Migraine Prevention Week 2018

Migraine Prevention Week 2018

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.
  • Stress.
  • Sleep (too much or too little).
  • Caffeine.
  • Hormone changes
  • Environment/Work
  • Certain foods
  • Lack of food
  • Additives
  • Alcohol
  • Cheese
  • Dehydration

What next?

The second thing to do is if you haven’t already is to speak to your GP regarding any treatment options you have.

Then what?
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.

Ready to Book or want to have more info?

Use the online booking facility or ring us on  0114 266 5959

Focus On: Headaches

Focus On: Headaches

There are a number of causes for headaches, of which I will be focusing on the one most commonly seen in the clinic, cervicogenic headaches. Cervicogenic headache literally means that the headache itself is as a result of a problem in the neck.

So what is causing the headache?

Usually to be classified as a cervicogenic headache the spinal dysfunction has to be within the upper three vertebrae in the neck whereby these have been shown to have the highest correlation of dysfunction, with onward pain referral into the head.

What does it feel like?

Really this varies from person to person, generally it begins as a tightness/pressure at the top of the neck which then extends into the back of the head (the occiput) and then sometimes extends to the top of the head and can go into the eyebrow/back of the eye region. Interestingly some people don’t even feel the neck pain or discomfort!

What causes the joint dysfunction in the first place?

First of all there are a number of potential causes. I find there is a high correlation with cervicogenic headaches and anterior head syndrome (AHS), this is a postural/structural condition that puts increased strain onto the joints and muscles of the neck and upper back. If a person also has degenerative changes within the spine, which can be seen on an x ray or MRI scan, along with AHS then this usually indicates that the condition has been present for quite a while.

What causes AHS?

Unfortunately it’s the usual suspects:

-previous neck trauma (e.g whiplash)

-inappropriate desk set up

-poor sleeping positions

-sedentary lifestyle

-prolonged use of computers, tablets

Can anything be done for cervicogenic headaches?

The evidence is good supporting chiropractic care for cervicogenic headaches. At Chiropractic Works I focus on working to correct the structure which in turn helps to improve the function of the spine decreasing joint dysfunction, muscle tightness and ultimately the headache.

 

References:

1. Haas M., et al. , Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2004. 27(9): p. 547–53 [PubMed]

2.Haas M., et al. , Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Spine J, 2010. 10(2): p. 117–28 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

3. Jull G., et al. , A randomized controlled trial of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2002. 27(17): p. 1835–43; discussion 1843. [PubMed]

Sleeping habits causing you pain?

Sleeping habits causing you pain?

The way you sleep could be causing you unnecessary aches and pains. We are told time after time that we should be sleeping flat on our backs, but many of us have already developed habitual sleeping patterns, which are hard to get out of. However, if you suffer from neck or shoulder stiffness, muscle tension or more commonly back pain, you might want to think twice about curling up into a ball next time you reach for the sheets.

Incorrect alignment and poor support of your spine and limbs will put pressure on different areas of the body, which is why you may sometimes wake up with pain or discomfort.

Your spine also plays a huge role in sending nerve signals around the body; delicate nerve tissues help control all the systems within your body.

Follow these sleeping tips and give your back a break:

  • Refrain from sleeping on your stomach as this causes your spine to arch unnaturally and usually results in both back and neck stiffness

  • Laying on your back or side is the ideal position, however to perfect your alignment try to use an orthopaedic pillow to give your neck adequate support

  • If you sleep on your side, consider placing a pillow in-between your knees for support to prevent your back and pelvis from twisting

  • If you sleep on your back, consider placing a pillow under your knees to take the tension off your lower back

  • Acknowledging and correcting your posture throughout the day will help you find ease when it comes to sleep

Importantly, remember that an underlying neck can cause poor quality sleep or back problem causing increased muscle tension. So if you are experiencing poor sleep, see a chiropractor to have your neck and back checked.

Ready to Book?

Use the online booking facility or ring us on 0114 266 5959

Seven Reasons To See A Chiropractor

1. It’s good for your nervous system
This is the system that controls and regulates every single function in your body.
Haldeman, S. Neurological Effects of the Adjustment.
JMPT 2000; 23

2. It’s good for your posture
The author of the supporting paper also suggests that you may need more than one or two adjustments if you want to train yourself out of poor postural habits.
Troyanovich et al. Structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture: rational for treatment beyond resolution of symptoms.
JMPT 1998.

3. It keeps your joints young and well lubricated
An adjustment can help restore normal joint movement and mechanics and help remove joint adhesions or scar tissue.
Nugent-Derfus GE, et al. Continuous passive motion applied to whole joints stimulates chondrocyte biosynthesis of PRG4.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2007 May;15(5):566-74.
  
4. It can make you more flexible
This article uses hamstrings as an example of how being adjusted and stretching can help your muscles to relax.
Fox, M. Effect on hamstring flexibility of hamstring stretching compared to hamstring stretching and sacroiliac joint manipulation.
Clinical Chiropractic – Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2006, Pages 21-32.5. It can make your muscles stronger and more flexible
Quite an in-depth explanation into why getting adjusted can improve neurological control and muscle strength.
Smith DL, Cox RH. Muscular strength and chiropractic: theoretical mechanisms and health implications.
Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 1999-2000; 3(4):1-13.
6. It can improve your co-ordination
Significant improvement to hand-eye co-ordination are noted in this article following a series of adjustments.
Dean L. Smith, DC, PhD, Marvin J. Dainoff, PhD, and Jane P. Smith, DC. & The effect of a Chiropractic adjustment on movement time… Fitts law.
JMPT May 2006.

7. It is an effective treatment for back pain
Chiropractic came out on top in this article relative to hospital out patient physiotherapy treatment.
Meade et al. Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment.
British Medical J, 1991.

 

We offer a 15 minute complimentary consultation to new patients to find out more about chiropractic and how it can benefit them.
To book use the online booking feature or call us on 0114 266 5959.

Is texting affecting your posture?

No one can dispute that posture can have a positive effect or a negative impact on our bodies.

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Whilst we usually associate posture problems with people who are deconditioned, sit all day and are not as active as they should be. To be honest, everyone is at risk of poor posture. When we do repetitive actions all day it leads to overload and fatigue. This means not having the correct desk set up or looking at your phone for long periods can be harmful.

Research shows that mobile phone use for texting, Facebook and internet browsing is building future problems, especially as the users are getting younger and younger. Newspaper articles in the Telegragh and Daily Mail highlighted the impact of using mobile devices for too long on our posture and health.

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texting neck pain chiropractor sheffield

Are your text habits affecting your neck?

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Chiropractors have long looked at the structure of the body to assess function and as indicators to what is happening in our bodies whether it is a dropped shoulder, a pelvis imbalance or increased thoracic curve. These indicators can relate to headaches, neck pain or other symptoms people may experience. Equally though it may be many years before we feel the impact of how posture affects our body.

 

So how can Chiropractic help you?

 

Chiropractors work with the imbalances (misalignments) in your spine to reduce the impact that they have onto your body, allowing it to adapt to what life throws at it more easily. We also give advice and suggestions on how to minimise the impact of our lifestyles on our posture.