What are Migraines?
Migraines are a particular type of headache that is severe, piercing and disabling. Most people who suffer a migraine cannot function and need to go to sleep due to nausea, pain, fatigue and inability to process light or sound well. They are also light or sound sensitive. Who suffer migraines usually suffer headaches as well in between. Here at The Innate Connection we have seen people who suffer from migraines daily, four times a week, twice a week, weekly and so on. It is a terrible condition and one that not many people know how to deal with. Migraines are generally one-sided and behind your eye. A lot of people report that neck pain is associated with their migraines and generally may or may not have an aura associated as well. An aura is a visual or other kind of queue that your migraine is going to occur. People will often take medication at this point to avoid the oncoming migraine. In order to treat someone with migraines one must understand some of the root causes of migraine. While it is difficult to determine the real root cause, testing and some trial and error can ruel in and out some of the causes. One of the common areas that is associated with migraines as the upper part of the back of the neck.
Neurologists have known this for a long time and after a course of medication and preventative medicines, patients will be subject to Botox therapy to inject Botox serum into their sensory nerves, to reduce the likelihood of pain sensation in the area. Neurologist will generally inject the migraine Botox into peoples foreheads, the top of their head, the back of their neck, and their shoulders. This is a shotgun approach to try to impact every area that could possibly be causing tension that is bad enough to lead to a migraine. At The Innate Connection we have inherited a migraine protocol, which helps people to understand their migraines and why they might be having them. We have particular tests that help determine the likelihood of success with your migraines through Chiropractic care, or if you need to be referred to a neurologist or somebody else for assistance. There is evidence emerging about the link between the upper part of your neck and pain in the front of your face or behind your eye. There are dural attachments from your upper neck to your head and the back of your eye which can cause tension and pulling in the back of your eye. The occipital nerve, is the nerve that gives you the eye pain from a migraine. If we can identify the cause of your migraine and reduce the muscle tension around it we can then create a plan and a management system that allows you to deal with your migraines in a healthy and effective way.
Dr Justin (Chiropractor) worked under a Chiropractic Guru who had 35 years of clinical experience, over his time as a Chiropractor he developed a migraine protocol that he shared with Justin and now practices at his old clinic. In the worst case this the migraine protocol includes an x-ray (if appropriate), and then a course of treatment over 2 to 3 months with the migraine sufferer in order to achieve the best results. Our patients at The Innate Connection are also encouraged to attend the clinic (if possible) at the first sign of migraine so that we can feel your neck and muscles and begin to understand what is the main driver of your migraines. If the treatment is having no change to the consistency, frequency or severity of your migraines then a new approach must be taken. Some people find relief through changing their diet or changing the way their hormones interact, which we help with by referring to nutritionists in the area.
People often say that they know why they are having some of their migraines. For example if they haven’t eaten that day, they’re very thirsty or haven’t slept well, they have had a physical or mental stress in their life or something of that nature. While this might be true not everyone that sleeps poorly ends up with a migraine… So you must change your thinking in order to understand that you as an individual are different to everyone else, and there is a reason why you are having a particular type of headache or migraine when other people are not.
There is not too much more to say about migraines that migraine sufferers do not know already. It affects relationships, work, leisure time and ability to hang out with their friends. People’s lives completely change and transform when they begin to manage their migraines with the right care. For a migraine care plan, assessment, advice and treatment of the muscular component, speak to our receptionists or book online and we will endeavour to take care of your condition.
More Migraine Information
Migraines are a highly prevalent and severely disabling. The World Health Organisation (WHO) rank 19th for migraines in worldwide causes of disabilities, which clearly means that migraines are quite significant. Most migraine sufferers are female with only 2 in 1000 males sufferers. Most people that suffer from migraines are between the age of 25 and 35 years old. People after that age tend to reduce in their suffering. Most people who are severe suffers will suffer one to 2 migraines per month. If you’re wondering if you’re suffering from migraine or not and you have a new headache that you have never had before this is a concern and one that needs to be investigated as soon as possible. Migraines are also very likely to have a genetic link in the family with a 75% chance that if you suffer from migraines, someone else in your family will also suffer from migraines.
