Migraines are a common problem, and this neurological condition does not discriminate against age or gender. In fact, one recent study provided a link between problems with the neck arteries, migraines, and an increased risk of stroke. The study showed that men under the age of 39 were the most likely to experience this phenomenon. What is the connection between the vertebral arteries and migraines? Is there any way to find long-term relief from migraines?
Results of the Migraine Study
The study looked at 2,500 stroke patients, 13% of whom suffered from tears of the neck arteries. Many were also smokers and had high cholesterol and diabetes. Looking for patterns in the data, researchers realized that blood vessel issues in the neck were also linked to migrains without aura.
The researchers admitted that they did not understand why the link existed, and that possible causes they suggested were speculation. While they could not identify a cause of the vertebral artery problems in most patients, the most common causes include trauma (i.e. whiplash), sports injuries, and either self-manipulation of the neck or injury caused by a general chiropractor when “popping” the neck.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Reveals the Real Link Between the Neck and Migraines
The upper cervical spine (C1 and C2) plays a vital role in facilitating blood flow to the brain by means of the vertebral arteries. Any misalignment in this area could restrict the proper flow of blood to the brain, thereby causing migraines to occur. A bad enough injury to the neck could even cause the neck artery tears described in the study above.
Fortunately, that is a very rare occurrence, and since upper cervical chiropractic is extremely gentle (none of the twisting or cracking involved in general chiropractic), this is a safe way to ensure blood is flowing properly through these arteries.
The study revealed that these issues were common in those under the age of 39, and with men in particular because the injuries are often related to whiplash sustained while playing sports or lifting weights that are too heavy. We encourage you to exercise proper caution when engaging in such activities and to seek the help of an upper cervical chiropractor if migraines occur.
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