If you are suffering from migraines, one of the things that you may have done in order to reduce the frequency of your attacks is keeping a migraine journal to learn your triggers. If you haven’t gotten to that point yet or are wondering if you are missing some of your triggers, we are about to outline some of the most common ones. We’ll also give you tips for avoiding or dealing with them. Finally, we will discuss a natural therapy that is helping many patients to break free from migraines for good.
Stress: The Number One Migraine Trigger
Do you deal with stress at work, in the family, or in other aspects of your life? When stress continually weighs on you, it can trigger migraines. One of the reasons that stress leads to migraines is that the body releases certain hormones as a response to stress. The hormones themselves are okay in certain quantities, but when stress levels get too high, that’s when migraines occur. They can also happen when your stress levels drop rapidly.
Learn how and when to take a break. Sometimes it is merely a matter of disconnecting for a little while, even just turning your smartphone on silent during a meal. At other times you may need a brief vacation. A relaxing massage can help. You may also be able to relieve stress from reading a book in the tub, learning an instrument, meditating, or taking a walk at a local park. Everyone destresses in their own way.
Pain Medication Overuse: An Insidious Trigger
Rebound headaches are common for people who suffer from migraines regularly. It starts when migraines are frequent. A person may go to the drug store and purchase an over-the-counter pain reliever. Finding a little bit of relief is better than nothing, so every time a migraine starts, the pills come out. But soon, migraines are even more frequent. It turns out those OTC headache relievers are only intended for occasional use. Every day or long-term use can cause medication overuse headaches and trigger more migraines until the problem is chronic.
It’s time to break the cycle. First, take two weeks off from the OTC pills. It may be a painful two weeks, but it’s the only way to know just how many of your migraines are being triggered by medication overuse. If you find a reduction in the frequency of your migraines, be sure to stay off the pills whenever possible. Apply the tips in this article to reduce migraine frequency. Only use headache medications when you absolutely need them (you have a wedding to go to, you’re about to give a big presentation at work, etc.).
Lifestyle: Triggers You Can Avoid
There are many migraine triggers, so we are going to group a bunch of them into lifestyle triggers. Here are a few things that you may be doing that actually increase the frequency of your migraines.
- Not getting enough sleep
- Eating this you are sensitive/allergic to
- Looking at computer screens or mobile devices all-day
- Missing meals
- Having too much (or not enough) coffee
- Overindulging in alcohol
- Not getting enough exercise
A few lifestyle adjustments can make a huge difference when it comes to the frequency of your migraines. For example, setting regular times to go to bed, wake up, and eat meals can be a huge help. If you have wanted to quit smoking, you now have another good reason. You also have another great reason to stick to your goal of getting to the gym more often, so you can increase blood flow. An exclusion diet can help you to determine if you have any food allergies or sensitivities. Watch alcohol intake, so you don’t get dehydrated. Try glasses with a coating to block blue light if you work at a computer. Keep your coffee intake regulated. Try applying the suggestions that match up with your current lifestyle and see what leads to improvement.
Finding Natural Relief from Migraines
Of course, avoiding triggers is only part of the battle, and what we’ve covered today is far from being a comprehensive list of all of the migraine triggers. If you want to get to the underlying source of migraines, one thing you need to try is upper cervical chiropractic care. Why are many migraineurs responsive to this natural therapy?
It corrects many of the underlying issues that migraineurs deal with. For example, if you are having blood flow problems, it is essential to quit smoking, moderate coffee intake, and get daily exercise. However, correcting an upper cervical misalignment can significantly improve blood flow to the brain because the neck bones have loops that provide passage for the arteries. Therefore, to keep the free flow of blood, you need to ensure that the upper cervical spine is in perfect alignment.
Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in precisely detecting and correct upper cervical misalignments, even down to just fractions of a millimeter. These highly calculated adjustments are incredibly gentle. There is none of the popping or twisting of general chiropractic. Plus, once the soft tissue stabilizes, your corrections should hold for a longer period of time. That makes this a cost-effective form of care.
To learn more, contact an upper cervical practitioner in your area. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step to gaining freedom from migraine symptoms.