Adjustments Help: A Chiropractor Blog

3 FAQ About Migraine Headaches

According to the latest migraine statistics, more than 38 million people in the United States suffer with this type of headache. Some estimates put the number of migraine sufferers at 50 million. Most of these people get up to two migraine headaches a month. Many people find it hard to work and do normal daily activities when they have a migraine headache.

If you would like to know more, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about migraine headaches.

1. What Are the Symptoms of Migraine Headaches?

Some of the symptoms of migraine headaches are much different than that of a typical headache. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. Other common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling very warm or very cold

Some people also experience sensory disturbances, which include vision changes and tingling in the hand or face. When this symptom is present it's called a migraine with aura or classic migraine.

2. What Causes Migraine Headaches?

The cause of migraines is poorly understood. Some researchers believe migraine is caused by a change in blood flow to the brain. Genetics may also play a role. No matter what the cause, there are certain things that seem to trigger migraine headaches.

Some common triggers include:

  • Foods such as alcohol, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and certain food additives.
  • Changes in the barometric pressure, as well as other changes in weather.
  • Hormones, especially when there is a drop in estrogen levels.

Other triggers include stress, lack of sleep, skipping meals, and menstruation. Getting too much caffeine or having caffeine withdrawals can also trigger migraine headaches.

3. What Treatment Options Are Available for Migraine Headaches?

Some people treat their migraines with over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. However, for many, this medicine isn't strong enough. Also, OTC medications won't reduce the frequency of migraines. There are prescription drugs that help to decrease the frequency. Many of these drugs come with negative side effects. Some people prefer more natural types of treatment for their migraines. These natural treatment options include massage therapy, essential oils, and biofeedback. Still others have found chiropractic care to be helpful for treating their migraines.

When a chiropractor aligns the spine with an adjustment, it removes interference from the nervous system. Chiropractic care also reduces muscle tension and improves blood flow, which helps to decrease the frequency of migraines. A chiropractor can also help migraine sufferers identify triggers and recommend the appropriate lifestyle changes.