Migraines are a debilitating neurological condition. Unfortunately, most people who don’t suffer from migraines just see them as bad headaches. As a result, a person may be tempted to say some rather insensitive things. We’re going to look at seven things you should never say to a migraineur. Then we will discuss a natural way for a migraine patient to get help.
#1 I Get Headaches Too
This immediately lets the migraine sufferer know that you probably don’t know what migraines really are or how they differ from a headache. If you get migraines, feel free to commiserate. If all you have ever had is an occasional tension headache, just stick with something like, “I can’t imagine how awful that must be.”
#2 You Should Stop [Insert Activity Here]
There are a lot of different migraine triggers out there, and they differ from patient to patient. You may have had a friend who suffered from migraines and got benefits from stopping certain activities (eating certain foods, drinking certain beverages, staying up late at night, etc.), but that doesn’t guarantee it will work for this person. In fact, he or she may have tried advice from a dozen different friends with no benefit. A better way to word things is to let your friend know that you or someone else you know suffered from migraines and got some benefit from a particular lifestyle change. Ask, “Would you like to know what it was?” before just offering unsolicited advice.
#3 You Don’t Look Ill
This basically makes it sound like you don’t believe the person is sick, which migraineurs hear a lot from friends, family, and coworkers. So regardless of how you meant it, stay away from comments that make it sound like an illness isn’t real unless it makes you look sick all the time.
#4 At Least Migraines Aren’t Fatal
First of all, someone who is extremely sick doesn’t want to hear this. Second, migraines have been linked to an increased risk of suicide. So the condition may not be fatal in itself, but it may move a person not to want to live anymore. With that in mind, without minimizing how debilitating migraines can be, try to help the person focus on the positive things he or she can still accomplish.
#5 I Wish I Could Stay in Bed All Day
For someone who is physically active, healthy, and living a busy lifestyle, the idea of spending a day in bed is like a wonderful dream. For someone who suffers from migraines, he or she would probably prefer to be anywhere but in bed. Remember that a migraine sufferer is probably feeling loss at not making it to work every day or missing social gatherings, even if the person is an introvert.
#6 Isn’t That Something Only Women Get?
There’s enough stigma regarding migraines without trying to make it sound like a “female thing.” First of all, a quarter of migraine patients are male. If someone doesn’t know a male who gets migraines, it’s probably because they hide it from people who say things like this. Plus, what woman wants to hear that her health condition is linked to her gender, especially since the only evidence of that is the fact that more women than men get migraines. It’s more likely that migraines are triggered in women due to fluctuating hormones, but those hormones are not the underlying cause of migraines.
#7 You Just Need to Chill Out
It’s true that stress is one of the major triggers for migraines, but just telling someone to relax isn’t helpful. Also, while high-stress situations can trigger a migraine, so can coming down after stress. Not all stress is avoidable, and migraines aren’t a symptom of a particular personality type that is high strung. The key is to develop good coping mechanisms for stress. A friend who offers a listening ear rather than immediately telling someone to settle down can be one such means of coping with stress.
Hope for Migraine Sufferers
If you or a loved one suffers from migraines, we’d like to introduce you to a way that many are finding natural relief – upper cervical chiropractic. This is a very precise and gentle subspecialty of chiropractic that may be unlike any other form of therapy you’ve ever experienced. The real question, however, is why would adjusting the neck affect migraines.
Neck pain is a shockingly common migraine symptom. As much as 75% of patients report neck pain either before or during an attack. As a result, it makes sense to look here for the underlying cause of the problem. For many, a C1 and C2 misalignment is just that cause. A misalignment in this area of the body can result in:
- Inhibited brainstem function – The C1 houses the brainstem, so even a slight misalignment may affect brainstem function. This has been connected to migraine occurrence.
- Obstructed blood flow – The cervical vertebrae facilitate blood flow to the brain. If this process is affected by a misalignment, it can result in migraines due to certain parts of the brain experiencing an insufficient flow of oxygen.
- Decreased cerebrospinal fluid drainage – A misalignment could keep cerebrospinal fluid from draining properly. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in intracranial pressure and migraines.
To learn more about how a gentle adjustment from an upper cervical chiropractor may be able to help reduce the frequency or severity of your migraines, contact a practitioner in your area today.