Migraine myths continue to spread like wildfire, no thanks to the internet. Sadly, they continue to misinform many patients, leaving them trapped in an endless and vicious cycle of pain. If this sounds exactly like your story, you might find our list of migraine myths helpful in seeking lasting relief. Learn more about popular myths like “coffee often leads to migraine episodes” and “atlas subluxation doesn’t contribute to the onset of migraine episodes” as you read on.
#1. Coffee always triggers migraines
Coffee is among the most widely consumed beverages in the country. It’s also one of the leading sources of caffeine – a stimulant that can cause various effects on the brain, such as
- Increasing energy metabolism
- Decreasing blood flow
- Reducing gray matter (which can increase risks for chronic or recurring attacks)
- Alleviating pain caused by excessive intracranial pressure
Notably, caffeine affects people differently. Some have adverse reactions after drinking beyond two cups. On the one hand, others respond well and experience significant migraine relief.
It would be wise to check how you respond to caffeine to determine how you can use it against your migraine symptoms. Naturally, you should avoid developing caffeine dependence to lower your risks for severe migraines.
#2. All cases of migraine attacks are hereditary
The risks of migraines increase when you have family members with the same problem. However, that doesn’t mean you will automatically develop migraines due to your genetic make-up. Instead, you should take into consideration other risk factors such as these:
- Hormonal fluctuations (menstruation, perimenopausal, menopausal, pregnancy)
- Presence of atlas subluxation (upper neck bone misalignments)
- Weather or air pressure fluctuations
- Constant exposure to stressors
- Sensory overload
#3. Migraines always go away after taking pain medications
While it’s true that several migraine medications work wonders, they don’t guarantee 100 percent efficacy. In fact, no migraine remedy can guarantee permanent migraine relief.
Don’t get too disappointed if you fail to see improvements. Additionally, we strongly discourage taking more than required. You should ask your doctor or headache specialist to help you switch to another type of oral treatment or seek other migraine remedies, including upper cervical chiropractic care and acupuncture.
#4. The right supplement can cure your migraines
Food supplements help maintain optimal health and protect against certain diseases and disorders. However, they don’t necessarily “cure” a condition. Instead, they help your body avoid risk factors that aggravate your symptoms, such as headaches, vertigo, vomiting, and nausea. Here’s a list of the best food supplements you should include in your diet to prevent the onset of recurring migraine episodes:
- Vitamin B2 – Studies found that it effectively reduces oxidative stress, most especially in the central nervous system. Additionally, it can help reduce brain inflammation and the severity of a migraine episode.
- Magnesium – Similar to Vitamin B2, magnesium protects the brain from unnecessary inflammation. It also regulates the activity of sensory cells to prevent you from experiencing chemical imbalances in your nervous system.
- Melatonin – Melatonin helps curb sleeping problems and protects the brain from toxic substances. Additionally, melatonin helps regulates neurotransmitter production and release.
#5. Your diet is the culprit
Food sensitivity is quite an issue for migraineurs. So it would help avoid products or substances that elicit an inflammatory response. Some examples of these include shellfish, whole grains, and dairy.
However, note that there isn’t a diet type that can purposely trigger an attack. Consequently, there isn’t a specific diet designed to combat migraines.
So, instead of steering clear from certain types of diet, we strongly suggest eating intuitively. Consume fiber-rich food like fruits and veggies to eliminate toxins that may increase risks for chronic conditions like migraines.
You might also find it helpful to avoid processed and frozen food because they contain a significant amount of preservatives and additives. You can switch to fresh produce or check out the seasonal offers in your farmer’s market.
If possible, you must limit your consumption of aged cheese, cold cuts, and deli meats because they have high levels of tyramine – a naturally occurring substance associated with severe migraine symptoms.
#6. Migraine is basically a bad headache
Contrary to popular belief, migraines and headaches are two different health complaints. Migraines are more complicated than headaches because they usually trigger additional symptoms like sensory sensitivity, visual aura, brain fog, speech problems, dizziness, fatigue, and upset stomach.
Headaches, on the one hand, refer to a symptom that can indicate all kinds of health problems, including migraine attacks, stroke, and infections (meningitis). It would help to know the distinguishing features between the two, so you can seek helpful procedures or medications.
#7. Migraines always require medication
Migraineurs who aren’t keen on taking medication like pain relievers and muscle relaxants have several alternative options. These include the following:
- Seeking a chiropractor to correct an atlas subluxation
- Trying acupuncture therapy to improve energy flow in your body
- Tapping into aromatherapy and essential oils to calm the nerves
- Applying hot or cold packs to ease pain and reduce inflammation
- Running a warm and relaxing bath
- De-stressing and reconnecting with nature
- Trying cognitive behavioral therapy to cope better with your migraine symptoms
Consult with your physician about these options and don’t hesitate to explore them accordingly. Who knows, one or two of these remedies might work hand in hand with your existing migraine care plan.
#8. Atlas subluxation has nothing to do with your migraines
Migraine attacks can sometimes appear months or years after a traumatic injury like whiplash or concussion. That’s because these unfortunate events can put immense mechanical stress on your spine and other body parts, including your brainstem and trigeminal nerve. Notably, both components of the nervous system can set off chemical imbalances in the brain that can worsen migraine symptoms.
If you previously suffered from a mild TBI or a whiplash injury, we suggest seeking an upper cervical doctor. The initial assessment will allow you to check if you have an atlas subluxation and if you can benefit from chiropractic adjustments. It’s never too late to try a new healing approach. Contact the nearest upper cervical clinic in your city!