MIGRAINES AND CHIROPRACTIC
For most sufferers, the pain associated with a migraine attack is agonising, you must experience such an attack to realise just how debilitating one can be. Movement is excruciating so the sufferer must lie down, normal amounts of light and noise are unbearable so your environment must be as dark and silent as possible. These attacks can last from hours to days and in some unfortunate people occur weekly. For others, the symptoms are less severe but still interfere with quality of life.
Triggers of Migraine are many and varied an include stress as well as common foods such as cheese, chocolate, wine, nitrates, monosodium glutamate, peanuts, marinated or fermented foods, hormonal fluctuations, flashing lights, strong perfume. Different people are affected by different triggers and interestingly ingesting the same trigger may not always result in a migraine attack, the occurrence of which may depend on a combination of factors such as drinking wine whilst experiencing excessive stress.
There are different theories on the underlying mechanism of migraine and include dilation and contraction of blood vessels in the head which are preceded by neurological changes in the brain, an increase in serotonin may be involved and hypothyroidism has also been associated with migraines.
Chiropractic care for migraine usually involves adjusting the vertebra of the neck, some studies have shown this to be as effective as drug therapy without the associated side effects. A more recent well-constructed study conducted at Macquarie University in Sydney showed that 22% of participants suffering from long term chronic migraine attacks experienced a 60% reduction in their symptoms, considered a substantial reduction, while another 50% of participants experienced a noticeable improvement, meaning that the frequency of migraines was decreased or that their severity was decreased and that less medication was required. Of course further research is required but this result is very promising that Chiropractic may be an effective adjunct in the overall treatment of migraine along with dietary changes and stress reduction.