Migraine TreatmentAlbany, OR
Chiropractors can provide migraine treatment to help patients manage and reduce the pain. Patients who struggle with migraines know all too well how they can derail a day. Though there is no cure for migraines, a chiropractor can help patients find relief from these debilitating headaches.
Migraines can strike people of all ages. If you or someone close to you suffers from migraines, help is available at Better Pain Solutions in Albany and the surrounding area. Call our office at (541) 249-7317 to schedule an appointment.
What is a Migraine?
Migraine headaches are far from average headaches, and people are often surprised by how serious and widespread they are. They are considered primary headaches because a particular condition does not cause them. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), migraines are the 6th highest cause globally of years lost due to disability. In addition, migraines lead to many emergency room visits and countless hours of lost productivity each year.
One key element that sets migraines apart from other headaches is their ability to incapacitate the person completely. The typical migraine involves intense throbbing or pounding on the side of the head that worsens the more a person tries to be active, is exposed to light and certain sounds and smells. Many people report accompanying neck pain, nausea, and vomiting. Other migraine symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Depression or anxiety
- Dizziness and blurred vision
- Nasal congestion
- Pale skin
- Sweating or chills
- Tender scalp
Migraine pain can shift from one side of the head to the other and may even encompass the entire head. They can last a few hours or several days.
“One of the key elements that set migraines apart from other headaches is their ability to incapacitate the person completely.”
Migraine Causes and Triggers
What causes migraines is not completely understood, but the current understanding is chemicals, such as serotonin and estrogen, play a role. When serotonin and estrogen levels change, the result for some individuals is a migraine. One theory is that migraine pain results from excitable brain cells that trigger serotonin to narrow the blood vessels. Also, some research suggests that the rise and fall of estrogen levels in women cause the narrowing of blood vessels.
Migraine triggers vary by person and can be behavioral, environmental, and dietary. For example, many people report that strong smells trigger their migraines, while others find that bright lights and sounds are the main triggers. Others say weather changes bring about migraines. Behavioral factors include the overuse of pain medication and excess exercise. Dietary triggers are numerous and include cheese, salami, fermented, cured, and pickled foods along with alcohol and caffeine. Stress and lack of sleep are frequently reported triggers, along with hunger and dehydration.
“When serotonin and estrogen levels change, the result for some individuals is a migraine.”
Migraine Risk Factors
Anyone can get a migraine, but certain factors make it more likely. Unfortunately, some of these are out of one’s control. Heredity is a leading factor. As many as four out of five people with migraines report having a family history of them. Migraines are more common in women than men, perhaps due to the link between estrogen and migraines. Also, migraines are more common in people between the ages of 18 and 44.
The good news is there are some risk factors that a person can control. For example, those with higher stress levels tend to have more migraines. Therefore, lowering one’s stress could have the added benefit of reducing a person’s migraines. Smoking is another risk factor for those looking for yet another reason to quit.
“As many as four out of five people with migraines report having a family history of them.”
The Initial Consultation
Though people can manage their migraines with medication, some patients do not tolerate the medication well or, for several reasons, wish to find alternative migraine therapy. Many of these people will turn to a chiropractor for help. Chiropractic treatment offers a way for individuals to address their migraines without any of the undesirable side effects that often come with medication. In addition, chiropractic treatment aims to address the underlying cause of symptoms rather than only addressing symptoms. For these and other reasons, many choose to seek chiropractic treatment instead of or in addition to other therapies.
Patients should allocate around 45 minutes to an hour for the initial consultation. This will give our team the ability to provide a full chiropractic exam and get to know the patient’s health history. It is a good idea to prepare important information ahead of time. It is helpful to keep a migraine journal that includes when migraines happen, what they felt like, what appeared to trigger them, and how long they lasted, along with any environmental factors that appeared to make them worse.
“Chiropractic treatment offers a way for individuals to address their migraines without any of the undesirable side effects that often come with medication.”
Possible Migraine Treatments
Our team uses some different approaches to treat migraines. The approach is tailored to the individual patient and may include:
Dietary advice: The practitioner may advise the patient to make dietary changes. This could involve a diet that avoids foods known to trigger migraines and advice on how to supplement their diet with helpful vitamins such as B complex vitamins.
Neuromuscular massage: This is also known as trigger point therapy and involves massage that targets the trigger points in the back, shoulder, neck, and head. This technique aims to ease symptoms by releasing compressed nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
Relaxation and posture advice: Advice on posture is likely to include ergonomics (work posture), relaxation techniques to reduce stress, and exercises aimed at relieving tension in the neck and upper back.
Spinal manipulation: The practitioner uses a device or their hands to apply controlled pressure to a certain joint in the spine. Patients may hear a popping sound when this is done. The goal here is to relieve stress on a person’s system and improve the spine’s function.
Often, patients find a combination of these approaches effective at reducing their migraines. We will recommend a treatment plan at the end of the initial consultation.
“Often, patients find a combination of these approaches effective at reducing their migraines.”
Call Us Today
If you or someone you love is tired of struggling with migraines, Better Pain Solutions may be able to help. We look forward to answering your questions about chiropractic care for migraine treatment. Call us today at (541) 249-7317 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Check out what others are saying about our Migraine Treatment services on Yelp: Migraine Treatment Albany
Questions Answered on This Page
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How happy are patients with chiropractic treatments for migraines?
A. There is still much research to be done on this topic, but preliminary research seems positive. Many people turn to chiropractors every year for help with migraines and report they are satisfied with the results. A recent national cross-sectional survey showed a large proportion of chiropractors reported high migraine caseloads, and migraine headaches are one of the most common headache types chiropractors manage.
Q. What are some of the issues patients have with medication for migraines?
A. There are so many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, used to treat migraines. A common complaint about over-the-counter NSAIDs for migraines is that they can end up making headaches worse in the end due to overuse. Prescription drugs, such as narcotics used to treat migraine pain, carry a high risk for addiction. In addition, side effects, including nausea, sleepiness, fatigue, racing heart, dizziness, and trouble thinking, have been cited as undesired side effects of migraine medication.
Q. Do migraines cause brain damage?
A. Migraine pain can get so bad at times that it might make a person wonder, “Hey, is this causing brain damage?” We can certainly understand the concern. However, rest assured that though it may feel like it, migraines do not cause brain damage even when they are very severe.
Q. What is the best treatment for migraines?
A. The answer to this question is different for everybody. No one pill or treatment works the same for everybody. In most cases, it takes some trial and error to find the best treatment. However, many find that a certain combination of treatments works best to treat their migraines.
Q. Will my health insurance cover chiropractic care?
A. Your health insurance plan will likely cover some chiropractic care. This has not always been the case, but more and more health plans now cover chiropractic care. Every plan is different, so you will want to contact your health insurance provider for specifics on what your plan covers.
- Cervical manual traction
- Cervical manual traction is a technique used by physical therapists and chiropractors to improve neck pain and mobility by lightly stretching the neck.
- Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep to the point where it affects their quality of life.
- Serotonin is a chemical nerve cell found mostly in the digestive system that assists with a host of functions including, mood regulation, narrowing of tiny arteries, sleep, and digestion.
- Spinal Mobilization
- Spinal mobilization is a gentle chiropractic technique in which the practitioner moves the joint slowly, staying within the joint’s normal range of motion.
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