Seeking Chiropractic Care To Manage Debilitating Migraines
Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from migraines according to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF). Women are three times as likely as men to experience the debilitating headaches. Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines and researchers are not sure why they occur.
Many people attempt to manage the headaches with over the counter and prescription medications. However, if you are wary of prescription drugs or unable to take migraine medication due to other medical issues, you may be able to find some relief via chiropractic care. If you have never been to a chiropractor, the following guide can help you understand how chiropractic care can help you manage migraines.
While it is common for people to seek out chiropractic care for back pain, whiplash or other musculoskeletal problems, chiropractors also treat patients who suffer from all types of headaches, including migraines. Several clinical trials have shown that chiropractic care may be effective in relieving and preventing migraine attacks with fewer side effects than other treatments.
Furthermore, the federal government continues to fund studies to uncover how chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy can help migraine sufferers cope with throbbing head pain and associated problems such as nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Chiropractors use non-invasive techniques to massage and stretch the spine and neck after you undergo initial tests and exams including an x-ray.
When a chiropractor treats you for a migraine, they can use spinal manipulation to help relieve abnormal stress on your spine and the dilation of blood vessels in your head that may be contributing to a migraine. In addition, the treatment can help to improve your spine's health, improve blood circulation and relieve pressure in your shoulders, neck and facial muscles.
In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors can also help you learn how to avoid triggers that increase your risk of suffering from a migraine attack. Triggers include:
- Certain types of food and alcohol, including items that contain sulfites and tannins
- Poor sleeping habits
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Hormone imbalances
- Stress and anxiety
- Loss of appetite
Even certain types of weather and fragrances can trigger migraines.
Since there is no cure for migraines, the best thing you can do to manage the headaches is reduce their frequency and try to prevent them from recurring. Consequently, if chiropractic care helps you cope with chronic migraines, you should work with a medical professional to plan follow-up care.
Your regular treatment may also include helping you devise an exercise plan to help improve your overall health, providing instruction on how to improve your posture and guidance on how to relax when you feel anxious and stressed out.
One of the main benefits of chiropractic care is that you do not have to deal with the effects of chemicals in your body that can cause side effects or an allergic reaction.
In addition, prophylactic medications, drugs used to prevent migraines, are not effective for many patients. In fact, only 40 percent of patients experience reduced migraine pain when they take prophylactic drugs, according to the AMF.
You may be able to cover the cost of your chiropractic care through your health insurance. Check with your provider before making an appointment with a chiropractor. Even if you are not able to use your insurance, the investment in seeking chiropractic treatment may be worth it, especially if your migraines are so bad that you miss days at work and suffer other problems during the headaches such as anxiety, problems sleeping, depression and fatigue.
Instead of living in fear of when the next migraine attack will occur and hiding out in a dark room until the pain passes, contact a chiropractor to get help that does not involve ingesting strong prescription drugs.