This week is Migraine Awareness Week (here’s a link to the Migraine Trust). In this blog post I’ll be looking at what a migraine is, common triggers and what we can do to help migraines.
First of all, some migraine facts:
- 1 in 7 people suffer with migraines.
- Migraines affect three times as many women as men.
- Severe migraine is classed as amongst the most serious debilitating disease.
- Migraines are the second most common reason for short term absence from work.
What are migraines?
The latest evidence suggests migraines are a genetic condition ref. In clinic I will quite often see familial links, especially where mothers and grandmothers have also suffered with migraines.
Older theories focused on a problem to do with the blood vessels in the brain but it is now believed that these changes to the blood vessels contribute rather than initiate migraines.
So what are the symptoms of a migraine?
The most common symptoms of migraine are throbbing headache, sensitivity to light, lethargy, feeling sick and being sick. Another common feature of a migraine is an ‘aura’, this is most commonly a visual disturbance such as tunnel vision, zig-zag lines or flashing lights. Not all migraines have auras.
What can we do about migraines?
Firstly identify if there are any triggers, these can often initiate or exacerbate migraines. The most common triggers are:
- Changes in routine.
- Sleep (too much or too little).
- Hormone changes
- Certain foods
- Lack of food
The second thing to do is if you haven’t already is to speak to your GP regarding any treatment options you have.
After that the best thing to do is to see if there is anything else that can help to reduce or manage your migraines. We’re big fans of chiropractic care for migraines. Chiropractic care for migraines works on the basis that when the joints of the spine are unable to move correctly this creates joint and nerve irritation which can then sensitise other structures and contribute towards neck problems which can then trigger the migraines. We find this especially useful for people who find stress and work ergonomics contribute to their migraines.