Can chiropractors help people who suffer from migraine headaches?
Migraine headaches occurs in about 15% of the general population and is more common in woman than men. Migraine attacks are often managed with medication like simple analgesics (eg: Panadol, advil, nurofen) and sometimes with stronger prescription medications (eg: Imigran, Zomig). And then there are other medications, like beta-blockers and anti-depressants that are used as a means to prevent migraines from occurring.
However, some patients do not tolerate migraine medication due to side effects or prefer to avoid medication for other reasons.
This is where chiropractors as an alternative to medications can be useful.
What can you do if you have a migraine headache?
If you notice that a migraine is beginning there are some simple steps you can take that may help reduce the severity of the pain
- find a dark/calm environment – lay down or try to sleep. Often bright lights and loud noises with exacerbate a migraine headache
- Heat or cold therapy – some people find relief by using heat – like a wheat bag or warm water bottle over the neck and shoulders. Others find relief with a wet towel or cold compress over the eyes or across the forehead
- Small amounts of caffeine – either in a cool beverage (soft drinks) or warm drinks (coffee or tea) can sometimes help relieve a migraine. Caffeine may also help to increase the absorption of paracetamol. Be careful not to have too much though – drinking too much caffeine at this stage may make it difficult to go to sleep.
So how can the Latrobe Health Centre chiropractors help?
Firstly, our chiropractors will perform an evaluation and assessment to confirm that the type of headache you are experiencing is in fact a migraine headache.
As we have discussed previously, there are many different types of headaches and treatment can vary depending on which one you have.
Next we will attempt to identify and discuss any triggers for your migraines. Common triggers might include:
- Lack of sleep
- Missing meals
- Bright lights and noises
- Various foods – common ones are chocolate, certain cheeses
- High intensity exercise
- Hormonal cycles
So what can chiropractors do to help?
Many people who have migraine headaches also suffer from neck pain and stiffness and tightness in the surrounding muscles. Pain, stiffness and tight muscles are thought to contribute to some migraines.
The type of treatment that our chiropractors utilize might include
- Massage or other forms of muscle therapy
- Manipulation and mobilization or the spine
- Advice on exercises – these could be specific for the neck or more general in nature
- Relaxation techniques – if stress or poor sleep is contributing to your migraines our chiropractors can give you advice on some great relaxation techniques and online tools.
Although there is currently no cure for migraine headaches, these simple techniques used by our chiropractors may help to reduce the frequency and intensity of the migraines as well as reduce the need for medications.
If you are suffering from migraine headaches our chiropractors are here to help. You can book online here or call us on 5222 6868. chiropractor geelong