Dr. Greenwood's Guide to Migraine Relief

The pain in your head is throbbing.  Light makes it worse, as do loud voices or the sound of the television.  You feel nauseous and just want to lay down and rest, but you can’t because the throbbing just won’t subside.  You are experiencing a migraine headache.

Migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world.  Adults between the ages of 25 and 55 are most often affected, but half of migraine sufferers experience their first attack before they are 12 years old.

How Do Migraines Differ from Other Headaches?
Although some migraines start with a tension headache, a migraine will most likely include

  • Throbbing or pulsing pain in the temples

  • Neck Stiffness

  • Pain behind one eye or ear

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Light sensitivity and visual disturbances, including possible vision loss

  • Sensitivity to sound, smell, or touch

What Causes Migraines?
Studies have shown a genetic link—migraines tend to run in families.  Researchers believe they are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.  Those who experience a “brain freeze” when eating cold foods are usually susceptible to migraines.

There are number of triggers that may begin a migraine episode, including

  • Foods, such as highly processed or fatty foods, skipping meals or fasting.

  • Food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame, nitrates, food dyes.

  • Drinks, including alcohol, especially red wine, excessive caffeine consumption or suddenly stopping caffeine consumption

  • Hormones, fluctuations in estrogen level may trigger migraines, explaining why more women are afflicted with migraines than men

  • Stress, which alters our structure, making our muscles tense.  A tension headache, beginning with stiffness and tenseness around the base of the neck and pain in the temples can trigger a migraine.

  • Strong smells, such as perfume, colognes, car exhaust, gasoline fumes, pain thinner, secondhand smoke, or incense.

  • Bright lights, such as spot lights, strobe lights, flickering lights, or sun glare.

  • Environmental factors, such as an impending storm or change in the barometric pressure.

  • Changes in wake-sleep patterns, such as jet lag, lack of sleep, or oversleeping.

  • Medications may trigger or increase migraines.

When you have a migraine, pay close attention to what you may have eaten or experienced previously.  Some triggers will begin to act immediately; others may take hours or even a day before they will kick in.  Keep a diary and look for the patterns.  Eliminating or avoiding triggers can go a long way to eliminating your migraines.

Chiropractic Care has long been accepted as an extremely effective and natural treatment for migraine headaches.  Research has verified the effectiveness of chiropractic manipulations in relieving acute migraine pain and lessening the effects and frequency for those who suffer from cyclical or frequent migraine headaches.

A 2011 study concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be equally effective as popular migraine medications, without their potential side effects.3

The Medications typically prescribed for migraines (listed with their side effects) are:

  • Triptans (reactions at the injection site, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness)

  • Ergots (may worsen nausea and vomiting or cause medication –overuse headaches.

  • Anti-Nausea medications (dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, blurred vision, low blood pressure)

  • Glucocorticoids (weight gain, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, acne, moon face, growth of facial hair, thinning and easy bruising of skin, glaucoma, cataracts)

  • Opiods (generally only used as a last resort due to their addictive nature, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, constipation, abdominal pain, allergic reactions)

When a Headache is More Than a Migraine?
Some severe headaches may indicate a stroke or other serious medical problem.  If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should go to an emergency room or see your doctor immediately:

  • An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap.

  • Headache occurring soon after a head injury.

  • Chronic headache that becomes more severe with coughing, exertion, straining or sudden movement.

  • Headache accompanied by fever, seizures, double vision, numbness or trouble speaking, stiff neck, confusion, or weakness

  • A new type of headache if you are over age 50

Get Relief from Your Headaches
That “chiropractor near me” that you’ve been searching for to get relief from your migraine headache pain is right here in Nixa!.  Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND has over 30 years of experience helped thousands of patients get relief from their headache pain.  Dr. Greenwood’s motto is “no one leaves my office with a headache”!
Call us today at 417-725-6655 to learn more!
Isn’t it time YOU felt good again?
1McCrory DC, Penzien DB, Hasselblad V, Gray RN. Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical Treatment for Tension-Type and Cervicogenic
2Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R, Boline P, Goldsmith C, Anderson AV.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 Oct;21(8):511-9.
3 Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. J Headache Pain. 2011 Apr;12(2):127-33
Chiropractor Plus, 1361 W. Mt. Vernon St., Nixa, MO  65714
Call us at (417) 725-6655 to schedule your appointment.
These articles are the property of Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND.  They may not be reused without permission.  You are welcome to link your site or social media account to this article.
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND.  The information on this site is not intended as medical advice.  Dr. Greenwood recommends that patients make their health care decisions carefully after doing their own research and consulting with a licensed health care professional.

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