Did you know that up to 300,000 athletes suffer from traumatic injuries every year? Unfortunately, most of these individuals develop post-traumatic migraines. They also actively seek healthcare professionals like a chiropractor for migraines to manage the aftermath of their symptoms. Have you ever wondered why this happens? How can athletes cope with post-traumatic migraines?
If you are an athlete or if you know someone who experiences trauma-triggered migraines, you might find our guide helpful in seeking recovery.
What is a Trauma-Triggered Migraine?
Post-traumatic migraines are quite tricky to diagnose and distinguish because they share similar symptoms with traumatic brain injuries and intracranial hematoma. Notably, the condition develops in younger patients, especially those with relatives who frequently experience migraine symptoms.
Below are a few insights on trauma-triggered migraines to help you understand how they work:
- Most cases of post-traumatic migraines co-exist with concussions and other forms of brain injury
- CT and MRI scans of patients with trauma-triggered migraine attacks appear normal
- The condition can cause lingering symptoms like blindness, unilateral body paralysis, food cravings, speech difficulties, and muscle tingling
- Diagnostic techniques for post-traumatic migraines don’t exist yet, so doctors have to assess and narrow down the causes of the symptoms
How Do Trauma-Triggered Migraines Develop?
Several studies have attempted to figure out how a post-traumatic migraine develops. Notably, many believe that the condition traces its origin from the overstimulation of an irritate brainstem.
During a traumatic injury like the overextension of the neck, the upper bones can slip from their original position and push the head to tilt in the wrong direction. Consequently, this alters the spine’s natural curvature and strains the tissues underneath the bones, such as the spinal cord and the brainstem.
This is why advanced imaging techniques like positron emission tomography reveal increased brainstem activity during a migraine episode.
Naturally, as long as the postural imbalance from a traumatic injury persists, the overstimulation of the brainstem will also linger and wreak havoc on your body.
Best Ways to Cope with a Trauma-Triggered Migraine Episode
Being an athlete with a post-traumatic migraine can be challenging, especially if you are busy preparing for an upcoming competition. So, after you get diagnosed by your primary doctor, you should immediately consider seeking remedies or procedures that will address your condition.
You can start by taking medications to prevent or relieve your migraine symptoms. Usually, doctors recommend NSAIDs, beta-blockers, and anti-epileptics. But, you might also find it helpful to use other drugs like tricyclic antidepressants.
Besides taking medications, you can also explore other remedies that star athletes use to cope. Some examples of these include:
Doing aerobic exercises
Multiple studies have proven the efficacy of engaging in aerobic activities for migraine relief. Essentially, regular aerobic exercises help curb migraine attacks through the following mechanisms:
- Keeping your blood circulation health
- Releasing tension from stiff neck muscles
- Preventing the discs and spinal bones from developing premature damage
- Improving body posture and relieving pressure on the spine
Wearing tinted glasses
The Miami Heat star player, Dwayne Wade, uses tinted glasses to avoid triggering a migraine episode. Ever since he was a child, migraines affected his everyday life, so he adapted by avoiding key triggers like looking at bright lights.
Trying biofeedback therapy
Studies have long proven the effectiveness of biofeedback therapy in improving a migraineurs condition. That’s why if you have post-traumatic migraines, you might also find it helpful to explore biofeedback therapy. Essentially, this approach helps you calm your nervous system before an episode starts to manifest.
Avoiding migraine food triggers
Your diet after a severe injury can help you speed up recovery. That’s why it pays to be extra mindful when planning your meals. As much as possible, we recommend avoiding food triggers like alcohol, coffee, nuts, nut butter, aged cheeses, and deli meats. It would also help to lessen your monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame consumption.
Allowing your body to recuperate
Conditioning training is a must for active athletes. However, it’s no secret that it can strain your body, especially after a traumatic injury like bumping your head with a fellow player. So, we strongly recommend taking at least a week off your routine. This will help your body cope and recovery. It will also help you check for possible complications that may need the attention of specialists.
Receiving upper cervical care
The spinal posture plays a central role in the development of trauma-triggered migraines. This is why it pays to seek the help of professionals like a chiropractor for migraines. With the help of a chiropractic doctor focusing on upper cervical care, you can gauge the extent of your postural imbalance and get the help you need to fix the issue.
Plenty of athletes come to an upper cervical chiropractic practice to fix their spinal posture and eliminate signal interferences between their brain, brainstem, and other parts of their body.
Consult with a Chiropractor for Migraines Near You!
Chiropractic techniques like upper cervical care prove helpful in preventing complications caused by a traumatic brain injury. So if you suspect cervical misalignment because of the intense force applied to your head or neck, you should tap into upper cervical chiropractic care. After all, it’s a proven technique that has helped countless patients who developed trauma-induced migraine symptoms.
Find a chiropractor for migraines near you so you can determine if your head and neck bones have shifted away from the body’s central axis. Then, start your trauma recovery with upper cervical care today!