According to research performed by the Migraine Research Foundation, only 12% of people suffering from migraines receive preventative measures when it comes to migraines. What is the reason for this disparity where the majority of patients are just provided symptomatic care? Which is the better way to go? Read on to learn more.
Why the Focus on Treating Migraine Symptoms?
The fact is that there are only 500 certified specialists in the US who treat headaches. Clearly, most of the 38 million migraine sufferers in the US are not seeing a doctor who focuses solely on headache care. A primary care physician may frequently misdiagnose a migraine as something else. In fact, estimates say that as much as 50% of migraines go undiagnosed. When a primary care doctor does identify migraines as the problem, the first move is usually to pull out the prescription pad. But pills don’t fix migraines, so a number of medications may be provided to deal with pain, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms.
Medications have various degrees of success, but they all have a few things in common.
- They don’t address the underlying cause. As a result, another migraine is likely.
- They may make matters worse. Painkillers, for example, can cause headaches if taken too frequently. These are called rebound headaches.
- There’s no end in sight. Medication use needs to continue because migraines continue. As a result, a person is on medication for life, perhaps sometimes changing medications to find ones that work better.
Do Preventative Measures Exist?
Doctors primarily focus on having a patient keep a migraine journal to learn his or her triggers. Avoiding these triggers as much as possible may reduce the frequency of migraines. However, this still does not address the underlying issue.
Many migraines go back to a misalignment of the top two bones of the spine. The C1 and C2 can affect brainstem function and even proper blood flow to the brain. When such a misalignment is corrected, migraines may resolve naturally. Many have seen a reduction in the frequency or severity of migraines as a result of this gentle method of care.