What is the most common neurological condition? The correct answer is migraines! While some people still think of migraines as just being bad headaches, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A headache is just one symptom of a migraine, and the cumulative symptoms are what make this condition so debilitating. Are you or a loved one suffering from migraines? Then here are some important things you need to know.
One of the Top Migraine Triggers Is Stress
Knowing and managing your triggers is not a migraine cure, but it certainly can help you to experience fewer migraines. Stress is one of the primary triggers to watch out for. Not only can stress cause a migraine when your stress hormone levels become elevated, but any fluctuation in these hormone levels can lead to an attack. That means, even if you avoid getting a migraine when you are under a lot of stress, the migraine may hit when your stress levels drop, and the hormone levels go with it. Imagine – you finally make it to your vacation only to have your relaxation ruined by a migraine. Actually, you probably don’t have to use your imagination because this has happened to most migraineurs.
What can you do to counteract stress? You can’t move yourself to a cave and avoid all stress altogether. But there are positive ways to cope with stress that can keep hormone levels regulated. Here are a few tips:
Stress Management Tips
- Talk with someone – If you can get your anxieties off your chest, you will probably feel a lot better. Sometimes, when we talk about problems, we realize things aren’t as bad as they seemed. Even when stress is warranted, a listening and empathetic ear can help make our problems seem more manageable.
- Meditate on the positive – Rather than recommending that you completely clear your mind, why not try refocusing it on positive things. Think about the people you love, remember good times from the past, imagine your ideal future. These are all ways to banish stressful thoughts. At first, you may find it difficult to concentrate for more than a few minutes without negative thoughts creeping back in. But you will eventually train your mind to let you focus on the positive. Try to spend 15-30 minutes per day doing this kind of meditation.
- Take a break – Sometimes a rest period is all that is needed in order to keep your stress levels in check. Take a break during a stressful day, plan a quick weekend getaway, or take that vacation you’ve been putting off. A good hobby can also give you a way to rest and recover when you can’t travel. Learning to play an instrument or taking up a new art form are great ways to release some tension.
Watch Out for Indicators of Medication Overuse
The more often your migraines occur, the more frequently you may reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever. There’s just one problem with that approach. These OTC pain relievers are not meant for long-term use or to be taken frequently. If you look at most of the bottles, you will notice that they are only recommended for occasional use, and one of the symptoms of overuse is headaches.
That’s right, taking too much medication for migraines may lead to a cycle which actually increases how frequently episodes occur. If you used to get several migraines a month and find that you now are having several a week or even daily migraines, the problem may be the very medication you are using to counteract the symptoms. A couple of weeks without pain relievers is enough to see if the frequency of your migraines is reduced. If so, it’s time to start looking for a better coping mechanism than the pain relievers.
Neck Pain Is One of the Most Common Migraine Symptoms
Approximately 75% of people who get migraines also experience neck pain either before or during the headache phase according to one survey. That makes neck pain one of the most common migraine symptoms. In fact, it is only slightly less common than headaches (which occur in 85-90% of migraines). This may indicate a possible underlying cause of migraines that is frequently overlooked. Could your neck pain actually be the source of your migraines? It could, if the pain is being caused by an upper cervical misalignment.
When the C1 and C2 vertebrae are out of alignment, this can affect everything from how much blood is reaching the brain to the proper functioning of the brainstem. Cerebrospinal fluid drainage can also be affected, leading to increased intracranial pressure. All of these factors can contribute to the onset of migraines. So what can you do if you suspect such a misalignment is at the root of your migraines? We would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Natural Migraine Help
Upper cervical chiropractors are subspecialists who focus on the top two bones in the neck, the C1 and C2. Diagnostic imaging is used to pinpoint the exact location and degree of misalignments, down to hundredths of a degree. This is because a misalignment of a fraction of a millimeter in this sensitive area of the neck can lead to far-reaching effects throughout the body. Migraines are just one potential result.
Low force corrections are gentle and safe for everyone. There is no popping or twisting of the neck. If this sounds like a natural option you would like to try for migraines, contact a practitioner in your area today. A consultation may be your first step on the path to reaching your health and wellness goals.