What is a Migraine?

There seems to be general agreement, that the key element with migraines is reduced blood flow to the brain. With the neck spasm associated with a migraine the blood vessels are constricted and restrict the flow. The brain uses 20% of the total blood supply of the body, if it is reduced, migraines develop. So restoring blood supply is important. And it is here that chiropractic treatments are so effective...

How they affect us.

When migraines affect us they feel like a train throbbing through your head. Lying in bed with the lights off, the sound down and the door closed. They are very painful. You often know when a migraine will begin. You see auras of light, flashing before you or black or grey holes in your vision. Then 30-40 minutes later you feel your head seem to explode like "a tumour in it." These are the symptoms of a migraine.

How can Chiropractic help?

Below is the "Chiropractic Approach" including some explanations.

In the neck there are 4 arteries that feed the brain: Two carotid arteries, and also two vertebral arteries, (these vertebral arteries are the red wires in the left picture travelling up through the vertebra) treatments to the neck vertebra improve the blood flow through these arteries and this reduces the headaches.

The nerves from the spinal cord also regulate the flow of blood through these arteries... These same spinal nerves also control the neck muscles and ligaments, that cause neck tension. Because of this duel effect,- improving blood supply, and reducing neck tension,- treatments to the neck region effectively improve acute migraine pain.

The same spinal nerves also effect the organs of the head: eyes (cannot tolerate light), ears (cannot tolerate noise) sinus's. Other common symptoms that occur are vertigo, temporal headaches, and nausea. All these symptoms are part of the classic migraine pain.

Classic migraine starts on one side of the head but may eventually spread to the other side. An attack lasts 1 to 2 pain-wracked days.

Common Migraine - a term that reflects the disorder's greater occurrence in the general population - is not preceded by an aura. But some people experience a variety of vague symptoms beforehand, including mental fuzziness, mood changes, fatigue, and unusual retention of fluids. During the headache phase of a common migraine, a person may have diarrhoea and increased urination, as well as nausea and vomiting. Common migraine pain can last 3 or 4 days.

Research Studies – if you wish to read more

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Feb 2000
A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine
P. Tuchin, H. Pollard, & R. Bonello

One hundred twenty seven patients, aged 10 to 70 years, with a diagnosis of migraine, and experienced at least one migraine per month, were assigned on a random basis to 2 groups, a spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) receiving chiropractic treatment and a control group. Patients were followed up for two months post treatment, and the results compared with pre-treatment assessments. The initial data was collected by patients completing standard headache diaries for two months prior to treatment, during treatment, and for 2 months post treatment. The treatment group showed significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration and disability compared with the control group.

Approximately 50% of the SMT group reported significant improvement in the migraine episodes, while twenty two percent of SMT patients reported a 90% or more reduction of migraines. The study authors suggest that migraines had a strong correlation to stress, 80% of participants reported it was a major factor in their migraines.

A Case study – there are many more case studies that could be included.

Chronic migraine and Chiropractic rehabilitation: A case study Journal of chiropractic medicine Volume 2 issue 2 September 2002

The object of this study was to assess if treatment protocols where effective for treating reoccurring prolonged migraine headaches.

The patient was a 22 year old women who had suffered migraines for 2 years. The pains she experienced where over the left forehead region, she experienced nausea and visual aura "spots" when the migraines were severe. Her symptoms had persisted despite various medical interventions. The method for measuring outcomes was the patients self assessment using the 'Headache Disability Index' She received chiropractic treatments for 12 weeks this also included some chiropractic rehabilitation exercises. The chronic reoccurring migraines were resolved by the end of treatment period.

Chiropractic can help.

With chiropractic treatments, improvement is often seen within 2-3 visits. Tens of thousands of patients have responded favourably with our treatments. If you are suffering, take control of your problem, in a safe and natural way. Chiropractic has been established as an effective method for treating migraines and headaches.

DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis.