Dr. Bell's Blog

A Few Things To Consider if You Get Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can be one of the most debilitating problems that patients come to the office with, not only because of the severity of the pain, but also because of the frequency at which they can occur. They account for the cause of the most emergency room visits in women under the age of 45. I have written about them in the past, but I wanted to share a few thoughts on some things you can do to manage or even prevent migraine headaches from happening.

What is a Migraine Headache?

In order to know the proper treatment, first you need to know if you have one.  I know, for those of you that get them you are saying "trust me, I know...I get them". But for those that are unsure, here are a few indicators.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • An intense pulsing or throbbing headache, usually on one side of the head.
  • Recurring headaches lasting 4-7 hours or more.
  • Sensitivity to light/sound.
  • Headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
  • Visual disturbances or presence of an "aura".

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment and prevention of migraine headaches can be very difficult, especially because there may not be one specific cause for everyone.  There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding them.  One thing we know for sure is that chiropractic has been shown to provide relief and prevention for many people.  Many times there is a spine and nervous system correlation to getting a migraine headache. In those cases, regular chiropractic check-ups can provide relief from a migraine. In addition to chiropractic care, the following have been shown to help those that suffer from migraines:

  • Butterbur: This herb has long been touted for helping with sinus and/or allergy problems. There is now strong evidence that it may help in the prevention of migraine headaches. Be sure and choose a version labeled "PA-free" to ensure it is of good quality.
  • Acupuncture: People have been utilizing acupuncture for centuries to help with a variety of health conditions, and migraine headaches are no exception.  It can provide significant relief in symptoms, and reduction in the frequency as well.
  • Yoga: The combination of mindful breathing, along with the sequences of physical postures, can help in the reduction of pain by altering how your brain processes stress.

In Closing, migraine headaches can be a severe and debilitating problem. Many times a multi-pronged approach is needed, including that of a healthy diet.  Be patient, but persistent in seeing what works for you.

LIVE well. BE well.