The Bottom Line
Few things can ruin your day as much as a headache.
Relieving migraine headaches in particular can feel impossible.
They can seemingly appear out of nowhere, though they may hint at their arrival with two other heavy hitters: visual discomfort and nausea.
Whatever the symptoms, a migraine is one visitor you don’t want to stick around.
Why it Matters
Take it from the leading chiropractic migraine specialist – knowing when a migraine is starting and understanding what matters when it comes to preventing and relieving migraine headaches is critical to improving your quality of life.
Let’s take a look at the four phases of a migraine headache.
Four Phases of Migraine
There are typically four phases of a migraine that many sufferers will experience:
This phase is usually the warning that a migraine is coming on. Many people will experience mood swings, neck stiffness, and constipation.
About 1 in 4 people who suffer from migraines will get an aura.
Migraine sufferers often report visual or sensory auras in the minutes before the actual headache. Visual auras can result in flashing lights and blurred vision, whereas sensory auras affect speech and the ability to think clearly.
Vision problems usually start 20 minutes to an hour before the headache. Even if you don’t get an aura, the headache itself may cause vision trouble.
A migraine headache can be moderate or severe and is likely to occur on only one side of the head. Migraine sufferers will notice that their headaches worsen with physical activity, so rest is critical.
The final phase in the migraine cycle is the postdrome. This occurs once the headache ends and leaves the afflicted person feeling exhausted.
Treatment Options for Relieving Migraine Headaches
Many migraine headache sufferers do not receive effective care.
For example, in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that only half of chronic migraine sufferers seek the help of a healthcare professional, despite the often significantly disruptive symptoms.
- Throbbing headaches of moderate to severe intensity on one side of the head.
- The appearance of nausea and vision changes.
- Recurring episodes can last anywhere from hours to days.
Most are solely reliant on over-the-counter medications even though there are no surefire options that exist for relieving migraine headaches.
Similarly, it’s estimated that half of the people who experience chronic or occasional headaches will fall back on attempting to self-treat with over-the-counter pain medications despite the increased risk of experiencing rebound headaches that can happen as a result of overuse.
When it comes to migraines, this risk here is associated most with aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine combinations.
Of course, based on the symptoms and stages characteristic of most migraines, it’s easy to see why many people aren’t aware that there are non-pharmacological ways to manage their attacks.
Many of our local migraine patients who come in often relay this as a reason they waited so long to find a chiropractic migraine specialist.
Trust us, when the first time the headache comes back is reason enough to see a healthcare professional.
Just like with cervicogenic and tension headaches, it is possible to lessen the frequency, intensity, and severity of your migraines with a combination of lifestyle changes and chiropractic care.
While the cause of migraines is unclear, there are specific triggers that are often attributed to their onset.
Knowing what those triggers are and making proactive changes to any daily habits that may be associated with those triggers is crucially important to finding lasting relief from migraine headaches.
And, in one recent study, researchers observed a significant reduction in migraine days for those participants receiving chiropractic care.
TThe good news is that you can start effectively relieving migraine headaches by being proactive with your daily habits.
You know now that making time for periodic chiropractic care is an important step in finding relief from migraine pain, so don’t skip that next (or first!) adjustment.
If you’re looking for a chiropractic migraine specialist, our doors are open and we’re ready to help you find relief!
What about those triggers we mentioned?
Here are some of the most common:
- Consumption of alcoholic or caffeinated drinks and tobacco
- Periods of stress
- Exposure to intense lights or smells
- Periods of intense physical exertion
- Changes to sleeping or eating habits
- Certain medications
- Consumption of aged, salty, or processed foods and certain food additives
Migraine sufferers do well with preventive measures such as diet changes or taking steps to reduce stress.
If you need help determining which triggers are contributing to your headaches, don’t hesitate to ask us during your next appointment.
To ensure you’re on the right path and headed toward lasting relief from your migraines, it’s wise to connect with a healthcare professional.
“Doctor Google” isn’t really a doctor after all!
Our compassionate team has personally dealt with our own share of migraine headaches, and we’re here for you!
From lifestyle optimization advice to chiropractic adjustments and beyond, let us help you put those migraines in the rear-view mirror.