Migraines are one of the most common health conditions with about 12% of the adult population coping with them, at least on an occasional basis. For millions, however, the problem is far more chronic and serious. Whether you get one migraine per month or one per day, you’ve probably heard well-meaning people repeat some of these absurd statements about migraines. Let’s get to the truth of the matter and discuss a natural form of care that is shining a ray of hope into the dark world of migraine suffering.
Misconception #1 – A Migraine Is Just a Severe Headache
A migraine may include a moderate to severe headache, but this is a neurological condition that has a far greater effect on the patient. First of all, some migraines do not even have headache as a symptom – these have been dubbed silent migraines. Other migraines occur in phases including a prodrome, aura, the migraine itself, and a postdrome. Finally, migraines are rarely just a headache with no other symptoms. The most common symptoms include sensory sensitivities, nausea and vomiting, and neck pain.
Misconception #2 – You Can’t Get a Migraine Every Day
Try telling that to the more than 4 million people suffering from chronic migraines (categorized by at least 15 migraine days per month). The fact is that some people may only experience episodes a few times per month and others will have a migraine every day. Still others may deal with migraines that last days at a time. In fact, a typical migraine lasts anywhere from 3 to 72 hours. Chronic migraine problems often have more of a far-reaching effect on a person’s career as well as social and family life.
Misconception #3 – Migraines Are Not a Life-Threatening Health Concern
Sure, maybe no one has ever died from a migraine, but there are a number of factors that can make migraines into a life-threatening illness. Two of these include:
- Migraineurs experience a higher risk of developing depression and a higher suicide rate. This is especially true for those who suffer from migraine with aura.
- Studies have linked migraineurs to higher rates of mortality due to cardiovascular disease.
Misconception #4 – All You Need to Do for Migraines Is Go to the Doctor and Get Some Medicine
First of all, there is no cure for migraines. You can’t just pop a pill and make them go away. In fact, most migraine medications only treat symptoms once an episode is in progress, so that means they don’t even reduce the frequency of attacks. Other medications are supposed to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, but these too come with many side effects. As a result, someone who gets migraines may grow tired of going to the doctor and trying the next pill that promises the world and doesn’t deliver.
Misconception #5 – Kids Don’t Get Migraines
About 5% of young children get migraines. That number increases to about 10% in the teenage years. Since kids may have more difficulty describing symptoms, migraines may be confused with common headaches for a time before a diagnosis is reached.
Misconception #6 – Men Don’t Get Migraines
While about 75% of adult migraine patients are female, that still leaves millions of males coping with migraines. In fact, in children, it is actually more common for boys to have migraines than girls. This switches after puberty.
Misconception #7 – There’s No Real Source of Lasting Relief for Migraines
This is the kind of negative reinforcement that causes migraine sufferers to give up on looking for a better solution. However, as we mentioned at the outset, there is actually a natural form of care that has led to a reduction in the severity and frequency of migraines for many people. In fact, some have found complete resolution even from chronic daily migraines. What is this form of care and how can it help migraine patients?
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Benefits Migraine Patients
If you felt let down after reading the word chiropractic because you’ve already tried that method before, hold off on that judgment for just a moment because upper cervical chiropractic is probably very different from what you are thinking of. This is a unique subspecialty in the chiropractic field that just focuses on the top two bones of the spine. What else sets upper cervical care apart?
- Precision – Diagnostic imaging is used to identify misalignments of the C1 and C2 down to hundredths of a degree.
- Low Force – This is a gentle adjustment without any of the popping or cracking motions experienced with general chiropractic. Most practitioners rely on either gentle pressure or an adjusting instrument depending on their preferred method.
- As-Needed – Adjustments are only provided as needed. Once you are back in proper alignment, there is no need to adjust you again as long as it holds. Most patients find that adjustments can be pushed farther and farther apart until you only need to come in for occasional maintenance.
But why does it work? It all comes back to the location of these vertebrae at the base of the skull. They protect the exact area where the spinal cord meets the brainstem. They also facilitate blood flow via the vertebral foramen. If a misalignment is affecting brainstem function, blood flow, or cerebrospinal fluid flow, a gentle adjustment to correct the subluxation can relieve these potential migraine causes. For many, this has led to long-term relief.
If you suffer from migraines, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor to find out if this may be the solution you’ve been searching for.