For those fortunate enough never to have experienced migraine, the condition remains somewhat unappreciated, even mythical – a bad headache at worst. It is however the most common neurological disorder and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. To those who suffer, it can be a debilitating condition, that brings relentless and intense pounding,
throbbing pain and in some instances nausea and sensitivity to light.
For those prone to migraine, chiropractic can be considered as an alternative to the acute medication that some may be intolerant to or simply wish to avoid.
Indeed, a clinical trial in Australia found that 75% of migraine sufferers experienced either ‘substantial’ or ‘noticeable’ improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment. One of the study’s authors Dr Peter Tuchin said:
“Around 22% (of patients) had a ‘substantial’ reduction which means that more than 60% of their symptoms reduced during the course of the treatment. What makes this a really strong result is that this was a chronic group – the average length of time they’d had migraines was 18 years. To get a change of that sort of magnitude in a really chronic group was amazing.”
Migraine triggers do vary but they can include periods of stress; certain foods (including chocolate, caffeine, wine and others); poor sleep; medication, and hormonal changes. For most people who suffer migraine no one trigger is behind an attack. Rather a combination of factors – which singularly might be tolerated – will occur in tandem and trigger a migraine.
Chiropractic treatment can help with many contributory factors and after effects including the relief of restriction of movement in the neck; muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders and by helping to correct any postural issues that may influence the occurrence of both migraine and tension headaches. Chiropractors can also offer advice on lifestyle issues, exercise, nutrition and managing stress.
Headache Pain. 2011(Apr); 12(2):127-133 – Manual Therapies for Migraine: A Systematic Review