While many people believe that migraines are just a severe headache—there is a lot more to a migraine than meets the eye. Approximately 15% of adults in the United States suffer from migraines , and they can impact individuals of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities.
This is why it is so important to understand migraines, how they work, and of course, how chiropractic care can help treat this painful condition.
Before you can get into the treatment of migraines, it is important to understand what migraines are and why they are so painful. The symptoms of migraines can vary depending on the individual and what stage of the migraine you are in.
While migraines are, in fact, headaches, they are a different type of headache and can come with different symptoms such as:
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Throbbing or pulsating pain usually on one side
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms or legs
- Radiating Pain
- Extreme thirst
- Vision issues
- Difficulty with speech
Not all individuals experience the same symptoms in the same order. Many times, there are specific triggers that cause certain individuals to start experiencing migraines. Some of these triggers include:
- Changes in the weather
- Fluctuations with hormones
- Poor sleep
- Food allergies
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Tooth or jaw pain
- Subluxations or spinal misalignment
What is most unique about migraines is that they actually go through different stages.
What Are the Migraine Stages
If you’ve ever seen a chiropractor or a medical doctor about your migraines, chances are, you have heard them talk about the different stages of migraines.
- Prodrome- This is the first of the migraine stages and is typically the first sign that there is something going on. This “pre-migraine” stage typically includes mood changes or food cravings along with neck pain or stiffness. Some people also start experiencing increased thirst right before the migraine begins.
- Aura- This stage occurs right before, or during, a migraine. It typically involves issue with vision such as sensitivity to light or “starts” and flashes of light in your vision. Some people also experience hearing difficulties or tingling sensations. If this happens before the migraine, this stage can last a few days.
- Attack- As the name suggests, this is the most intense stage of the migraine process. You may feel excruciating pain on one or both sides of your head and a throbbing or pulsing sensation. Some people also experience vomiting or nausea during this stage.
- Post-Drome Stage- When your migraine “attack” stage is over, you will start to feel relief. However, there may also be feelings of confusion, exhaustion or feeling overwhelmed. Even if the intense pain from your migraine is over, make sure that during this time you are resting and hydrating.
The key to treating migraines and prevent them from returning is to have a plan in place with your chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments, or spinal manipulations will help improve spinal and nervous system function and alleviate stress on your body.
At home, make sure to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet and avoid excess amounts of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Rest, ice packs and fluids are a great approach to treating “attacks” when they happen.
If you have more questions about migraines, headaches or any other related head or neck injury, contact the experts here at McAuliffe Chiropractic Office for more information. We proudly serve Laurel and the entire PG County area. You can book a consultation right through our website, or call us at 301-776-0755 to make an appointment today.