Busting the Top 6 Myths About Migraines

Migraines are considered one of the most prevalent and weakening neurological conditions in the world.  They are so common that about 1 billion people in the world are affected by them. In the United States, as many as 30 million people have migraines. Men, women, and even children can suffer from them.

Migraines are rarely life-threatening, but a severe migraine episode may require a trip to the emergency room. More than 90% of migraine sufferers cannot function and manage regular daily activities during an attack. Going to work or school and performing simple tasks can be impossible for someone in the middle of a migraine episode.

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Correcting the Myths Linked to Migraines

Information about migraines is widely available, but not all of it is true. There are many myths concerning migraines that are falsely reported as facts. These misconceptions about migraines can be harmful and may hinder sufferers from getting treatment and becoming better. In this post, we are highlighting the biggest false truths about migraines.

  1. Migraines are just bad headaches.

Migraines are a health disorder that involves various complex symptoms that go way beyond a terrible headache. The truth is that a migraine can occur even without a headache. It may include these other disabling symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or numbness in the face, arms, or legs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme sensitivity to strong odor, bright light, and loud noise
  • Aura or neurological disturbances
  • Brain fog or cognitive problems
  • Neck or jaw pain

 

2. Migraines rarely occur.

Some people may suffer from migraine attacks only occasionally.  However, more than 4 million adults have chronic migraines, which means that they go through at least 15 migraine episodes for each month.  Over 20% of chronic migraine sufferers are disabled.

 

3. Migraines are a women’s disease.

It’s not true that only women get migraines. While more women are suffering from chronic migraines (85 percent of chronic migraine sufferers), men experience migraines too. They suffer just as much as women. In addition, boys suffer from migraines more often than girls before puberty. But the tables turn once puberty hits.

 

4. Migraines are an adult-only health concern.

Children can have migraines too. Around 10% of school-age kids experience migraines. Nearly 50% of all adults suffering from migraines experienced their first attack before age 12. Unfortunately, cases of migraines in children are commonly undiagnosed. Migraines are reported to be hereditary. If one parent has migraines, the child has a 50% chance of getting them too. It increases to 75% if both parents have migraines.  

 

5. If you avoid triggers, migraines won’t occur.

Many factors can trigger migraine attacks, and avoiding them altogether does not guarantee that a migraine episode won’t ever occur.  Common triggers of migraines include the following:

  • Weather factors
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Food additives
  • Certain foods like aged cheeses or frozen meats
  • Certain medications like oral contraceptives
  • Strong odors

 

6. Migraine medications work for everyone.

Overuse of medications may cause chronic migraines. People who use pain-relievers more than a couple of times per week for more than ten days a month can develop medication overuse headaches. When the dose of medications wears off, and the pain returns, a person tends to take more and more to get relief. Prescription migraine medication or over-the-counter pain-relievers can have migraine headaches as one of the side effects.

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Medications and Other Ways to Relieve Migraines

Migraine medications are categorized into two areas – those that prevent attacks from occurring and those that are taken in the middle of a migraine episode to relieve the pain.  Many migraine sufferers keep personal journals to detect patterns or potential triggers.

How to Alleviate Migraine Attacks Naturally

It’s easy to lose hope when you’re dealing with a painful disorder. Most migraine sufferers have gone through many treatment options before they were able to settle on one that gave the results they needed.  

Our aim at Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Boulder is not to chase around your various symptoms. Instead, we address the underlying cause of migraines with upper cervical chiropractic care. It is a specialized niche within the chiropractic field that concentrates on the upper cervical spine, particularly the connection between the head and neck.  This area of the spine is responsible for essential functions such as:

  1. Brainstem function – The brainstem serves as a switchboard for signals transferring to and from the brain.
  2. Blood flow – If normal blood flow between the head and neck gets affected due to an atlas misalignment, it can result in symptoms of migraines.
  3. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow – Your CSF functions to provide nutrients to the tissues of your central nervous system and flush out metabolic waste products.  If CSF flow is decreased, there can be a buildup of metabolic waste, leading to inflammation.

It is the spine’s responsibility to protect the brainstem and spinal cord.  A small misalignment of the atlas, the uppermost vertebra in the neck, can damage the central nervous system. Since migraines are neurological, everything must function as designed for the body to feel its best and function at its optimum.

Turning to specialists like us at our clinic in Boulder, Colorado can correct your atlas misalignment and restore your health. We utilize diagnostic imaging and a careful examination to measure your spine misalignment. We then use the information in the results to genlty realign your atlas through a personalized upper cervical adjustment. These adjustments should hold in place for as long as possible to allow your body to heal.  Many of our migraine patients have been able to recover naturally through our upper cervical chiropractic care.

References:

http://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202434

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