A migraine is not just a headache… it is a relentless, pounding and throbbing pain that can steal your energy and be so debilitating as to prevent you from being able to function normally.
Migraine is the most common neurological condition affecting people of all ages, social classes, races and cultures. A Migraine is commonly managed through medication, but some people simply cannot tolerate strong pain-killing drugs, whilst others may wish to avoid medication completely. Whoever you are, if you suffer from migraines, Chiropractic is a real alternative that should be considered:
A clinical trial (1) carried out in Australia found that 75% of migraine sufferers experienced either ‘substantial’ or ‘noticeable’ improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment. One of the authors of the research, Dr Peter Tuchin said-
“Around 22% (of patients) had substantial reduction which means that more than 60% of their symptoms reduced during the course of the treatment” “What makes this a really strong result is that this was a chronic group – the average length of time they’d had migraines was 18 years. To get a change of that sort of magnitude in a really chronic group was amazing”
Chiropractic treatment appears to affect the changes in the function of the blood or nervous system in specific areas of the brain, thus guarding against the chemical imbalances which have been shown to cause migraines. The cervical spine- the neck- was designed to have a C-shaped curve (known as lordosis). This design serves a specific purpose as the neck is responsible for bearing the considerable weight of the head. A subluxation (simply described as a misalignment in the neck) can irritate the nerves that travel between the brain and the spine. Such a misalignment can interfere with the normal workings of the central nervous system and leave the body vulnerable to chemical imbalances in the brain.
Migraine triggers vary but can include periods of stress, foods (such as chocolate, caffeine, processed meats, cheese, nuts, wine and many more) poor sleep, medication and even hormonal changes (e.g. menstrual cycle). For most people there is not just one trigger but a combination of factors, which individually can be tolerated but when they all occur together a threshold is passed, and a migraine is triggered.
Chiropractic treatment can help with many contributory factors and after effects of migraine attacks including; reduced restriction in neck movement, muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders and the correction of any postural issues that may influence the occurrence of both migraine and tension headaches.
(1) J Headache Pain. 2011(Apr); 12(2):127-133 – Manual Therapies for Migraine: A Systematic Review