If you suffer from migraines, you know that this is no ordinary kind of headache. Migraines often include throbbing pain, extreme sensitivity to noise and light, nausea, and even vomiting. Often the pain can be so severe that sufferers can be totally incapacitated. When this occurs regularly, quality of life is obviously affected.
There are a number of different approaches to treating migraines, and different patients respond differently to various forms of treatment. Medications for both pain management and migraine prevention are available and can usually provide temporary relief.
There are individuals, however, who choose to seek other forms of migraine treatment — or who combine other forms of treatment along with their medications. One popular treatment is chiropractic care.
But if you actually suffer from migraines, you’re probably wondering: Can a chiropractor really help manage my condition and bring me relief? If so, how?
What causes migraines?
Migraines are still largely misunderstood. While experts know that they are usually triggered by chemical changes in the brain, the details and actual causes are not very clearly known. What is known is that migraines are about three times more likely to occur in women, and are most common for individuals in their 30s.
So what triggers migraines? This too varies by individual. For some, salty and processed foods are a trigger. For others it’s alcohol and caffeine, and for some it’s stress. Because triggers vary considerably from person to person, doctors recommend keeping a migraine diary to help identify patterns.
How can a chiropractor help?
The fact is, a growing number of people are finding migraine relief through chiropractic care. A qualified chiropractor can help treat misalignments in your spine and neck, which may help alleviate pain and reduce severity of migraines.
While existing studies on chiropractic care and migraines are not as numerous as you might think, several studies have found that individuals who seek chiropractic care for migraines do indeed find meaningful relief. Some patients report having fewer attacks, while others report having less severe attacks. In most studies, individuals who see a chiropractor for migraines subsequently end up using less pain medication.
While some claim that the positive effects of chiropractic care to treat migraines are merely a placebo effect, there isn’t conclusive evidence available to prove this theory. The fact that so many migraine sufferers are finding relief in chiropractic care is difficult to deny, even if the scientific parameters aren’t understood as they will be in the future.
Finding a Qualified Chiropractor
If you suffer from migraines or another condition that you think could be treated with chiropractic care, you’ll want to find a highly qualified chiropractor. Ask your primary care physician for a list of reputable chiropractor in your area, and do plenty of research online. Before making an appointment, call up the office of any potential chiropractors to ask what experience they have working with patients who suffer from migraines. Ideally, choose a chiropractor who is respected and highly experienced in working with patients who need migraine relief. If you’re a sufferer of migraines, you may be able to find true systemic relief, instead of using drugs to mask the symptoms when they appear.