Get to the Root of Your Migraines

A migraine is a stop sign in the middle of your day. It can be so disabling that you just can’t function. If you’re experiencing recurring migraines, I completely empathize. I’ve been there. Back before I moved my practice to San Rafael, I used to get knocked down by migraine headaches. I’d have to reschedule patients and retreat to a dark room till I recovered. At the time I was under a lot of stress, practicing chiropractic six days a week and skipping meals. I finally realized something had to change. I used a combination of chiropractic care and lifestyle adjustments (better nutrition and less stress) to get myself back to health. Let’s take a look at what you can do to avoid and relieve migraines. Is it a migraine? Migraines, which rank in the top 20 most disabling medical illnesses and affect 36 million Americans, can be recognized by a combination of symptoms that may include:

  • Visual disturbances (auras) at the onset

  • Throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of your head

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and for some, smell and touch

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Blurry vision

  • Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting

Watch for migraine triggers

Pay attention to what brings on your migraine. In addition to being triggered by stress, a migraine can be sparked by what you consume. For example, aged, fermented and smoked foods are on the trigger list. It’s also believed that alcohol, MSG, artificial sweeteners, dehydration and caffeine (both withdrawal and overconsumption) can play a part in causing migraines. Also among the list of triggers: skipping meals, exposure to strong perfume or odors and changes in weather or barometric pressure. For women, hormonal changes related to their menstrual cycle can produce migraines too.

Treat a migraine early

I treated a stressed-out corporate executive in his mid-40s for debilitating migraines. He normally worked long hours but would get migraines that were so debilitating he couldn’t leave his house. I had him start coming in at the first sign of a migraine, as soon as the aura appeared. Treating it early with chiropractic and acupressure gave us much better results. And we followed up with proactive wellness care, including periodic upper cervical spine adjustments to help maintain optimum blood flow to the head and prevent future headaches. This regimen drastically reduced his migraines and kept him from losing two days of work nearly every month. Let me know if you’re experiencing migraines. I can help you head them off before they become full blown.

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