Migraine is one of the most common health concerns that people face today, and it is undoubtedly the most prolific neurological condition with more than 39 million sufferers in the US alone. If you get migraines, how can you identify and avoid some of the most common triggers? What are some of the risk factors that make it more likely for a person to get migraines? Is there any way to find natural help? We’re going to take a closer look at migraines, their connection to neck pain, and how you may find long-lasting relief.
Three Significant Migraine Triggers
While there is no single cause of migraines that researchers have been able to identify, there are many well-known triggers. We are going to consider three prevalent triggers and how you may try to reduce the number of attacks you experience.
#1 Chronic Stress
Stress itself is not always a bad thing. The reason why stress has become a negative word in modern society is that many people are chronically stressed. While stress produces hormones that can help you to deal with a challenging situation, chronic stress can keep those hormone levels elevated to the point where they begin to result in health problems. For example, chronic stress can leave the neck and shoulder muscles in a constant state of tension, thereby contributing to the onset of migraines. How can you reduce your stress levels?
From taking a vacation to taking an afternoon nap, there are many ways to give your body the break that it needs. Exercise helps to combat stress hormones, for example. Just keep in mind that another trigger for it is when stress levels drop suddenly. So don’t be surprised if your attacks come back as soon as you relax. However, if you keep your stress levels down, you may prevent a number of future migraines.
#2 Weather Changes
Dramatic changes in the weather can also trigger migraines. Obviously, this is a huge challenge for patients because there is no way to control the weather. The only thing you can really do is learn which weather changes bring on your symptoms and plan accordingly. For some patients, the trigger can be drastic swings in temperature or barometric pressure. Others see the onset of an attack when there is lightning in the area or when humidity levels fluctuate. Once you know your specific weather triggers, you can identify times of the year when you are more likely to have a migraine. Try to avoid planning your big vacations or events during those trouble spots (unless you are traveling somewhere that you may have better weather).
#3 Medication Overuse
Rebound headaches due to misuse or overuse of medication can play a significant role in how often a person gets migraines. When a person is living with chronic migraines (15 or more days per month), this is one of the possibilities you should consider. The fact is that taking over the counter headache medications will only do so much for a migraine. However, you may feel that a little help is better than no help at all. On the other hand, those headache pills may do more than just give you some mild relief from the headache phase.
Most over the counter medications come with instructions limiting dosage. Unfortunately, if you take some of these headache meds too often or for too long, they may start working against you. They are simply not designed for frequent or long-term use. As a result, some patients have ended up in a cycle of taking pills for migraines that actually trigger the next attack. Before long, weekly migraines can become daily migraines.
Risk Factors for Getting Migraines
Have you received a migraine diagnosis yet? If not, you may be wondering if you are dealing with migraines or some other health condition. Here are some risk factors that make it more likely for a person to get migraines. Remember that risk factors are not a means of diagnosis – you will have to see a healthcare provider for that.
- Gender – Women who get migraines outnumber men three to one. However, don’t let that statement cause you to rule out migraines if you are male. Six percent of men in America deal with migraines.
- Family history – If one of your parents gets migraines, you have a 50% chance of dealing with them at some point. If both of your parents are migraineurs, the odds increase to 75%. While migraines are not inherited, the propensity for getting them may be related to genetics.
- Trauma – Head or neck injuries are in the patient history of the overwhelming majority of migraineurs. This makes sense because one of the most common migraines symptoms is neck pain either before or during an attack.
Finding Natural Help for Migraines
If you are looking for natural help for migraines, upper cervical specific chiropractic may be right for you. In a case study from 2019, a 23-year-old woman had her headache disability score reduced from 70/100 to just 28/100 after getting an upper cervical misalignment corrected.
If you are living with chronic migraines, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, this may be the right solution for you. To learn more, contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area to schedule an examination. You may find that correcting an upper cervical misalignment brings you the natural relief from migraines that you want and need.