Most people think of a migraine as an excruciating headache, but it is far more than that. A migraine episode is a combination of neurological symptoms, and a terrible headache is just one of its trademark symptoms. Migraine attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and move through several stages:
- Prodromal phase – This stage shows the first signs that an attack will arise. Between 30% to 40% of people living with migraines experience the prodrome. Hours or sometimes even days before a migraine begins, you may experience irritability or changes in mood, nausea, excessive thirst, sleepiness, and a stiff neck.
- Aura phase – Experienced by 25% of migraine sufferers, an aura begins before the headache or starts along with it. Auras are a temporary neurological disturbance that can impact a person’s balance, coordination, vision, speech, or sensation. You may see a flickering, jagged arc of light or a blind spot in your field of vision. You may also complain of numbness or tingling in your body, and troubles expressing thoughts.
- Attack phase – This is the headache that can last a few hours to several days. It typically affects one side of the head, but it may move from one side to the other. The migraine headache can be an unbearable throbbing sensation that is made worse by movement, light, sound or smell. It can also be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
- Postdromal phase – This stage is sometimes referred to as the “migraine hangover.” Following the severe attack of the migraine, you may feel extreme tiredness, sluggishness, confusion, or head pain that flares up when you move quickly. Often, the symptoms are the opposite of the prodromal phase. For example, if you lost your appetite at the beginning of the attack, you might be very hungry now.
Causes of Migraine Attacks Include Multiple Factors
Migraines are a condition that affects 13% of adults in the US population, yet no one knows the definite answer for what causes migraines. Medical researchers are still exploring the exact mechanism of how migraines occur. The prevailing theory was that the dilation and tightening of blood vessels make it happen; however, it was recently revealed that migraines also involve nerve pathways and chemicals in the brain, proving that it is a neurological disorder.
Researchers are also studying the physiological causes of migraine. People with migraines have reported one or more triggers that induce or worsen an attack. Some of the common triggers of a migraine episode include the following:
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Specific foods and drinks like cured meats, sweeteners, or frozen foods
- Altered sleep schedules
- Medication overuse
- Weather changes
- Hormonal changes in women
There is also the possibility that migraines are hereditary as about 80 to 90 percent of people with migraines report having family members who also suffer from them.
If you are suffering from migraines, it is best to learn your triggers and how to work around them to avoid future attacks. Make time to track your migraine symptoms in a journal, and note your food and drink intake, monthly menstrual cycle (for women), and even the weather. If you see a pattern over time, stay away from that item or habit. Triggers vary from person to person. It is essential to understand your body and recognize how it responds to different actions and environments.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Reduces Migraine Attacks
Upper cervical chiropractic care addresses the underlying cause of many reported cases of migraines – an atlas misalignment. The upper cervical spine consists of the uppermost vertebrae in the spine, and the atlas vertebra is the link between the spine and the skull.
Upper cervical chiropractors are specialists within the chiropractic field. They concentrate on this area of the neck as it is very delicate and moves more freely than the rest of the spine. Because of this, it is susceptible to misaligning, especially when there is a history of head or neck injury or constant wear and tear.
When the atlas of the spine is misaligned, it could result in several negative effects:
- A malfunction in sending and receiving of nerve signals between the brain and body, affecting your body’s ability to regulate itself
- Restricted blood flow between the brain and neck
- An impeded flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which results in a disrupted circulation of nutrients in your body
Having your spine adjustments done at Kilian Chiropractic, in Aldergrove, British Columbia, will be different from any previous chiropractic experiences you might have had. You can expect several unique qualities from our care:
- Precise analysis and evaluation – We don’t guess. We utilize scientific measurements and diagnostic imaging to determine the exact degree of your misalignment. We also collect detailed patient history to identify whether an injury in the neck or spine caused the misalignment.
- Gentle adjustments – Our upper cervical adjustments are mild and do not require forceful twisting or popping of the spine. Once we identify the cause of your misalignment, we can give gentle, precise corrections tailored to your case to restore your normal head-neck alignment.
- Long-lasting effects – Our adjustments are designed to hold in place for as long as possible, permitting for the maximum amount of healing to take place. We aim to stabilize your upper cervical spine for your migraine attacks to diminish and your normal healthy body to return.
If you are suffering from migraines and looking for a migraine chiropractor near Aldergrove, BC, contact us or visit our upper cervical chiropractic clinic. Reap the benefits of our gentle and natural method.