If you have ever experienced migraines, then you know they are much more than a really bad headache, as is a common misconception. Attacks of migraines can last for many hours to days at a time and are usually combined with a number of other symptoms besides a bad headache. You may have the following symptoms:
- Throbbing and pounding head pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems with thinking and concentration
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell
- Dizziness or vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Visual disturbances
It is common to see migraines begin in puberty or early twenties and then continue to happen here and there throughout life. When you are hit with a migraine, it can really disrupt your life for a few days. Unless you personally experience them, it is hard to realize just how bad they can be. The following information may help you see just what a severe impact migraines can have.
- Migraines impact as many as 39 million people in the USA and 1 billion globally. One out of every four households has someone in it who suffers from migraines. It seems as if everyone knows someone who has migraines, whether it is a family member or friend.
- Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness worldwide. Women are affected 3 times more often than men. This means approximately 85 percent of chronic migraine sufferers are women. Migraines also impact men and children as young as 18 months.
- Children get migraines too. As many as 10 percent of all children who go to school suffer from migraines. As many as 50 percent of those with migraines as an adult had their first experience with a migraine before age 12. Recent research seems to support the theory that infant colic may be an early form of migraines. This impacts a child’s school attendance record and their ability to keep up with their peers. In fact, those with migraines miss school 2 times more often than those without.
- Migraines significantly impact the economy. Just caring for migraines comes in at over $5 billion yearly. Annually, loss of productivity and the cost of healthcare combined make up $36 billion. In addition, most migraine sufferers often have coexisting health concerns such as anxiety and depression, making this number even more astounding.
- The impact of migraines is incapacitating. As many as 90 percent of those with migraines cannot work or function normally during an episode. This can impact your social life, family time, and work performance. Migraines really have a negative impact on one’s overall life.
- Chronic migraines can sap your energy. Chronic migraines are migraines that occur more than 15 days during a month’s time. While some people only have an occasional migraine, more than 4 million have chronic migraines. These people also have a tendency to suffer from sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety.
Why Do Migraines Occur?
Migraines seem to remain a mystery among the medical community. It is not really understood why they occur, even though research is constantly being done to figure them out. This causes many migraine cases to go undiagnosed and not properly cared for. Surprisingly, in the USA alone, there are only around 500 migraine specialists to care for 39 million sufferers.
Migraines are neurological in origin. This means certain changes take place in the central nervous system making them more susceptible to having migraine attacks. There are certain triggers which may bring about a migraine. These can include:
- Lack of sleep
- Changes in weather
- Certain food — aged cheeses, meats, and chocolate
- Alcohol — particularly red wine
- Food additives — MSG
- Artificial sweeteners — aspartame
It is also possible that genetics plays a large role in migraines. As many as half of the people who have migraines have a close relative who also has migraines.
Another reason migraines happen is due to medication overuse. These are also called rebound headaches and can be more intense than an original migraine. This is causing many people to seek out an alternative, natural way to care for their migraines. One area that is seeing much success is that of upper cervical chiropractic care. The results from this type of care are promising. Patients have seen less frequent attacks that are less severe, while others see their migraines go away completely.
What Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?
Why is this type of chiropractic care so successful? Here are some reasons:
- Adjustments are only given when needed. When you come to see us, we first examine you to see if your last alignment is still in place. Giving an adjustment when it is not necessary can do more damage than good. We use scientific measurements to help us determine whether you really need an adjustment. How long your body holds an adjustment determines how long you will take to recover from the damage done and how many adjustments you personally need. This will be different for each person and each situation.
- Gentle and precise adjustments. We use very precise diagnostic imaging to help us determine the exact location of your misalignment right down to a fraction of a degree. This means your adjustment is personalized to your needs. It is not a one-size-fits-all type of care.
Specific, ongoing training helps us have a higher level of proficiency. Upper cervical chiropractors often take on additional training courses to increase their knowledge and perfect their technique. Some even carry additional certifications. This means we are more thorough and better understand how the body works, specifically how an atlas misalignment can impact not only migraines but also a number of other serious health concerns.
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