We have been providing treatment for migraine headaches in San Francisco for almost 20 years now. As a former migraine headache sufferer myself, I know first hand how they can effect ones life. I also know how hard it is to find answers.
I know what it's like to take migraine headache medications that make you feel even worse. I know what it's like to be told to brace for the worse because you could have a brain tumor. I know what it's like not to be able to work or play...to be bed ridden.
Because of this I have been able to relate to migraine headache patients on a different level because I have first hand experience. I lived it. In fact, it was migraine headaches that led me to chiropractic. And it was chiropractic that cured my migraines and made me want to become a chiropractor.
Story's like mine are common in chiropractic...it's one of the great things about our profession.
Migraines are chronic headaches that can cause significant pain for hours or even days. Symptoms can be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down.
Some migraines are preceded or accompanied by sensory warning symptoms or signs (auras), such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. A migraine is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Although there's no cure, medications can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. If treatment hasn't worked for you in the past, it's worth talking to your doctor about trying a different migraine medication. The right medicines combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes may make a tremendous difference.
Migraines usually begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. A typical migraine attack produces some or all of these signs and symptoms:
Moderate to severe pain, which may be confined to one side of the head or may affect both sides
Head pain with a pulsating or throbbing quality
Pain that worsens with physical activity
Pain that interferes with your regular activities
Nausea with or without vomiting
Sensitivity to light and sound
When untreated, a migraine typically lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. You may have migraines several times a month or much less frequently.
Not all migraines are the same. Most people experience migraines without auras, which were previously called common migraines. Some people have migraines with auras, which were previously called classic migraines. Auras can include changes to your vision, such as seeing flashes of light, and feeling pins and needles in an arm or leg.
Whether or not you have auras, you may have one or more sensations of premonition (prodrome) several hours or a day or so before your headache actually strikes, including:
Feelings of elation or intense energy
Cravings for sweets
Irritability or depression
When to see a doctor Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you experience signs and symptoms of migraine, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches and decide on a treatment plan.
Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.
My Take: I had most of the symptoms above...and the migraine medications made them worse. I had hearing tests, x-rays, brain scans, MRI, pain pills, nausea pills, sleeping pills, and a bunch of other pills. I would have tried anything...which is how many migraine headache patients feel when they enter our San Francisco chiropractic clinic.
As it turned out, I had pressure on my brain-stem because the bones in the upper part of my cervical spine were out of alignment. When I first heard this I did not believe it and did not think chiropractic would help. But after a few sessions my headaches began to resolve and I was on the road to recovery. It seemed like a miracle...but for my chiropractor (who I became best friends with), it was just another day at the office.
Listen...chiropractic is not a miracle cure for all headaches, especially migraine headaches...but it was for me, and for the thousands of migraine patients every year that chiropractors cure...how do you think they feel?
Is there scientific proof of how chiropractic adjustments help migraine headaches?
Probably not...but there are millions of happy chiropractic patients that could care less.
Heck, I have helped thousands of headache patients over the past 20 years return to more normal lives.
Sure, I have had my share of migraine headache patients that I could not help...but it has been the exception, not the rule.
So, if you or someone you know is suffering with migraines, consider chiropractic. Chances are...you will be glad you did!