Research has shown that around 20% of women and 10% of men in the USA suffer from migraine. This relative of the headache – we’ll come to that in a minute – is common across the world, and the severity of a migraine varies from person to person. So does the length of suffering as they can last mere hours or many days.
What is a migraine? Is it just a bad headache or something worse? What causes this strange condition and why are we suggesting a chiropractor can help deal with migraine? These are all points we will deal with in the following article, so let’s begin by distinguishing between the migraine and a headache.
Is a Migraine a Headache?
In many ways a migraine is a headache of sorts. The main symptom is usually heavy pain of the ‘throbbing’ kind felt on one side of the head. Yet it is not simply a headache as we experience them frequently. Migraines come with many other possible symptoms which may or may not be experienced by the sufferer. One, for example, is known as ‘aura’ and is surprisingly common. This phenomenon includes the sufferer seeing flashing lights or experiencing blind spots, as well as possible tingling in the hands and fingers and sometimes temporary sight loss on one side.
Aura can occur several hours before the migraine itself – the pain in the head – manifests. Those who experience migraines regularly come to recognize these signs and are able to prepare for the migraine itself. Migraine can be debilitating for the duration in many cases, preventing the sufferer from working or getting on with daily life, and may also induce vomiting, nausea and – following the migraine event – extreme tiredness or fatigue.
For more detailed analysis of migraine and its symptoms we recommend you Healthline’s article that covers migraine and other conditions. Now that we know what a migraine is, let’s talk about what causes it.
What Causes a Migraine?
Above we have described what a migraine actually is from the patient’s point of view, but what causes it, and why? The simple truth is nobody knows. Much research has gone into the cause of migraine but there does not seem to be one common denominator among sufferers who can be male or female, young or old, active or otherwise. Medical scientists do believe from research and experience that migraine is perhaps caused by changes in the way the brain communicates with the nervous system.
It may also be down to an imbalance in certain chemicals in the body and also to the way blood vessels are operating. What is known is that there are certain triggers – things that appear to induce a migraine. Once again, these differ wildly among individuals but are known to include the following:
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- Poor posture and muscle tension
- Hormonal changes (especially in women)
- Dietary factors such as certain foods, caffeine and alcohol
- Lack of sleep and tiredness
- Some forms of medication
- Over-exertion of the body
These are the main triggers for what causes migraine, and it is because of several of these that we are interested in how a chiropractor can help.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Migraine?
We mentioned above that migraines are believed to be caused by changes in the nervous system. We’ve also mentioned stress, anxiety, poor posture and muscle tension. All of these are problems that a chiropractor is specifically trained and qualified in dealing with. Chiropractors, like Health From Within, are skilled in stress treatment as they aim to deal with problems with the spine. Let us explain how this relates to migraine and the above possible causes and known triggers.
The spine is the major part of your central nervous system. Think of it as the road down which all messages from the brain to the nerves travel. When we are stressed, we tense our muscles. We also tend to adopt poor posture, especially so as the stress increases. This leads to constantly tense muscles, a spine that is out of line, and a nervous system that is not transmitting its messages correctly.
That points directly to not only the triggers listed above, but the believed main reason for migraine which is the problems with the nervous system. By performing their trade and helping you relax the tension in the muscles and by putting your spine right and educating you in posture as well as diet and relaxation a chiropractor may provide the answer to your migraine problem.
Check out the link we mentioned for more information and if you are a migraine sufferer, it is perhaps worth talking to a qualified chiropractor who will be able to assess your needs and help if possible.