Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Migraine Headaches...uggghhh!

Today, I met with a mother and her 14 year old daughter. They were referred in by a massage therapist patient of mine. They both suffer from migraines. The mom took notes as I shared two vitamins that can make a big difference (read on...).

When people have migraines I really feel for them, especially if they have been going on for a while. Imagine all that vice-like pain...the minutes that tick by so slooooowwwlllllyyy, not to mention the loss of productivity and the toll it takes on relationships. I wonder how many divorces are related to migraines, how many children that don't have both parents under the same roof?! The loss of a great job because of having to "go home again because I've got a headache"...

What is a migraine?
Several characteristics make a migraine different from other headaches:
  • Usually affecting the front of ONE side of the head
  • Intense, throbbing pain that can last as long as 72 hours
  • Nausea and vomiting frequently present
  • May have light and/or sound sensitivity
  • Some may have an "aura"--an abnormality in perception such as seeing blobs of light, auditory hallucinations or strange smells
  • They usually begin before age 40
  • Women affected usually more than men
  • Food triggers include cured meats (think hot dogs or some sandwich meat), wine, chocolate, MSG, etc.
  • Heightened neurological activity may trigger a headache such as lots of reading and/or computer work, TV, gaming, etc.
I once got a bad headache after making lots of copies when I worked as a research assistant at WSCC--the quick, blinking greenish lights of the copy machine combined with the smell of the toner...still makes me sick just thinking about it.

Did you know also that some migraines actually don't hurt? Some people have silent migraines and only experience the "aura".

Better than Meds
Studies reveal that chiropractic adjustments offer relief for migraine sufferers. One trial divided up participants into three treatment groups for eight weeks: amitriptyline (a medication commonly given for migraine), chiropractic adjustments, and a combination of the two.

Four weeks after treatment concluded those who received just adjustments reported a 42% reduction in pain compared to 24% and 25% for medication and combination therapy, respectively. The chiropractic only group did not have to worry about dangerous side effects either! (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998;21:511-9.)

Other Remedies
Consider riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid for reducing migraines as well as the herbs butterbur and feverfew (Neurol Sci 2010;31:S137-9).

Spread the word and don't suffer needlessly!

Best in health, naturally,
Dr. Marc

image credit

2 comments:

A Serenade for Solitude July 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM  

Awesome info. Dr. Marc! I'm going to have to pass this along. I know quite a few people including my husband who deal with migraines. Thanks!

a little bit biased July 28, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

Thanks for the info. A new friend of mind suffers from these on a regular basis so I will have to ask if she sees a chiropractor. Great info!

Health Disclaimer

This information on this web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting Dr. Marc, your pediatrician or family doctor.

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