What are the symptoms of a migraine?
A migraine typically causes a severe pulsing sensation on 1 side of your head and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Although most migraines progress through 4 stages, you may not always experience each one.
- Prodrome: During this stage, which happens a day or so before a migraine, subtle bodily changes can signal an impending headache. Changes include constipation, mood changes, food cravings, and neck stiffness.
- Aura: This stage may occur before or during a migraine, and often includes visual disturbances, such as seeing bright spots or flashes of light. It may also include a temporary loss of vision, pins and needles sensation in an arm or leg, facial weakness, and difficulty speaking.
- Attack: The migraine itself, which may last anywhere from 4-72 hours, can cause pain on 1 or both sides of your head, blurred vision, lightheadedness, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea or vomiting.
- Post-drome: In the final, exit phase of a migraine, you may experience weakness, moodiness, dizziness, confusion, and sensitivity to light and sound.
What triggers migraines?
Although it’s not well understood exactly what causes the pain-sensitive structures in your head to react, migraines can be triggered by a variety of factors, including:
- Female hormonal changes
- Certain foods and additives (including aged cheeses and MSG)
- Alcohol (especially red wine)
- Stress and fatigue
- Sensory stimuli (including bright lights or heavy perfume)
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Environmental or seasonal changes
How are migraines treated?
Chiropractic care can be very effective for treating migraines, especially if your headaches can be traced to a spinal misalignment in your neck. Such misalignments can cause you to hold your head in the wrong position, thereby straining the muscles and nerves that are connected to the pain-sensitive structures in your head. Used in conjunction with massage therapy and corrective exercises, spinal adjustments helps provide immediate, long-lasting relief for spine-related migraines.