Considering the fact that about 39 million people in the United States alone suffer from migraines, you would assume that people would know more about them. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding migraines. As a result, it can be tough to discern fact from fiction. We are going to address some of the most common migraine myths. We will conclude by providing you with the hope that genuine relief does exist and can help you to get your life back on track.
Myth 1 – Migraines Are Just Severe Headaches
There are a number of issues with this myth. However, the biggest one is that migraines are actually a neurological condition. A headache is just one symptom of a migraine. The other issue is that not all migraines even have a headache phase. While headaches are the most common migraine symptom, about 10-15% of migraines do not include a headache. So saying that migraines and headaches are in the same category of illness doesn’t even make sense.
Myth 2 – Your Neck Pain and Migraines Are Unrelated
Even doctors make this mistake. The fact is that a doctor shouldn’t discount a symptom just because he or she is unsure of how they are connected. To say that all of your other symptoms are part of a migraine but that the neck pain that starts before or during the headache phase is unrelated isn’t reasonable. The fact is that as much as 75% of migraineurs complain about neck pain. Compare that to the 85-90% of patients who even have a headache during a migraine, and it becomes clear that 75% has to be enough to connect the two symptoms to the same condition.
Myth 3 – The Migraines Aren’t Related to Your Car Accident
If this is true, why do so many people have their first migraine after some type of head or neck trauma such as a car accident? You don’t have to be in a major accident or even hit your head for migraines to be related. Migraines are just one of the many symptoms that can occur in the aftermath of both concussions and whiplash-type injuries.
Myth 4 – You Inherited Your Migraines
At least this myth makes a little bit of sense. Apparently, you can inherit a genetic propensity toward getting migraines, as researchers discovered when examining the genetics of a number of migraineurs. However, having parents who get migraines do not automatically doom you to the condition. If one parent is a migraineur, you have about a 50/50 shot of experiencing migraines. If both of your parents get migraines, that increases the odds to about 75%. By don’t forget that 12% of people get migraines, so this is a common problem whether your parents experience migraines or not.
Myth 5 – It Is All Coffee’s Fault
Have you ever had anyone tell you that your migraines are due to the amount of coffee that you drink? This is bogus on a couple of accounts. First of all, migraines are related to issues with blood flow to the brain (something else the geneticists discovered). That means a little coffee may actually help because caffeine increases blood flow. On the other hand, too much caffeine may trigger an attack. But triggering an attack and being the cause of the condition are two completely differ things. You can’t cure migraines by stopping a coffee habit anymore than you can treat them by starting one up. As with most things in life, you just need to use moderation when it comes to caffeine intake.
Myth 6 – Supplements Are Better than Medication for Migraines (or Vice Versa)
Supplements and medication both have their high and low points when it comes to migraines. First of all, regardless of which one you choose, it won’t have the same effect for you as it did for someone else. Migraines seem to be slightly different from patient to patient, which makes them really difficult to treat. So we’re not slamming medication. We’re just encouraging caution. Some medications can have terrible side effects with little to no benefit. Plus, over-the-counter medications for headaches only treat one symptom and are known to cause rebound headaches if you take them too often. So it is a bad idea to self-medicate.
The problem with supplements is that there is no regulation. You could have a reaction to it, even if the pill is all natural. One bottle may have a different potency than another. There may be no studies showing whether the pill does anything at all or what the long-term effects of use may be. Plus, health insurance doesn’t cover supplements, and they can be really pricey. So don’t give up on all supplements. Just be sure that talk with your doctor about them, do your research, and don’t expect a miracle.
Myth 7 – There Is No Way to Get Natural Help for Migraines
Dozens of case studies show that if a migraineur also suffers from an upper cervical misalignment, correcting the misalignment can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines or even cause them to go away altogether. To find out if such a misalignment is at the root of your migraines, schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor. These subspecialists are in the best position to detect and correct this specific type of misalignment.
If you do suffer from an upper cervical subluxation, a safe and gentle adjustment may be your first step on the road to recovering a better quality of life. So don’t delay. Contact a practitioner in your area today. Our search feature can help you locate one of our preferred doctors.