Migraines and what causes them

Woman with Migraine at work

Migraine Treatment, Seattle Washington


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This blog is very personal to me. I used to suffer from migraines about two to three times a month. It wasn’t until I tried chiropractic care that they went from that frequent to about one every two to three years. 

In fact, it’s actually why I BECAME a chiropractor. Anyone that gets migraines can tell you they truly are debilitating. When you get one it basically means a day of your life is robbed from you. You have to sit in a dark room with no lights or sounds or interactions and you still feel miserable. If you are able/required to function, then it’s not at full capacity and every activity requires 100x more energy and effort. It’s not fun. Since it’s an “invisible” illness, your boss/friends/kids/family don’t necessarily understand how debilitating migraines can be. When I started adding chiropractic adjustments to my migraine treatment routine they started decreasing in frequency and intensity. Pause. Re-read that sentence. Notice I said ADDING chiropractic adjustments to my migraine treatment routine to help.  

I don’t want to disillusion anyone here. Sometimes getting a chiropractic treatment is a magic bullet miracle fix, but most of the time it’s just part of the “migraine treatment pie”. There’s not one thing that’s going to be a single cure-all.  

Let’s talk about migraines and what causes them. Many factors cause migraines: poor posture, hormones, diet, pollutants in the air (as I’m writing this – the air quality in Seattle is the third-worst in the world due to smoke from forest fires and I’ve had a headache the past three days), toxins in your body, past trauma, residual concussion symptoms, dehydration, stress, and neurologic issues.  

How can chiropractic care help those living with migraines? For most of my patients, the trend toward improvement is in the first couple of weeks of treatments. The most successful outcomes happen when both the provider and the patient do their part. Dietary changes, exercises, rest, hydration, supplements, and such are all reviewed and recommended to the patient. However, if patients are not following recommendations at home, recovery doesn’t happen as quickly. It’s not easy to change years of habits.  It takes a lot of effort and commitment on everyone’s part. But it’s worth it.

It’s a good idea to track your migraines – for example use one of the many apps that help journal and document frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches and migraines. I would recommend using one of those to really understand when and what causes migraines. The more information you bring to the appointment the easier it is for your provider to diagnose and treat. If your migraines come at regular monthly cycles and are more hormone-related, those may be harder to treat with chiropractic care alone. If you’re having migraines from TMJ pain/dysfunction and neck or back discomfort, then chiropractic is going to be very effective. Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for migraines, but the key is to talk to a doctor and discuss all the possible options. In most cases, the solution is to be combining therapies.  

My recommendation is this: if you’ve tried one form of treatment and it doesn’t work, don’t conclude that “all treatment doesn’t work.” For example, if you try one medication and it fails to provide some relief you’d never say “medications don’t work”.  Same thing with chiropractic. Try a different form of adjustment. Talk to your doctor about incorporating other treatment forms. Chiropractic adjustments are likely part of the migraine treatment pie and it’s going to take some time to sort out the best recipe for your success.  

Reach out to me at Sonic Chiro so I can help you address your migraines and get your life back!

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Migraines and what causes them
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Migraines and what causes them
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How can chiropractic care help those living with migraines? For most of my patients, the trend toward improvement is in the first couple of weeks of treatments. The most successful outcomes happen when both the provider and the patient do their part. Dietary changes, exercises, rest, hydration, supplements, and such are all reviewed and recommended to the patient.
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Sonic Chiropractic
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