Female migraine sufferers may find their symptoms get worse during a surprising time – approaching menopause. Chronic migraines are more frequent in the perimenopausal period (between ages 42-47). Migraine frequency may increase to 10+ episodes per month! (1)
Fluctuating hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are partially to blame; however, some researchers think that the overuse of medication for pain may be a contributing factor to increased migraine frequency. (2) Traditional treatment for these hormonal fluctuations includes contraceptive medication or estrogen patches. While these options may provide some relief, they do not address the cause of the migraines.
How does my neck cause my migraines?
Your spine is responsible for protecting your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is responsible for sending messages to and from your brain. When the top bone in your spine (atlas) misaligns, this creates pressure within your spinal cord. This pressure causes the messages going to and from your brain to be distorted. This may lead to migraine symptoms, such as head or facial pain and muscle spasm.
Upper Cervical Care is a chiropractic technique that is designed to gently realign the atlas vertebra. Upper Cervical is incredibly precise – this allows for no popping or twisting of the neck. Through realignment of the atlas, tension on the spinal cord is reduced. This allows for proper signals to travel to and from the brain. Having proper signals may lead to reduced migraine symptoms.
Verderame et al. reported a case of a 75-year-old woman with chronic migraine headaches since she was a teenager. She initially utilized pain medication and anti-inflammatories to manage her symptoms and only saw a slight reduction in her headache severity. After experiencing atlas corrections over the course of 5 months, her migraine severity decreased from 8/10 initially to a 3/10. Her medical doctor stated that her migraine duration and frequency also decreased. (3)
- Doyle K. Migraines may worsen before menopause [Internet]. Reuters. 2016 [cited 15 February 2016]. Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-menopause-migraines-idUSKCN0V42N6
- Venosa A. Migraines Get Worse As Women Approach Menopause [Internet]. Medical Daily. 2016 [cited 15 February 2016]. Available from: http://www.medicaldaily.com/migraine-headaches-menopause-perimenopause-370610
- Verderame J, Hollowell J. Cone-beam Computerized Tomography for the Bio-mechanical Assessment of the Occipito-atlanto-axial Articulation in a 75-year-old Woman with Migraines Undergoing Blair Technique. J Upper Cerv Chiro Res [Internet]. 2013 [cited 15 February 2016];2013(July):60-64. Available from: http://www.mccoypress.net/juccr/docs/2013-1255_migraines.pdf
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