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How Chiropractic Can Help Prevent Your Migraines!

Are you one of the 1 billion people worldwide who suffer from migraines?

If you are, then you’ll understand why they are considered one of the most disabling medical conditions in the world. So debilitating in fact, over 100,000 people sought treatment at A&E between 2018 and 2019.

This takes a toll, not just on those who are suffering, but on society as a whole.

Every year the NHS spends an estimated £150 million on migraine treatments, and 86 million workdays are lost, which costs the economy £8.8 billion!

The constant fear of another attack can cause feelings of desperation and despair, leading to increased risk of psychiatric and physical conditions.

Clearly, we need a new approach to preventing migraine attacks.

But first, we need to understand what a migraine actually is and realise, it’s not just a “bad headache.”

The 4 Stages

Migraine attacks usually happen in four stages, but their effects vary from person to person, and not everyone will go through all stages.

Prodrome Stage

This stage serves as an early warning that a migraine attack is on its way. You may start experiencing symptoms of this stage from a few hours up to a few days before the attack itself.

Symptoms of the prodrome stage can include: 

  • light sensitivity
  • mood swings
  • concentration problems
  • muscle stiffness
  • fatigue
  • nausea 

Aura Stage

This stage usually occurs around 20 minutes before an attack and refers to the neurological and sensory disturbances a person experiences before a migraine episode. These symptoms affect a person’s sense of touch, vision and/or speech, but visual disturbances are the most common.

In this stage, you may experience: 

  • numbness in the face or hands
  • blurred vision
  • less mental alertness
  • seeing flashing lights
  • difficulty speaking 

Headache Stage

This is the stage most people think of when they hear the word migraine. Characterised by moderate to severe pain, usually on one side of the head. The pain can present itself as an intense throbbing or pulsing sensation which is usually aggravated by certain smells, sounds and light exposure.

Along with the head pain, other symptoms include: 

  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • light and sound sensitivity

Postdrome Stage

The postdrome stage, also known as the migraine hangover, represents the final cycle or stage of the migraine. Leaving you feeling generally unwell, drained, and exhausted.

This final stage includes the following symptoms: 

  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • body aches
  • mood changes 

What Is Triggering Your Attacks?

There is, unfortunately, no cure for a migraine attack, and we don’t yet know their true cause, but evidence shows genetic and family history could play a role, and you are 3 times more likely to be affected if you are a woman.

That being said, we do know some common triggers that might contribute to the onset of an attack.

Common triggers include: 

  • Alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Bright lights, sounds and strong smells
  • Highly processed or salty foods
  • Hormonal changes and medications
  • Allergies
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Stress
  • Weather changes

The Solution?

With migraines being so impactful on day-to-day life, many people choose painkillers to alleviate their symptoms. These drugs often come with their own side effects, and in a cruel twist of fate, can actually cause you to have more headaches if they are overused.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that chiropractic can provide to headache and migraine sufferers.

Chiropractic care helps reduce the frequency of attacks by improving spinal function, alleviating stress and muscular tension. Chiropractors can also provide specialist advice on nutrition, posture and how to take a more holistic approach to your health and wellbeing.

With the right care and lifestyle changes, you can start to take back your life and stop living in fear of migraines!

To discover how your local UCA registered chiropractor can help you, click here.