Managing Migraines Better By Understanding Important Terms

migraine, Upper cervical chiropractic

Migraine is a term that is loosely used yet continues to be misunderstood. It's more than a severe headache; it usually comes with a whole set of debilitating symptoms that can perfectly ruin your day. What's more headache-inducing is when people start talking about migraine jargon, making it more difficult for you to understand what's happening. 

Dealing with a chronic condition such as migraine can be complex, but learning about migraine terminologies can help you redefine how to cope and manage your symptoms and even lead you to an efficient way to get migraine relief. In addition, you can arm yourself with the information needed to make informed decisions about your health care or that of your loved ones.

We have compiled a migraine glossary to help you understand essential words or phrases to describe migraines. Learn more about migraine-related terms like aura and upper cervical chiropractic that can help you communicate with your healthcare provider with ease and clarity.

Abdominal migraine

This is a rare type of migraine episode that mostly affect kids. Instead of the usual migraine symptom involving pain in the head, abdominal migraine causes stomachaches in patients. Other digestive symptoms may also manifest, including vomiting and loss of appetite.  


Some people dealing with recurring migraines reach for common analgesics such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or caffeine. They usually provide instant and short-term migraine relief. 


Migraine can trigger vertigo episodes too, which involve dizziness, false sense of motion, balance issues, and even nausea. Sometimes experts advise patients to take antiemetics to manage vertigo-related symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Inflammation in the body tends to worsen a person's migraine attacks; hence, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can manage inflammation and can also help manage migraine episodes. 


When researching migraine, there's a big chance you will encounter the term aura. This is because some migraine attacks involve visual disturbances. These are called an aura, which involves light (photophobia) or sound sensitivity (phonophobia). Usual visual disturbances include seeing spots, flashes, zig zags, stars, or even losing sight for short periods. Migraine with aura also triggers other sensory changes such as tingling or numbness sensation in the face, body, hands, and fingers.

Basilar-type migraine

Another type of migraine stems from the lower base of the brain or the brainstem. Basilar-type migraine is known to be similar to migraine with aura.

Biofeedback therapy

This type of procedure is known to improve symptoms accompanying migraine by training the mind to be in control of the body's involuntary functions, such as blood pressure regulation and digestion. In addition, this procedure helps migraine patients respond to their symptoms during an attack better.


This is important for migraine patients to keep in mind because caffeine intake causes a person's blood vessels to narrow, leading to a spike in blood pressure and a higher risk for a worse migraine attack. Therefore, if you experience frequent migraine attacks, we encourage you to reduce or avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated products such as coffee and tea.

Cervical subluxation

This is one of the leading yet less known causes or triggers of migraine. Unfortunately, sometimes they also make migraine episodes a lot worse. Cervical subluxation is neckbone shifting, wherein the misaligned neck bones interfere with brain signal transmission. This interference in the transmission of messages can lead to an imbalance in your nervous system. As a result, your brain can receive a distorted or incorrect message and will respond accordingly. Everyone is at risk for cervical subluxation, but it usually occurs after a sports-related neck injury, car collision, or repeated stress and pressure on the neck.

Cervicogenic headache

This condition sometimes mimics a migraine episode, but it is not a migraine. Instead, it mostly happens due to an underlying condition such as a neck injury or high blood pressure.

migraine, Upper cervical chiropractic

Cluster headaches

Migraine and cluster headaches can make many patients confused. To help you differentiate them, you can try spotting the location of the pain. Usually, migraine attacks occur in different parts of the head, while cluster headaches typically affect the temples and the area around the eyes.

CT scan

A computed tomography scan is one of the most common diagnostic procedures used to determine the severity of a patient's migraine attack. In addition, healthcare providers usually request CT and MRI scans to identify migraine symptoms' potential root causes. 


Women can experience migraine three times more than men. This is due to the fluctuating estrogen levels in a woman's body. Factors such as menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause, or menopause can cause a sudden dip in a woman's estrogen levels. This can lead a big chunk of the women's population to be more sensitive to the impact of a migraine attack.

Food additives

Common food additives such as aspartame or MSG are considered migraine attack triggers. If you suffer from chronic migraine, being conscious of your food ingredients can help. However, we recommend avoiding these additives as much as possible. 

MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and a CT scan can help rule out the possible underlying causes of migraine symptoms to identify your next steps for migraine relief. For example, migraine can stem from tumors or brainstem irritation because of cervical subluxation; an MRI scan can show any of that.

Silent migraine

Some people experience painless migraines, which do not involve headaches. However, symptoms such as depression, difficulty concentrating, disrupted sleeping patterns, irritability, or nausea can be present.


Sometimes, the exact cause of migraines remains unknown, so healthcare providers base their recommendations on the patient's migraine triggers. These are things or events that can bring out symptoms or exacerbate existing symptoms. Triggers can range from diet to weather changes or when a new season begins. 

Upper cervical chiropractic care

You may encounter recommendations for upper cervical chiropractic care when searching for migraine relief options. This migraine remedy has been gaining popularity over the years. A chiropractic doctor provides a natural and non-invasive procedure that aims to fix postural distortions or misalignments in the spinal column, particularly the top two bones of the spine, which can potentially be the reason why migraine occurs. 

Upper cervical care for migraine relief

Understanding migraine jargon can help you clearly communicate your feelings and needs to your healthcare provider. This can lead to efficient ways to manage your condition to ease every migraine attack. For example, if you seek help from an upper cervical chiropractor to ease your symptoms, you can make the consultation process easy by knowing how to answer the necessary questions of your chiropractic doctor.

Upper cervical chiropractic care has been a go-to option for migraine relief for some patients due to its promising potential in managing chronic symptoms. Focusing on the top two spine bones - C1 and C2 - and correcting their alignment can remove unnecessary pressure on your nervous system. This can prompt your body to heal naturally and restore normal blood flow and function in your body to restore your health and cope better when you experience an attack.

The process is safe, gentle, and precise, using light pressure on the upper cervical area to manipulate and move your bones back to their correct spot. Correcting your upper cervical vertebra's misalignment can reduce the debilitating symptoms accompanying every migraine attack. Call a nearby upper cervical chiropractic doctor to experience the benefits of upper cervical care firsthand.


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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.