Migraines can be a debilitating condition that steals days at a time from a person’s life. However, are migraines dangerous or are they just annoying? While a bad migraine will keep you in bed for a few days, you probably don’t think one will kill you. But we’re going to look at some migraine complications that reveal the need for finding proper care. Then we will consider a natural way to get out from under the burden of migraines.
Dangerous Migraine Complications
As we go through this list of possible migraine complications, you may have never experienced any of them before. It is important to keep in mind that not experiencing a complication yet does not mean you will be okay in the future. So whether you have dealt with any of these situations or not, please seek the proper care for your migraines. Here are some potentially dangerous complications of migraines.
- A perpetual migraine – If you have never heard of status migrainosus, then your migraines probably last somewhere in the normal range of 4 to 72 hours. However, some people live with perpetual migraines that last more than three days at a time. Being in that kind of pain for that long often leads to violent vomiting and other serious symptoms and may require hospitalization. Since overuse of headache medication can result in status migrainosus, always be sure to read the labels and don’t overuse medications, even if they are over-the-counter (OTC). OTC does not mean “take as much as you want.”
- A migraine stroke – A migrainous infarction (stroke) occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen to the brain become constricted and the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen supply it needs. Whereas most migraines come on gradually, a migraine stroke is sudden and includes visual symptoms and tingling in the face and hands. This occurs most frequently with middle-aged or younger women who are on birth control pills.
- Persistent aura – Aura affects about 20-25% of migraineurs. It is a series of symptoms that occur about 20-60 minutes before the headache phase of a migraine. However, persistent aura without infarction is a migraine complication that results in persistent aura, albeit without stroke. In this case, migraine aura symptoms continue for weeks, months, or even years and can include symptoms like breathing problems and numbness and tingling sensations.
- Migralepsy – This is a very rare complication, but it involves seizures that follow directly after (within the hour) a migraine. Researchers don’t fully understand whether a migraine triggers the seizure or the epilepsy is causing migraines as a precursor to the seizures, but either way, the central nervous system is clearly struggling.
- Suicide – Can a migraine make a person commit suicide? Not directly. However, studies reveal that migraineurs are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, especially those who experience chronic migraines (15 or more days per month). Suicide rates are highest among migraineurs who experience aura.
- Falls – Up to 40% of migraines are considered vestibular migraines. This means that there is at least one vestibular symptom such as vertigo. The vestibular system controls the body’s balance and spatial orientation. Vertigo involves false sensations of movement, such as the sudden feeling that the room is spinning. This can lead to falls, which can sometimes be dangerous. That is especially true for the elderly, but a vertigo episode at the wrong moment can lead to a bad fall for anyone.
- Insomnia – If migraines interfere with your sleep, this can create a cycle where you get more migraines and your migraines become more severe. Lack of sleep can make it dangerous to drive or operate other forms of heavy machinery. Sleep is also vital to the body, so long periods without sleep can affect many aspects of health and even lead to cardiovascular disease. Perhaps this is why heart problems are so common among women who get migraines.
With all of these possible complications, even though some are rare, it is pretty safe to say that migraines are dangerous. However, overuse of medication is part of the problem. So where can you turn for natural relief? We would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care.
Safe and Natural Migraine Care
Upper cervical chiropractic is a subspecialty that focuses on the top two bones in the spine, the C1 and C2. This makes sense when dealing with migraines because these bones can affect the overall function of the central nervous system as well as the proper flow of blood to the brain. In fact, about 75% of migraine patients have neck pain either during or before an attack, so this cements the connection between the neck and migraines.
When the C1 and C2 are out of alignment, it can affect brainstem function, cerebrospinal fluid drainage, and cerebral blood flow. As a result, correcting the upper cervical misalignment is a must if you suffer from migraines and want long-term relief. We take precise measurements of the misalignment so as to offer very precise and gentle adjustments. This ensures that upper cervical care is safe and long-lasting. In fact, once the soft tissue of neck stabilizes, you should be able to space your visits further and further apart. That makes this a cost-effective therapy as well.
If you suffer from migraines, it is time to take action to ensure none of the complications mentioned above occur. If your underlying issue is a misalignment in the top bones of the neck, an upper cervical chiropractor can help. Contact a practitioner in your area today to schedule a no-obligation consultation so that you can learn more about what upper cervical chiropractic can do for you.
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