Classification of migraine. The ‘common migraine’ is one without an aura as we spoke about earlier, and a classical migraine is one with aura. A lot of migraines feel pulsatile throbbing or pounding that can last from 2 to 72 hours (without treatment) and it is rare but patients can wake up with migraines. Nausea is associated with 90% of migraines and vomiting in 50% of migraines. This is due to the brain stem component of the migraines as is the poor sensitivity to light and sound. Loose bowel movements are also common with migraines and a proper examination into all of these areas is necessary to reduce the likelihood of the symptoms occurring. People are often aggravated by bending, stooping, coughing or exercise. Migraines can often be relieved by lying in a dark room or going to sleep because they have less sympathetic or active stimulation. There are many triggers for migraines and we mentioned a few of them earlier. The most common ones are menstruation, alcohol, food triggers: such as chocolate, dairy, cheese, citrus fruit, fried fatty foods and then things like fatigue, changing weather, bright lights, glare, flickering lights and also some smells. It should be noted that about 50% of migraine sufferers are also dairy intolerant and anyone that suffers from migraines should be off gluten and dairy almost permanently.
There are four distinct phases of migraine attacks that are documented for. The first one is called the pro drome which is the first thing to come on before a migraine, generally 2 to 48 hours before the attack. There is usually a various combination of fatigue, difficulty with concentration, nausea, neck stiffness, blurred vision, yawning or a change in the sufferers skin pigmentation. Chiropractors will generally adjust people using their hands to help some of the pain modulation and to help to produce serotonin. But people also need to be aware of their supplement intake. Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin B are very good for energy levels and to help with migraines. Phase 2 of a migraine is the aura. Visual disturbances are the most commonly reported part of an aura but not everyone has the aura. The third component is the headache itself. People who suffer from migraines that have aura have generally less severe pain than those who do not have the aura. The fourth and final part of a migraine, which is often the most annoying, is called the post drome. This is where the headache has finished. People often have changes in mood, feel weak in their muscles, have physical tiredness and a reduced appetite. People complain of a migraine hangover, or feeling washed out. These symptoms generally resolve over 24 hours.
When you observe somebody that is having a migraine there are some things to have a look at. The person may appear to be sweating or to have a pale complexion. They may also appear disorientated and be suffering some of the side-effects of any medication they took. It is important that people suffering from migraines have ruled out having a stroke. This is done by specific testing by qualified doctor. It is also a good idea to take a temperature and blood pressure from sufferers to rule out any infectious causes of their pain.
Diagnostic imaging – there are no directly relevant diagnostic images related to migraines. This means that x-rays, CT, MRI and ultrasound don’t give us a diagnosis of migraine. The diagnosis of migraine is related to the symptoms and severity level that the patient explains they have. MRI is often used from migraine sufferers to rule out more serious causes of migraines.
Chiropractic management of migraines: there are many ways that Chiropractors can attempt to relieve muscular tension associated with migraines. Manipulative techniques are the most popular and then low force techniques are also quite popular with migraine sufferers. Some Chiropractors choose to use soft tissue techniques to massage the muscles and find pain trigger points in the face or neck to help reduce pain. Another interesting management technique is ear insufflation. This is a technique by which air is blown into the ear through a small instrument at a rate of one blow per second, or 60 per minute. The idea is that it activates the brain stem or inner part of your brain and allows for proper regulation of pain signals. Chiropractors can also help the symptoms associated with migraine through balance or vestibular rehabilitation exercises to assist with your inner ear balance centres. Less stress on your balance centres and optimisation of these pathways can result in less stress on your entire body and therefore less migraines. Headache/migraine diaries to recognise food triggers are common and should be done by all migraine sufferers to reduce the amount of food they ingest that may be causing their migraines. It is also a good idea to keep track of your menstrual cycle with a diary to see if there are hormone triggers related to migraine.
Physically, migraine sufferers should aim to maintain optimal postural function of their spines so that the neck has minimal pain triggers in it and that your breathing mechanisms are working perfectly well. You can see our page on posture which explains why posture is so important for neck pain and your ability to breathe.
Nutritional supplementation – CoQ10, magnesium and vitamin B and generally the most common supplements are recommended for migraine sufferers. Butterbur also has some evidence to show effectiveness in helping people who suffer from migraines. Getting more energy and helping your muscles relax is the strategy, in the case of supplements, as to how we can start to impact migraine.
Medical management – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used early in the attack phase of migraines and high doses of these can be very effective. Aspirin is also frequently used, which allows the blood vessels to expand and can give migraine relief. Krypton’s are a very common form of migraine attack medication for severe migraines they’re also nasal sprays, tablets and wafers that can help people in different ways.
Childhood migraines. Caffeine needs to be considered as a source of headaches in children and qualified professionals need to find out if caffeine is affecting your child. Children often experience migraines in their abdomen and can experience blurred vision, vomiting, nausea and a discolouration of the skin. Children generally experience migraines after physical exhaustion or stress, and their attacks are generally brief only lasting about 20 minutes with sudden and complete recovery.