Migraine Headache

Migraine Headache

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Migraine Headache

Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms.
Typically the headache affects one half of the head, is pulsating in nature, and lasts from 2 to 72 hours. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity. Up to one-third of people with migraine headaches perceive an aura: a transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance, which signals that the headache will soon occur. Occasionally an aura can occur with little or no headache following it.

Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. About two-thirds of cases run in families. Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraines affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty, but about two to three times more women than men. The risk of migraines usually decreases during pregnancy. The exact mechanisms of migraine are not known. It is, however, believed to be a neurovascular disorder. The primary theory is related to increased excitability of the cerebral cortex and abnormal control of pain neurons in the trigeminal nucleus of the brainstem

What causes a Migraine headache?

Spinal misalignments (subluxations) are very common and the effect of these left uncorrected in the body especially in the upper cervical spine is the major cause of migraine headaches. The nerves in the upper cervical spine supply the head and face so when they get irritated they can refer pain into these areas. Subluxations put unnecessary strain on the spinal joints, discs ligaments, muscles and the nervous system.

Spinal misalignments (subluxations) can occur at birth due to birth trauma or occur after injures, falls or prolonged poor postures. Stress has a huge affect on spine due to increased and abnormal muscle tone. Also what you put into your body has an effect. Poor diet, recreational and even medical drugs will have side effects that affect your nervous system and therefore your spinal alignment automatically.

There are many Migraine headache triggers – the most common are:

  • Foods, including alcohol, aged cheese, caffeine, chocolate, artificial sweeteners and seasonings (MSG)
  • Hormonal changes, related to a drop in estrogen levels, which may occur before a woman’s monthly period. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can also trigger migraines
  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Too much/too little sleep
  • Weather changes or changes in time zone or altitude
  • External factors, such as bright lights, certain smells (perfume) or second-hand smoke

Dangers of Drugs for Migraine headache Treatment

Medical doctors generally treat migraine headache symptoms with medications, such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Regularly taking some of the most popular painkillers on the market [paracetamol, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen six or seven days per week over a two-year period] is linked to a much greater risk of stroke and heart attack from higher blood pressure, according to research from a large American study.

Powerful drugs can numb your nervous system so the pain doesn’t register. While these approaches may be convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don’t correct the underlying cause of the headache.

How to Relieve Migraine headache Naturally:

Lavender Oil: Not only does lavender smell great — it’s also a useful home remedy for headaches and migraine pain. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water are recommended when inhaling lavender-oil vapors as a headache treatment. Unlike many medicinal oils, this home remedy can also be safely applied externally without the need to dilute it. Lavender oil should not be taken orally.

Appropriate Diet: One of the most useful home remedies for reducing headaches and migraine pain involves making changes to your diet. Certain foods have been shown to affect the frequency and severity of headaches and migraine pain, including dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats with nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs; foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG); foods containing tyramine, an amino acid found in red wine; and foods that are fermented or pickled. Keep track of these trigger foods and your reaction to them with a food diary.

Massage: Do-it-yourself scalp massages can be an effective way to alleviate migraine pain, and they feel great. Researchers in Brazil showed that massaging the greater occipital nerve — the area in the back of the head, at the base of the skull — reduces migraine pain. Massage in general has been identified as a useful home remedy for headaches, especially reflexology (massaging reflex points on the hands and feet).

Drink herbal tea: Many herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, are said to have calming properties. Of course, the simple act of sipping a hot beverage from a mug is also psychologically calming, so be sure to go by whatever feels best.

Acupressure: is helpful for some people. There are pressure points  that when pressed gently for a of couple minutes can provide relief.

Sleep: Sometimes simply lying down and going to sleep for a little bit can work wonders.

Chiropractic Care: Patients who suffer from migraine headaches usually prefer chiropractic adjustments, along with other chiropractic care methods including massage and trigger point therapy. These methods can either be done alone or in combination with one another to realign the skeletons and eliminate the cycle of pain. It can also help to release muscular tension that could bring about moderate to severe levels of pain.

Patients who suffer from migraine headaches are recommended to undergo several sessions to find effective relief and treatment from their condition. This comes as a result of reducing the amount of nerve irritation and facilitate in muscle relaxation. For a more effective long-term treatment plan against headaches, chiropractors recommend regular exercise, stretching, proper posture, and relaxation techniques to help alleviate the pain and symptoms of this condition.

The World Health Organization states that 10% of the world’s adult population suffers from migraines. This problem accounts for over 2% of years lost as a result of disability as measured globally. Additional facts included in the article show that worldwide, over 40 million people suffer from migraines, with three million Americans suffering from chronic migraines.

With these large numbers, the author of the article states the threat and offers a solution, “These figures are staggering and they indicate the imminent threat migraines pose to individuals and the economy in general. Therefore, it makes sense for people to embrace the answer for migraines; chiropractic care.”
The article continues by explaining the general failure of medical care to correct migraines. The article also explains how chiropractic helps. “…the main cause of their migraines is a misalignment of their upper cervical spine, which can effectively and efficiently be readjusted through chiropractic care, resulting in recovery from migraine.”
These misalignments are known as subluxations. Subluxations are when bones of the spine become misaligned and cause pressure or irritation of spinal nerves. This then results in nerve malfunction which can lead to a number of health issues. Subluxations of the upper bones of the neck can lead to migraines. “Once the underlying causes are located and dealt with in the most suitable chiropractic techniques, the occurrences of migraines are greatly reduced and in most instances, stopped.”

The article concludes by offering the results of a study that shows chiropractic can help migraines. “According to studies conducted to examine the ability of chiropractic care to treat migraines, chiropractic care is the most effective, safest and most efficient in providing long term benefits with the least number of side effects compared to other remedies.”