How to Survive College Life with Migraines


For some students, the idea of starting your first semester of college can cause enough stress. This can make you more vulnerable to experiencing an increase in migraine attacks.  Migraines are an extremely prevalent and debilitating condition – it's the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.  In short, on any college campus, there are high chances that you know someone who has the neurological disease.

College life brings about a lot of changes.  The new living situation, foods, schedule, and sleep patterns can all trigger episodes in a way they never did previously.  While the freedom and responsibilities can be positive, you may need to learn new tools that will help you take care of yourself during your college experience.

Life Hacks for College Students with Migraines

It is estimated that more than 90% of migraineurs are unable to work or function normally during a migraine episode.  However, there are ways you can set yourself up for success during college while living with migraines.  

Surround yourself with support

When you live with a condition that can feel isolating, it is essential to have a solid support system.  Roommates and classmates will become your greatest allies and can help you make it through even the worst migraine attack. Making friends in your classes who will take notes for you on bad days when you need to miss a class can be a huge help.  You will also inevitably meet other students who live with migraines, and they can become a key piece of your support network as well. It’s always nice to have friends who can understand firsthand what you’re going through.

Letting your roommates in on what your needs are when you’re in the midst of a migraine will also be an immense help.  When those closest to you understand your triggers, they can lend a hand when you need it the most.

Try and stick to a regular sleep routine

Migraines and sleep are inseparable. A migraine episode can be caused and relieved by rest, and can also be the cause of too much or too little sleep.  For college students with migraines, one thing that can help you get through while minimizing migraines is trying to stick to a regular sleep routine. This means, within reason, going to sleep and waking up around the same times each day.  Maintaining a fairly regular sleep-wake cycle can help regulate your circadian rhythm, or your brain’s “biological clock.” This can serve to minimize the frequency of your migraine attacks.   

Be proactive

It can put your mind at ease if, at the beginning of the semester, you set up meetings with your advisor and professors to talk about the possibility of missing classes here and there due to a migraine attack.  Talking with your roommates before you’re feeling terrible can also make your life easier when a migraine episode does happen. Migraines can be unpredictable, so having those conversations in advance can make your transition into college life much smoother and more enjoyable.

Respect old triggers and try to anticipate new ones

If you’ve lived with migraines for a few years before college, you’re likely aware of a handful of your triggers.  While you’re adjusting to college life, remembering and respecting those pre-existing migraine triggers can ease the transition.  

College also brings about many new changes – a new schedule, new foods, new friends, new habits.  As your daily life places changing demands on you, take the time to notice if any new triggers emerge.  Keeping a migraine calendar or diary can be a big help when it comes to identifying your triggers.

Seek out the care of an upper cervical chiropractor

Part of making a migraine plan when you begin your college adventure should include establishing a relationship with an upper cervical chiropractor near campus.  Many migraine sufferers have found tremendous benefit from this specific type of chiropractic care. Upper cervical chiropractic care can help you address the underlying cause of your migraine episodes by gently correcting the atlas vertebra.  When the head and neck are correctly aligned, it can contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing and a reduction in the frequency and severity of migraines. This can make your college experience more productive and more fun!  

Natural and Effective Migraine Relief is Possible

As we just mentioned, if you’re looking for a natural, lasting solution to migraines that can help you get through college (and life) with less pain, upper cervical chiropractic care is the perfect fit.  An atlas misalignment can impair normal neurological function, blood flow, and drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These factors can create migraine-causing conditions within the brain, leaving you with a headache, nausea, cognitive impairment, and other common symptoms. 

Upper cervical chiropractic care is a logical solution for college students because:

  • It gets to the underlying cause of the problem, so you’re not wasting time chasing around symptoms.
  • Adjustments are gentle and precise, customized for each person’s needs.
  • Since healing and stability are two important goals of care, adjustments are given only when needed, making upper cervical care a cost-effective option.
  • Results are long-lasting and work with your body’s natural ability to heal and self-regulate.

If this sounds like an option that makes sense to you, then use our website as a resource to learn more and find an upper cervical practice near your college or university.  Taking care of your migraines in this way can lead to a more rewarding and productive college experience for you.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.