Chiropractic cranial work and gentle manipulation techniques provide a significant therapeutic tool in the management of Migraine headaches. Dr. Strasser has over twenty years of experience providing care for Migraines. In the context of a program of stress management, nutritional and lifestyle considerations, gentle chiropractic cranial work can provide a drugless, non-invasive alternative for Migraine care.
What are Migraines?
Migraine headaches are caused by excessive dialation of a blood vessel in the head. At some time in their life, 15-20% of men and 25-30% of women have a migraine attack. Migraines can come without warning, or may be preceded by warning symptoms called auras. Auras include: blurring vision or seeing bright spots, anxiety, fatigue, disturbed thinking, and numbness or tingling on one side of the body. Migraine headache pain is characterized by a throbbing, pounding sharp pain.
Migraines are classified into several types, based on whether neurological symptoms precede the headache, and the nature of these manifestations.
How are Migraines classified?
Migraines are broadly classified as: common, classic and complicated.
Common Migraines affect 80% of sufferers. The pain is at the forehead (frontal skull) and can be one-sided or bilateral. An aura (as described above) is unusual. The headaches last anyway from 1-3 days.
Classic Migraines affect 10% of sufferers. The pain is one sided. There is a striking aura that can occur 1/2 hour prior to the onset of headaches symptoms. The headaches last from 2-6 hours. Vomiting may accompany the headaches.
Complicated Migraines affect 10% of sufferers. Pain patterns are unpredictable and may even be absent. There is a significant aura, sometimes dizziness, fainting, double-vision and loss of sensation. The duration of the headaches are unpredictable. There may be mild neurological signs, speech disorders, unsteadiness and third cranial nerve palsy.
What causes Migraine?
Migraine headaches are characterized by a sequence of events involving cranial blood flow: first a stressor or combination of stressors causes constriction of the arteries (causing lack of blood to the brain) followed by rebound opening (dilation) of the extra-cranial vessels. Serotonin as well as other brain chemicals, blood platelets, the nervous system, and inflammation are all aspects that lead to a full-blown migraine.
The initiation of a migraine is usually dependent on an accumulation over time of a number of possible stressors including
life stress, dietary factors, muscle tension and spinal joint disturbances, chemicals such as MSG, , allergies, emotional changes, hormonal factors, sleep deprivation, and eyestrain.
Research may find that cranial factors such as disturbances in cerebrospinal fluid associated with respiration and positive cranial trigger points associated with stress may be a factor in migraine attacks.
Drug reactions often caused by drugs initially prescribed for headaches may be a major factor in the persistence of headaches and side effects including vomiting and dizziness.
Treating Migraines without Drugs
Dr. Strasser has over twenty-years of experience treating Migraines. He provides chiropractic cranial work and cranial release technique to reduce cranial stress and balance cerebrospinal flow. Gentle chiropractic adjusting especially in the upper cervical region appears to be a significant aid in treating Migraine. Clinically, Dr. Strasser has successfully treated migraine patients in the context of a program which address stress factors and other migraine triggers.
Drugs commonly used to treat Migraine can have side-effects which could be harmful. Some patients get into a vicious circle taking medications for Migraine which in the long-run contribute to the initiation of Migraine episodes. Drug companies are required to list side-effects, but these are often ignored by physicians wanting to provide relief for their patients, and by patients seeking relief.
Chiropractic and cranial work can be an important part of an integrated therapeutic approach which also addresses stress, lifestyle, chemical and nutritional factors in providing successful management of Migraines.
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Copyright © by Dr. Arn Strasser, D.C.