their migraine headaches? First, the chiropractor will ask questions, during consultation, about their migraine history. Next, the doctor of chiropractic will examine the patient’s cervical spine so as to feel the areas where facet joint dysfunction exists. Chiropractors spend many years developing the ability to feel if abnormal movement or misalignments of the cervical spine exist. This examination procedure is called palpation. Chiropractors are considered to be the preeminent experts in the art and skill of palpation. If cervical spine joint dysfunction exists chiropractic treatment can commence.
Chiropractic treatment serves to correct cervical spine facet joint dysfunction. Chiropractors perform a gentle, safe method to correct facet joint dysfunction called a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments realign and restore proper movement to the cervical spine which reduces and eliminates facet joint dysfunction. This leads to reduction of migraine pain frequency, intensity and loss of quality activity. The majority of patients receiving chiropractic adjustments feel a great sense of release of tension, tightness and stress of their neck discomfort.
I can happily report that Gary’s chiropractic treatment gave him migraine headache relief and allowed he and his family to enjoy uninterrupted gatherings and vacations. He told me that his wife and children were elated that they could have a relaxing vacation that wasn’t affected by migraine headaches. He said: ‘It’s fun being healthy.”