Migraines can be a debilitating and painful condition, with an estimated 39 million Americans experiencing migraines regularly. For those who live in Denver, the high altitude and unique climate can sometimes exacerbate the symptoms of migraines.
Many people who suffer from the intense pain and discomfort of migraines seek a natural, holistic solution such as chiropractic care. However, can a chiropractor help with migraines?
Below, we explore the causes of migraines and how working with a top chiropractor in Denver could provide you with the long-term relief you’re seeking.
What Is a Migraine?
Migraines are a type of headache that can significantly affect your daily life, lasting for hours or even days and causing potentially unbearable amounts of pain. They typically affect one side of the head and are often characterized by their signature throbbing pain. Migraines can also cause a variety of other symptoms, including:
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Neck pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision, blind spots, and other visual disturbances
- Fatigue and weakness
- Tingling or numbness in the face or extremities
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
Migraines are typically divided into four distinct stages. These include:
- Prodrome: This phase occurs a few hours or days before the actual migraine attack and can be identified by changes in mood or behavior such as fatigue, irritability, food cravings, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
- Aura: In some cases, people may experience an aura before or during the headache phase of the migraine. This phase is characterized by neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, numbness or tingling in the face or extremities, and difficulty speaking.
- Headache: The headache phase is the most well-known and recognizable phase of migraines. It’s characterized by moderate to severe pain, typically on one side of the head, and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Postdrome: This phase occurs after the headache has subsided and is characterized by feelings of fatigue, confusion, weakness, and mood changes as well as difficulty concentrating.
Not everyone experiences all of these phases, and the severity and duration of each phase can vary from person to person.
What Causes Migraines?
While the exact cause of migraines is unknown, researchers believe that factors such as changes in levels of certain chemicals in the brain can cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict and dilate, inducing inflammation and pain receptor activation.
There are a variety of triggers that can increase the risk of migraines, such as:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in weather and climate
- Physical exertion
- Drinking alcohol and caffeine
It’s important to note that these triggers are not causes but are the result of underlying conditions that can contribute to the development of a migraine. Moreover, certain risk factors, such as those listed below, can make some more predisposed to migraines than others.
- Family history of migraines
- Prior trauma to the area
- Circulation issues to the brain
- Significant loss of normal neck curvature
- Poor posture
- Age (migraine susceptibility tends to peak during your thirties)
- Sex (women are three times more likely to develop migraines than men)
- Hormonal changes
Denver Residents May Have an Increased Risk of Migraines
For residents of Denver, some additional factors have been suggested as possible contributors to developing migraines.
|Factors That Contribute to a Higher Incidence of Migraines in Denver
|Why it Matters
|Denver is known as the “Mile High City” because it sits at an altitude of 5,280 feet above sea level. Changes in altitude can affect blood flow and oxygen levels in the body, which can trigger migraines in some people.
|Denver’s weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes in temperature, pressure, and humidity. These changes can also trigger migraines in some people.
|Denver’s air quality can be poor at times due to factors such as traffic, industry, and wildfires. Exposure to pollutants and other environmental factors can trigger migraines in some people.
|Denver has a relatively high population of young professionals and college students who may be more likely to experience stress, lack of sleep, and other lifestyle factors that can trigger migraines.
Can a Chiropractor Help With Migraines?
Yes, a chiropractor can help with migraines!
Chiropractors are equipped to address predisposing factors that contribute to migraines, such as spinal misalignments and loss of the spine’s natural curvature. These conditions can trigger migraines by causing:
- Ligamentous instability in the neck
- Issues with the circulation of blood to the brain
- Strain on the central nervous system, causing issues with nerve transmission
Your spine’s structure and natural posture are linked to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves that connect your head to your body, which can influence your likelihood of experiencing migraines. Even having mild kyphosis, or a hunchback, can put additional stress on the nerves and tissue in your neck, leading to common migraine triggers.
The method that a chiropractor takes to treat migraines will depend on the triggers and any underlying conditions. Chiropractors may use a mixture of the following treatment options:
|Chiropractic Treatments for Migraines
|Why It’s Utilized
|Why It Works
|Addresses tension and stress in the muscles and ligaments in the upper spine
|Chiropractors use manual manipulation techniques to adjust the spine and improve the function of the nervous system. This can help to alleviate tension in the muscles and ligaments that affect the nerve bundles at the base of the skull to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
|Corrective Chiropractic Care
|Addresses issues with the spine’s natural curvature
|Corrective chiropractic care is designed to address and “correct” structural and postural issues in the spine to restore normal function and range of motion to the joints. This not only reduces inflammation but also reduces tension on the central nervous system and improves circulation to the brain.
To receive effective chiropractic care for migraines, it’s crucial to address any underlying causes of the condition. For example, you may have a condition such a scoliosis that is contributing to your migraines.
This approach can provide lasting relief from migraines and help prevent them from recurring. However, not all chiropractors use this approach, so it’s important to find a skilled and experienced practitioner for optimal results.
PostureWorks Provides the Best Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines in Denver
While a chiropractor can help with migraines, it’s important to be aware of the difference between a treatment designed to address symptoms and a treatment designed to address the causes of the symptoms.
At PostureWorks, we believe in taking a proactive approach to chiropractic care. That’s why we use Chiropractic BioPhysics® to thoroughly analyze your complete medical history and perform a detailed postural analysis to identify any underlying structural issues in your spine. This enables us to provide precise and personalized care, with a customized treatment strategy that’s tailored to your unique needs.
Our approach not only provides effective pain relief but also addresses the root cause of your condition to prevent migraines from recurring. With a personalized treatment plan from PostureWorks that includes a range of tailored therapies, you’ll be able to say goodbye to migraines and say hello to a pain-free life!
Contact us today to learn more about how a chiropractor can help with migraines or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks in Lakewood.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive.