Migraines are a debilitating combination of a severe headache, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. A single migraine episode can cause disabling pain for hours or days, disrupting one’s ability to go about a normal daily routine. There can be many things that can trigger a migraine. Some, such as changes in the weather, are beyond our control. However, other triggers may be able to be avoided or managed:
- Stress – Increased stress at work or home can trigger a migraine.
- Foods and food additives – Processed foods, aged cheeses, aspartame and MSG can cause a migraine.
- Changes in sleep cycle – Too much or too little sleep, and even jet lag, can trigger migraines.
- Drinks – Caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, soda) and alcoholic beverages (especially wine) can cause migraines.
- Hormonal changes in women – Fluctuations of estrogen throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle can trigger migraines.
Since triggers can be so variable, a good tool for migraine sufferers is to keep a simple journal of sleep habits, stress levels, and food/beverage intake. That way, if you do have a known trigger, it will be easier to pinpoint and avoid.
Migraine Relief with Upper Cervical Care
Making the connection between spinal health and alignment with migraines is easy. The vertebrae of your spine are responsible for protecting the spinal cord. The spinal cord’s job is to transmit messages between the brain and body. The atlas vertebra, the top bone in your spine, is especially vulnerable to misaligning due to its unique shape – it is designed so that we have freedom of motion of our heads. When the atlas misaligns, it causes pressure within the spinal cord and can influence blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow. This can easily lead to conditions under which migraines can develop.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a specific chiropractic technique that addresses misalignments of the atlas in a gentle, precise manner. After the atlas is realigned, the tension on the spinal cord is reduced, and normal brain-body communication is restored. This proper signaling is what allows for the healing process to take place and can lead to the reduction or disappearance of migraines altogether.