Pain Relief for Migraine Sufferers

Migraines

Violent headaches called migraines are something roughly thirty-eight million Americans experience firsthand each year.  Millions of these same individuals also experience ongoing or chronic migraines.  The incapacitating effects of these severe headaches can restrict daily routines and activities as well as negatively impact overall quality of life if left untreated.  Learning about migraine symptoms, possible triggers, and how to effectively manage the pain are all part of the pathway to living your best life.

What Are Migraines

Migraines are a type of intense headache characterized by a throbbing pain that is usually restricted to one side of the head.  These headaches are so powerful, they are commonly accompanied by a host of unpleasant side effects such as nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to noise and light.  Migraines can vary in duration with some lasting a couple of hours while others can last for days.  Chronic migraines can last anywhere from fifteen days to several months.

While studies are largely inconclusive, many scientists believe that a family history of migraines, age, and gender may all be contributing risk factors for migraines.  Women are generally three times more likely to experience migraines than men, which could be partially attributed to going through the hormonal changes of pregnancy or menopause. Additional factors may include a misaligned Atlas that puts pressure on the brain stem which may be a cause as well.

MIGRAINE SYMPTOMS

Although headaches are somewhat similar, the typical headache lacks the intensity of a migraine. Most migraines are powerful and debilitating, and their symptoms tend to be as well.

Typical symptoms of a migraine can include but are not limited to:

  • Severe throbbing of the head, often concentrated on one side of the head
  • Intense malaise
  • Loss of concentration or focus
  • Compromised vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These symptoms can wreak havoc on an individual for as little as a few hours to weeks and even months in extreme cases.  The direct effects of migraine symptoms on a person’s immediate health is generally fairly visible and obvious, however symptoms can also impact their overall quality of life via lack of  home and work productivity.

Each year millions of Americans are sidelined from their family life and jobs by excruciating migraines. This can manifest itself in the reduction of daily activities, increased work or school absences, and even the need for emergency medical attention.  Over time these consequences can accumulate contributing to the potential loss of a relationship or job.

POSSIBLE MIGRAINE TRIGGERS

Migraines usually vary from person to person in terms of their causes and severity.  The best way to prevent migraines is to learn your individual triggers and then practice avoidance.

The body is an intricate and complex design that is profoundly affected by external forces and stimuli. Everything from the positioning of our vertebrae to the food we consume to the air we breathe can put us at risk for migraines.

  • Spinal Alignment: The Atlas is the first vertebrae and is located at the base of the skull.  It is fairly common for this vertebra to become misaligned, which can contribute to severe headaches or migraines, as well as several other health issues such as vertigo.
  • Food and Drink: The old adage that you are what you eat certainly seems appropriate when it comes to migraines.  This pertains to what you eat and when you eat it, as going too long without food can trigger one of these intense headaches.  Individuals who consume high sodium or high cholesterol foods, large amounts of processed foods, and large amounts of caffeinated beverages or alcohol may find that their diet is a factor in causing the onset of a migraine.
  • Environment: The external forces of our natural, work, and home environment can also impact our susceptibility to migraines. Weather changes, stress overload at the office, exposure to bright lights or extreme noise, perfumes, and harmful odors can trigger migraines in some individuals.
  • Medication: Some prescription medications such as oral contraceptives and others can contribute to or exacerbate existing migraine issues.
  • Hormones: An individual’s hormone imbalance could make them more susceptible to migraines.  Women experiencing fluctuating hormones due to pregnancy or menopause often experience migraines directly before, during, or after these temporary conditions.

Migraines usually vary from person to person in terms of their causes and severity.  The best way to prevent migraines is to learn your individual triggers and then practice avoidance.

MANAGING MIGRAINES

There are two primary ways to combat migraines, one is preventative and the other is pain relieving.

Preventative methods for avoiding migraines may include:

  • Regular exercise for good health and stress reduction
  • A healthy diet low in sodium, cholesterol, and processed foods
  • Minimal intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol such as wine
  • Consistent bedtime and waking hours each day

If you begin to feel a migraine coming on, try to minimize your exposure to light and noise immediately. Some say that relaxing with their eyes closed in a dark and quiet room can help induce sleep and will sometimes alleviate symptoms altogether after a period of time.

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Third Floor
Houston, Texas 77065
  (832) 622-1755
  tifany@atlasprofilaxhouston.com