Migraines are neurological in nature and are accompanied by head pain, nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and strong odors. One sufferer described her migraines as starting with a shooting pain in the back of her neck that moved into her head and left her with a horrible headache on one side. She also experienced throbbing pain and became extremely sensitive to noise.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 30% of adults around the world get migraines although more conservative estimates place that figure at 12%. WHO also relates that headache disorders are underestimated, underrecognized, and not properly cared for. This is due to the fact that many choose to ignore their pain, take a pill, and try to continue on with daily life.
Ignoring migraines can be dangerous. Doctors worry patients will self-medicate or even overmedicate. Ignoring headaches could also mean ignoring a more serious underlying condition, such as a brain hemorrhage or tumor. It is important to note any new pattern of headaches – especially those accompanied by numbness, passing out, or giddiness – and see a doctor immediately. Once a serious condition has been ruled out, it may be time to make an appointment to see an upper cervical chiropractor.
Getting Relief for Migraines
The root cause of migraines may lie in the bones of the upper cervical spine. In particular, the C1 and C2 vertebrae are often to blame. These bones are located in the same area of the brainstem and actually, have the job of ensuring its safety. However, they are also susceptible to injury because of their mobility and location. If they do happen to become misaligned, even by ¼ of a millimeter, they can place pressure on the brainstem, causing it to send improper signals to the brain. This, along with inhibited blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid drainage, can create the underlying conditions that lead to migraines.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a gentle method to allow the bones to move back into place naturally without forcing them or “popping” the spine. Once the misalignment is corrected, migraines often improve or go away entirely.