Time and time again, people ask if it’s possible to protect oneself from migraines. Is there an effective way to counter an attack? Or is it impossible to prevent the notorious migraine symptoms from ruining your chances of living a healthy and pain-free life? Find out the answers and understand how you can potentially experience lasting relief after you visit a chiropractor for migraines.
Is Migraine a Condition You Can Protect Yourself From?
Technically, migraine isn’t a condition you can protect yourself from. It can happen with little to no warning while sitting in a bus, driving your car, or hearing loud sounds of machinery at work. That’s because it’s not something you can get from a contagious bacterial or viral infection. Instead, it is a prevalent health concern that results from chemical imbalances in the brain. Here’s a closer look at what happens inside the brain during a migraine episode:
- Theories explain that migraine pain usually results from excessive activity of excitable brain cells.
- The overactive cells set off a chain of chemical reactions that narrow the blood vessels and disrupt the communication between various nerve cells.
- Most of the time, the attack starts in the hypothalamus causing some patients to sense an impending attack.
- A subsequent wave of signals sweeps the brain, leading to visual and sensory disturbances like tunnel vision and increased sensitivity to sounds and scents.
- Activation of the brainstem and trigeminal nerve shortly follows the chain of events and sets off an inflammatory response in the brain.
- Failure to control the overactivity of the nerves can lead to more severe attacks.
If you can find a way to interfere with the series of events, you can potentially prevent your migraine from affecting your daily routine.
Common Migraine Symptoms and the Fours Migraine Phases
It’s a good idea to spot common migraine symptoms because they can indicate what specific stage you are in. As you might have read from previously published Upper Cervical Awareness articles on migraines, an episode typically consists of four distinct phases. Some patients have it, while others only have three or two. Let’s help you get acquainted with these in our discussion below:
The American Migraine Foundation explains that prodrome is the pre-headache phase of an attack. Not many migraineurs are aware that they have this stage. However, those who pay close attention to their episodes notice several indicators, including:
- Odd food cravings
- Sleeping problems
- Frequent urge to pee
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Excessive and unexplainable yawning
- Concentration problems
- Difficulty reading or speaking
- Neck stiffness
The aura stage mostly happens right before the headache phase. Sensory and visual disturbances best characterize this phase. However, it would help if you also looked out for other symptoms such as:
- Experiencing odd skin sensations (pins and needles)
- Seeing flickering lights or blind spots
- Difficulty verbalizing your thoughts
Most migraineurs refer to this stage as the worst phase. Usually, this stage causes extreme pain limited to one side of the head. But some people who experience it notice throbbing or pulsating sensations on both sides of their heads. Additionally, they notice accompanying symptoms like:
- Nasal congestion
- Sensory sensitivity
- Neck pain
Studies note that migraine attacks can linger for more than five days. And in most cases, patients experience hangover symptoms after the grueling headache stage. Excessive pain can leave the brain tired and energy-drained, causing you to experience symptoms such as:
- Severe mood swings
- Euphoric mood
- Concentration problems
- Impaired comprehension
How to Cope When You Get Frequent Migraine Episodes
While it’s impossible to protect yourself from migraines, you have plenty of options to manage your symptoms and lessen the impacts of your condition on your body. Some examples of the things you can do include the following:
Steer clear of your migraine triggers
One natural and holistic way to cope with your migraine triggers is by managing or avoiding your triggers. That’s because they set your migraine attacks in motion. Below are some of the frequently reported migraine triggers of patients:
- Nutrient deficiency
- Excessive cold and heat
- Physical overexertion
- Excessive consumption of trigger foods
Explore natural remedies
Did you know you have plenty of options for natural migraine relief? You can try exploring massage therapy, yoga breathing, acupuncture, acupressure, and even mindfulness exercises to manage your symptoms and enjoy days of respite and complete peace of mind. It would also help to practice simple self-care techniques to amplify the benefits of whatever holistic or natural remedy you explore. Here are a few tips:
- Wear protective eyewear during sunny days
- Include exercise in your everyday routine
- Dim the lights in your room whenever you have an episode
- Keep yourself hydrated and well nourished
- Manage sleeping problems to get enough shut-eye
Seek a chiropractor for migraines
Going to a chiropractor for migraines is among the most highly recommended options for pain relief. That’s because a chiropractor for migraines can help correct postural misalignments that affect the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. As we have discussed earlier, a migraine episode can happen due to abnormal levels of chemicals in the nervous system. The imbalance can affect nerve transmission and increase cerebral inflammation, making you more susceptible to worse migraines.
If you notice signs of neck bone misalignments, we strongly recommend seeking an upper cervical chiropractor. This way, you can current even the slightest postural changes and relieve pressure on your nervous system. We suggest getting in touch with the nearest practice so you can retrain your spine and maintain proper alignment of your head, C1, and C2 bones.