West Bend Chiropractor Explains How To Get Relief From Migraines
Everyone gets a tension headache from time to time, but migraine headaches are in a league of their own. Migraines entail a throbbing pain on one side of the head, usually located in the temple or behind the eye. Women are much more likely to suffer migraine headaches than men. The experience of migraines varies with each individual but on average, episodes may occur as frequently as 1 to 3 times per month.
Common Symptoms of Migraine Headaches
Migraines tend to be a personalized condition, with symptoms that vary from person to person. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms are:
- Sensitivity to light and sounds
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Ringing ears
- Cold hands or feet
Causes of Migraines
Migraines are the result of a chain of events. There is usually a trigger, something that sets it off. The blood vessels on one side of the brain dilate and become engorged with blood. This causes the nerves that wrap around the blood vessels to over-stretch, which irritates them and causes a release of inflammatory chemicals. The result is severe headache pain.
Common Triggers of Migraines
Because everyone’s experience is so individualized, there is no one trigger that sets a migraine in motion. Over time, sufferers learn which of the following common triggers are associated with their headaches:
- Alcohol, especially red wine
- Bright lights or loud sounds
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Caffeine-containing headache medication
- Emotional stress
- Food additives, such as MSG or nitrates
- Foods containing tyramine
- Grape Juice
- Hunger (skipping meals)
- Menstruation or Menopause
- Physical stress (too much exercise, heat exhaustion)
- Sleep deprivation
- Weather changes
The Problem With Medications
Because the pain of migraine headaches is so severe, sufferers often turn to medication for relief. However, pain relief medications are far from benign, even when they are obtained without a prescription.
- NSAIDs – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin can cause ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and have even been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. Cox-2 inhibitors have kidney failure and heart attack as possible side effects.
- Acetaminophen – the active ingredient in Tylenol is the number one cause for acute liver failure in the United States
- Sumatriptan – this drug is used to treat the symptoms of migraine, but does not prevent episodes. Side effects may include various cardiac events, including heart attack.
Headaches Aren’t Normal
So many people experience headache pain that it may seem as if it’s just a part of daily life. However, all pain is a message that something is a miss. Research has shown a direct connection between dysfunction in the spine and migraines, as well as many other kinds of headaches.
Chiropractic Offers Natural Relief
Quite often, the underlying cause of headache pain turns out to be an impingement of the nerves in the cervical spine. That’s why migraine headaches often respond to a chiropractic adjustment. By realigning the spinal bones, chiropractors relieve the pressure on the nerves in the neck. In one study, 22% of the study’s participants reported a 90% reduction in migraine episodes. Another 50% reported a reduction in the severity of the episodes.
Help for Wisconsin Sufferers of Migraine Headaches
Dr. Korie Gardner and Dr. F.J. Schofield of Gardner Schofield Chiropractic are experienced at relieving the physical conditions that lead to migraine headaches. Call (262) 334-8188 and schedule an evaluation with Dr. F.J. and Dr. Korie at their West Bend office today.