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It's the third most common disease in the world, and roughly one in four households in the United States include someone with the condition. Migraines are more common than asthma and diabetes combined, and attacks can be utterly debilitating. Can they be effectively treated through chiropractic care?

Understanding the Impact of Migraines

For patients who suffer from migraines, it's no surprise that it's ranked as the seventh most disabling of all diseases, globally. The condition usually causes a throbbing, intense pain concentrated on one side of the head, extreme sensitivity to sound and light, and often presents with nausea. Women are more likely than men to suffer from chronic migraine, and pharmaceutical treatment options are meager. For patients who don't want to take powerful prescription medications on an indefinite basis or those who have not been able to find relief through medication, some may turn to chiropractic care. But is it effective?

Migraines and Chiropractic Care

A significant portion of patients who seek chiropractic care for the first time do so in hopes of finding relief from headaches, often migraines. While it's sometimes the last resort for patients who have exhausted all other options, clinical trials indicate chiropractic treatment can be quite effective. Patients reported a wide range of improvements, with reductions in duration, intensity and/or frequency of migraine episodes and improvement in the quality of life among the results. Because there is a wide range of techniques from which a chiropractor can choose when determining how to best treat a patient with chronic migraines, there’s not a universal chiropractic treatment for the condition. Instead, care providers are able to use all the tools at their disposal in order to provide a more tailored approach to pain relief.

Most chiropractors will complete a full examination, collect a family medical history and may order x-ray imaging in order to provide not only an accurate diagnosis for patients suffering from migraines but also to devise a personalized treatment plan. Spinal manipulation is often only a single facet of overall treatment, which can include things like specialized exercises to do on your own, nutritional and lifestyle advice and even help to identify and avoiding migraine triggers.

Because misalignments and tension in cervical vertebrae can be connected to chronic migraine, adjustments can have a significant effect on these excruciating headaches. During an active migraine, manipulation may be able to significantly reduce the intensity or even put an end to an attack by relieving pressure or realigning the spine to clear the way for better communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body.

Unlike some other kinds of treatment for migraine, chiropractic care does not involve prescription pain medication. The focus is on the musculoskeletal system and the delicate balance that should be maintained for optimal health. By working with each patient to build a tailored solution for whole-body health with a focus on relief from migraines, a Doctor of Chiropractic can help to improve your quality of life. Debilitating pain in any form can make doing the things that matter most all but impossible; under the care of a chiropractor, however, many patients are able to take back more of their lives.

Migraine, Chiropractic


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