If you suffer from migraine headaches or even tension headaches, which have many of the same symptoms and triggers as migraines, and over the counter medication hasn't improved your condition, you may want to consider the benefits of chiropractic treatment. Although you probably know that chiropractic care is often used to treat back and neck pain, it can also relieve some of the pain you experience with a migraine. Here are some important things for you to know about chiropractic migraine management.
Your Chiropractor Will Look For External Triggers -- When you visit a chiropractor for migraine treatment, you will undergo the standard physical examination, but the most important part of the initial consultation is for your chiropractor to try and identify the external triggers that cause your migraines. There are many types of triggers, including stress, a sudden increase in your blood sugar, certain types of foods that contain artificial flavouring such as MSG, and pollens and toxins in the air. Finding your external triggers is similar to detective work, as you and your chiropractor will have to delve into your migraine history to isolate some possible causes.
Your Chiropractor Will Look For Physical Causes -- In addition to the external triggers, your chiropractor will try to determine some physical causes of your migraines. For example, poor posture can place stress on your back and neck, which can lead to a migraine. Your chiropractor will also determine if you have any muscle or joint issues in your neck that could be constricting the blood vessels, which is another cause of a migraine. The alignment of your spine is another important indicator, because a spine that is out of alignment often leads to neck and shoulder pain that can radiate into your head. Spinal alignment is determined by a physical evaluation and X rays.
Your Chiropractor Will Recommend Several Treatment Options -- In many instances, your chiropractor will determine that a combination of avoiding certain triggers and manual manipulation can relieve some of the symptoms associated with a migraine. Manual manipulation is a technique in which a chiropractor uses hands, elbows and forearms to relieve muscle soreness and to perform 'adjustments,' in which your body is placed in different positions so that your chiropractor can align your spine and back. For an adjustment of your neck, your chiropractor will place both hands beneath your head as the rest of your body lies flat. With a quick twist of your neck, the adjustment is complete, and you will often hear a popping sound, indicating that a joint has been adjusted. Adjustments ease pain, relieve pressure on your nerves and increase blood flow. Other treatment options for migraines include the application of heat packs and soft-tissue massage of your neck and head.
For more information about your options for chiropractic migraine management, contact a local chiropractic clinic.