There are about 39 million people in the US alone who get migraines. It’s about 12% of adults and 10% of kids. So the idea that most people believe a lot of incorrect information about migraines is difficult to conceive and yet is true. We’re going to bust some of the most common migraine myths so you don’t end believing them.
Myth 1 – If You Get Migraines, Every Headache Is a Migraine
For someone who gets migraines, the start of every headache may bring on the dread that a migraine is occurring. However, not all headaches are migraines, even for a migraineur. For example, if you eat your ice cream too fast and get a headache, it’s just an ice cream headache, not a migraine. That means you shouldn’t get all of the other symptoms.
Myth 2 – Not All Migraines Have Headache as a Symptom
You can also have a migraine without a headache. All of the other symptoms from aura to sensory sensitivity can appear without a headache setting in. Ocular migraines, in particular, frequently occur without a headache. You may have blurred vision or even temporarily lose your vision in just one eye. Headache is still the most common migraine symptom with about 85-90% of migraines having a headache phase, but it is not every migraine.
Myth 3 – Medication Is Always the Best Way to Care for Migraines
There may be some times when you need to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to get through the day, especially if a migraine springs up at work. However, you can’t always rely on pain pills to help. Here are a few of the reasons:
- They may not always work – Sometimes taking a pain pill or two may only take the edge off.
- They only help the pain – Pain meds won’t take away the other symptoms of a migraine. They only work on the pain.
- You can’t take them very often – Even taking OTC pain medications a few times a week is enough to cause rebound headaches. If you are regularly taking pain medicine, some of your headaches may be from the medicine rather than your condition. Going off the medication for a couple of weeks is the only way to be sure.
Myth 4 – It’s Only a Migraine if You Get Aura
Migraines with aura make up less than one-quarter of all migraines. If you don’t know what aura is, it is a series of symptoms that occur about 20-60 minutes before the headache phase (although you can also have aura without the headache). Most of the symptoms are visual and include seeing bright flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or other visual hallucinations. If you do experience migraines with aura, be sure to discuss any feelings of depression with a doctor. Suicide is more common among migraineurs in general and most common if you get migraines with aura.
Myth 5 – Neck Pain Is Not a Migraine Symptom
Has your doctor tried to convince you that your neck pain is unrelated to your migraines? Neck pain is actually one of the most common migraine symptoms. In fact, it is one of the most common symptoms of just about any type of a headache. Surveys reveal that about 75% of migraineurs suffer from neck pain either before or during an attack. It may actually be part of your migraine triggers since stress can trigger migraines and the body stores stress in your neck and shoulder muscles. However, the real issue may be related to a misalignment of the atlas, the bone that balances the skull, and the effects that such a subluxation can have on the central nervous system. Here are three things an atlas misalignment may be causing:
- Reduced blood flow to the brain – The cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the brain by means of tiny loops of bone called the vertebral foramen. If the upper cervical spine becomes misaligned, this can affect the steady flow of blood.
- Increased intracranial pressure – Upright MRIs have revealed that cerebrospinal fluid drainage is reduced for patients with an atlas misalignment. This drainage issue can cause pooling and lead to increased intracranial pressure.
- Decreased brainstem function – The atlas surrounds and protects the area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. However, the slightest misalignment can put pressure on the brainstem and inhibit proper function.
As you can see, an atlas misalignment can very well be at the heart of your migraine problems. If this is the case, then we would like to introduce you to a natural therapy that has helped many patients in case studies. It is a chiropractic subspecialty called upper cervical chiropractic.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Migraines
If you suffer from migraines, upper cervical chiropractic care may be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for. Precision measurements allow the practitioner to develop a custom adjustment for each patient that is very gentle. There is no cracking or popping of the spine. These adjustments are long-lasting and are safe for patients of varying health levels and ages.
Especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma that could have caused a misalignment, we encourage you to seek out an upper cervical practice near you. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step down the path to getting your life back. Some patients have even been able to say goodbye to migraines for good, right from the first visit or two. We hope you enjoy similar results.