Throbbing pain. Eye and neck pain. Blurred vision. Nausea. Aura. If you’re one of the more than 37 million people in the United States who suffers from migraine headaches, you’ve likely tried many treatments for the debilitating pain. It is likely that you have tried pain pill after pain pill in an attempt to relieve your symptoms. But, if you have not tried it yet, you may be glad to know that chiropractic treatment for migraines is a promising approach to managing the condition.
How can Chiropractic Treatment Help with Migraines?
When a migraine occurs, cranial blood vessels expand (vasodilation) as opposed to a regular headache where those same blood vessels narrow (vasoconstriction). Surrounding tissues in the brain become swollen and, as you might know firsthand, quite painful. Some people suffer such intense pain from migraines that they throw up and even have trouble with their vision. The first step to any effective migraine treatment is an appropriate diagnosis, but chiropractic treatment is effective for treating many different types of headaches, including migraines.
A chiropractor is a health care professional specializing in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Chiropractors primarily work by hands-on manipulation of the spine. Irregularities or misalignments in parts of the spine can lead to muscle tension and irritate nerves controlling blood flow to the head (hence, the migraine). Because neck and back pain can be triggers for migraine headaches, chiropractic treatment is gaining popularity among professionals as a way to help patients reduce the frequency of their migraine headaches and to decrease the duration and severity of migraine headaches. While there is no definite cure for migraines—and the healthcare industry has even struggled to pinpoint the exact causes—chiropractic treatment is an exceptional option to strongly decrease the negative effects of migraine headaches that millions struggle with on a regular basis.
A study to assess the efficacy of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in the treatment of migraine headaches (published in the year 2000) showed that participants who received chiropractic treatment for migraines had significant improvements in their migraine frequency, duration, disability and medication use. Another recent study reported that its participants who received chiropractic treatment for migraines ended up reducing the number of migraines they had by more than half. Imagine cutting the number of migraine headaches you get in half!
Chiropractic treatment for migraines is unique because it incorporates multiple methods to treat the source of migraine headaches rather than just trying to dull the effects once a migraine has already started.
Chiropractic treatment for migraines works in multiple ways:
- Restores proper nervous system communication by ensuring alignment
- Decreases irritation in the nerves that send pain signals to the brain
- Reduces muscle tension, a common trigger for migraine headaches
- Restores normal blood flow
- Unlocks the body’s healing potential
- Strengthens the muscles that support the spine
- Identifies migraine triggers so as to help avoid them
So why doesn’t everyone suffering from migraine headaches get chiropractic treatment?
First of all, very few people associate chiropractic treatment with migraine treatment. It simply doesn’t occur to them to consult this type of specialist. And while it is true that chiropractors also treat things like sciatic nerve pain and back injuries, those are really just the tip of the iceberg.
Furthermore, some people may be skeptical if they do not see results right away or if the results do not live up to their expectations. Ideally, this type of migraine treatment is done as part of a larger overall, multimodal approach to managing migraines and their symptoms. For maximum efficacy, it is crucial that treatment for any type of pain be individualized and comprehensive. This might mean that your chiropractor works as part of a larger team of medical professionals to find the right combination of treatments (massage, prescriptions, nutrition, physical therapy, etc.) for YOUR migraine. That is why Arrowhead Health Centers employs providers across a myriad of different specialties—to allow them all to come together to deliver the most complete care possible.
If you suffer from headaches and you would like to learn more about chiropractic treatment for migraines, be sure to contact the team at Arrowhead Health Centers today. Our fully licensed and experienced chiropractors practice at locations in Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Chandler, Sun City, Surprise and Prescott Valley. We also offer family practice, physical therapy, pain management and other services, so it is possible you could see multiple specialists in the same day and explore a variety of treatment options and create a unique plan that will be the best fit for you.
Migraines are an incredibly common condition. The advanced, comprehensive solutions for migraine treatment offered by the chiropractic professionals at Arrowhead Health Centers are not. Contact us to start your pain-free journey.