For some, a sudden migraine may seem like simple bad luck, but there are many factors that affect your chances of experiencing the pain firsthand. According to studies by Headache Australia, 71% of migraine sufferers are women, and 86% are of working age. What’s more, the total economic cost of migraine in Australia is $35.7 billion, which is to say that migraines disadvantage all of us in some way.
Beyond the obvious problem of the migraine pain itself, many migraine sufferers also struggle to find a treatment that works well without introducing other unwanted side effects. At this point, an increasing number of patients are turning to chiropractors for assistance with managing their migraines and headaches.
Have you had a migraine before? Did you have trouble finding a solution for the pain?
Read on to find out more about how chiropractic treatment could help you take control over your migraine troubles.
What is the difference between migraines and headaches?
Many people think that a migraine is simply a more severe version of a headache, but the truth is that headaches are only one symptom of migraines. Unlike simple headaches, migraines happen in stages, beginning with onset symptoms such as stiffness in the neck, constipation, and increased sensitivity to light and sound. The second stage commonly affects sight, with symptoms such as blind spots and blurred vision. The headache itself occurs in the third stage, and the fourth and final stage commonly involves several days of feeling drained and unwell.
What causes a migraine?
Migraines are the result of the trigeminal nerve in the brain being triggered, and they are more common than you may think, with 4.9 million Australians suffering from regular migraines. The fact that four out of five migraine sufferers are of working age suggests that stress is a major contributing factor. In a chain reaction, stress also contributes to poor sleep, which is also known to cause migraines.
How long do migraines last?
While it is difficult to predict the onset period of a migraine for any individual, migraines typically last between four and 72 hours. In some cases, simple strategies like massaging your temples, applying a cool cloth, and lying down in a dark room can help to reduce this stretch of time. If these approaches prove ineffective, you may need to seek more intensive therapeutic solutions.
Which treatment is best for migraine?
Medication in the form of prescription drugs is the only treatment option proven to be effective against migraines, blocking the pathways in the brain that transmit pain. Acute medications such as aspirin, paracetamol, and opioids are amongst the treatments most commonly recommended by doctors, particularly for those suffering from mild to moderate migraines.
What happens if a migraine is left untreated?
Unlike a regular headache, which will eventually subside on its own, migraine pain tends to worsen over time if left untreated. If a migraine lasts longer than 72 hours or is particularly severe, you may need to seek medical attention as it could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Does ibuprofen help with migraines?
As a popular solution for headaches, ibuprofen is a popular fix for migraines as well, and it has been proven to offer some relief for migraine sufferers. Generally, ibuprofen is most effective if taken early, but its effectiveness also depends on the severity of the migraine. If your migraine is severe enough, you may require a more intensive migraine treatment.
How do you stop a migraine fast?
If you notice the symptoms early, there are several possible ways to manage them. Options include cold packs or heating pads, dimming the lights, and drinking water or caffeinated beverages. Depending on the severity of the pain, these options may offer fast and effective pain relief, but for more severe migraines, medical treatment may be the best option.
Can spine problems cause migraines?
Spinal problems in the neck can cause cervicogenic headaches, which are fairly common, especially amongst people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk in front of a computer. The good news is that the typical solutions for headaches, including lying down, drinking water and caffeine, and taking ibuprofen, are generally effective against spinal headaches. You can also improve your productivity (and general health) by improving your posture, so don’t discount the importance of good posture.
What does a spinal headache feel like?
The most common symptom of a spinal headache is a dull, throbbing pain. This pain tends to get worse with movement, like sitting or standing up, and improves when you lie down. While the pain can be intense, some simple remedies like caffeine tablets have been found to help ease the pain of a spinal headache.
Where is the pressure point for migraines?
Migraine relief pressure points can be found in the ears, hands and feet. By locating and applying pressure to these points in the body, you can alleviate some, if not all, of your migraine pain. Of course, this is best done by a professional, so consider speaking to a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or local chiropractor for advice you can trust.
Can chiropractors help migraines?
The short answer is yes. If your migraines are related to the position of your spine, seeing a chiropractor can be very helpful. However, it’s worth noting that there are many factors that may contribute to your experience of migraines. Chiropractic manipulation can also be combined with other treatment options such as exercise, diet and lifestyle changes, and physical therapy.
How much do chiropractors cost?
Unless you suffer from recurring back or neck pain, you may not have considered going to a chiropractor for headache pain, but if you have been experiencing more frequent or intense migraines recently, it could be a worthwhile investment.
The cost of an appointment with a chiropractor depends on several factors:
- The service they offer. Like any other medical professional, chiropractors have ultimate control over what they charge for their services. Your chiropractor may be more or less expensive than the average.
- The services you require. If any extra scans are needed to determine the cause of your migraines, this may add to your final bill.
- Where you live. If you live in an area where the quality and cost of living is relatively high, you can expect to pay more for a chiropractic appointment than someone living in an area of low-socioeconomic status.
- Your health insurance status. Chiropractic appointments may be covered under the extras on your health insurance, so it’s worth checking whether you’re eligible to use them.
Be sure to consider these factors before booking in with a chiropractor.
If you’re experiencing regular migraines or headaches, a visit to the chiropractor may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Paramount Health offers chiropractic sessions and remedial massage amongst other services to help you manage your pain and maintain your quality of life. We have what you need to feel better, so don’t wait around – book online now.