Can chiropractors help migraines?
According to the World Health Organization headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system. Headache/Migraines plague almost half o the adult population. Headaches can come in many different forms presenting with a whole host of symptoms that affect a persons quality of life and functionality.
Due to the many causes and types of headaches, patients should be evaluated by a medical professional regarding treatment of their headaches.
What is a Headache?
A headache is defined as a continuous pain in the head and a migraine is defined as a recurring throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. Headaches can range from a rare occasional annoying ache to frequent debilitating throbbing pain. Headaches can then extend their disabling features to family life, anxiety, depression, social life, and employment.
Headaches/Migraines are also broken up into numerous different categories such as classic migraine headaches, cluster headaches, tension headaches, and medication overuse headaches. Although the symptoms of each of these divisions vary the end result remains the same, which is a disabling and costly health issue.
What causes a Headache/Migraine?
Headaches/Migraines can be caused by numerous factors. Factors that contribute to a headache/migraine have a lot to do with the neck and the tension associated with the surrounding musculature. The muscles of the neck when they become taught can pull not only on the surrounding muscles but the cervical spine as well as the skull aggravating the nerves of the head and neck resulting in headaches/migraines.
There are no pain receptors inside the brain so headaches although often correlated with the inside of the skull are actually outside of the skull related to the scalp, sinuses, muscles and joints. Headaches/Migraines can be triggered by many factors but each individual can have different triggers. Major triggers for headaches/migraines can include stress, anxiety, medications, sleeping too much or too little, changes in weather, dietary changes, allergies, muscle tension, misalignments in the spine.
– DR. MARK PETRO
Signs and Symptoms of migraine headaches
The signs and symptoms of migraine headaches can vary and most are the basic pain and throbbing pain type symptoms but can also be accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms. Patients with migraines can have fatigue, depression, numbness/tingling, irritability due to their consistency and debilitating effects.
Migraines especially can be pounding/pulsating, cause nausea, vomiting, running nose or congestion. These symptoms can all contribute to depression and interfere with daily activities of life.
Chiropractic Care for Migraines
In our office we will focus on the root of your headache issue. If a patient presents with headaches/migraines we will do a full physical examination of the patient with full history to ensure we gather as much information necessary to determine if the headaches/migraines can be treated and helped with chiropractic adjustments.
If it is determined that the patients headaches/migraines are being caused by misalignments in the spine or increased tension in the muscles around the neck and upper back the patient will continue with care. If it is determined that there is another cause outside our scope of care the patient will be referred to the appropriate specialist.
Typically patients who have positive results with their headaches/migraines through chiropractic care have misalignments in the spine that are putting pressure on the nerves that are exiting the spine. When these nerves are compressed it can result in pain and dysfunction as well as increased tension in the surrounding musculature as the muscles try to prevent any further misalignments of the bones in the spine, which can lead to tension type headache symptoms.
In the office I will utilize some of the most advanced technologies available to the chiropractic profession to evaluate your nervous system and how it is functioning. The patient will be objectively scanned with computer technology assessing surface temperature differences on each side of the spine to determine symmetry.
The muscle tension will also be measured on both sides of the spine to determine if one side is producing more energy output to certain muscles, which can indicate a misalignment of the spine at that particular level. The patients heart rate variability will also be measured to assess if the patient is in a particularly stressed state or relaxed state more frequently which can indicate the bodies ability to handle and manage stress may have dysfunction leading to anxiety and stress taking a toll on the spine.
Finally the patient’s posture will be analyzed using computer software to assess any abnormal posture that can contribute to increased stress on the surrounding spine and muscles that can lead to headaches/migraines. During the evaluation if the patient has any signs that indicate the need for x-rays the patient will be referred out before any treatment is given.
Once the evaluation is complete and the Doctor determines the cause of the headaches the patient will be given recommendations for treatment moving forward.
Chiropractic Adjustment for Migraines
Once it is determined that the root cause of the headaches/migraines is located in the spine a custom care plan will be designed and discussed with the patient. A suggested visit plan and time line will be presented to the patient regarding all encompassing care to help the patient get relief from the headaches/migraines as soon and efficiently as possible.
Based on the findings from the initial evaluation the patient will be given a recommendation regarding treatment plan and goals. This treatment plan will take into account not only the plans for treatment inside the office but the plan will also account for daily activities, work habits, and recreational habits to formulate a comprehensive plan for helping the patient achieve the healthiest state possible as quickly and efficiently as possible.
– DR. MARK PETRO
The patient will be laying face down throughout the entirety of the adjustment and there is no twisting, cracking, or popping associated with the adjustment. Based on the history of the headaches/migraines as well as the postural analysis completed the patient will be given certain therapies in the office to assist in the correction process as well as at home exercises and ergonomic suggestions to help alleviate the headaches/migraines and correct the root of the problem as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Torque Release Technique Testimonials and Migraines
Patients in our office have already felt the benefits of frequent headaches/migraines gaining relief from Torque Release Technique. Ages range from teenagers to seniors regarding relief from chronic headaches/migraines.
Some patients will feel relief immediately and will come in when the feel the aura or the migraine initially settling in if the problem is not frequent for them. Others who suffer from frequent and chronic headaches/migraines typically come in to have the problem corrected at the spinal level so that they can reduce if not eliminate the frequency of the migraines moving forward.
Teenagers who suffer from pre-menstrual stress and increased migraines during their cycles have had much success and relief when being treated with Torque Release Technique. A patient age 55 who has suffered from frequent and intense migraines for decades came to the clinic looking for relief.
The patient had success treating the migraines with amitryptylin however no longer wanted to feel the side effects that included lethargy, lightheadedness, sluggishness, and aches. The patient began care and within the first week noticed a decrease in the frequency and intensity of her migraines.
The patient wanted to fully reach the benefits of corrective specific care with Torque Release Technique and continued to see improvements as well as feeling immediate benefits during migraines.