Have you ever got a moderate to severe headache accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting? Well this may not be a simple headache and may indicate that you are suffering from a migraine and believe it or not, even your Wesley Chapel chiropractor may be able to help.
A migraine is a type of headache that involves neurologic affectation. It is a severe form of headache that is commonly experienced by adults although children and teens may also experience having a migraine. Compared to other types of headaches that tend to be conditional (they occur when the person is physically stressed, etc.), migraine tend to be chronic and affected individuals may even have recurrent migraine attacks throughout their adult life.
Symptoms of Migraine
Migraine headaches are not just simple headaches; it consists of several symptoms including:
- Unilateral headache
Migraine headaches are easily distinguishable from other types of headache because of being unilateral. Migraine is sometimes described as pain in one side of the head, which indicates that the cause is not muscular in nature; rather a more complex process happens in the head. The pain is commonly moderate to severe and simple measures for headache such as rest is deemed ineffective to relieve the aching. The pain is also usually aggravated or intensified with activity. The pain is also described as pulsating or throbbing in nature and lasts for as long as 72 hours.
- Nausea and vomiting
Typical to migraine headaches is the feeling of being nauseated as a result of neurologic affectation of the gastrointestinal system.
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
In most people affected by migraine, they become sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia).
- Presence of aura
A migraine attack is commonly predicted due to the presence of aura, which is a transient disturbance on the sensory function of the individuals and indicates that a migraine attack will soon occur. Most common aura experienced by affected individuals is smelling a burning candle or apples. For people with chronic migraine, they are able to identify when a headache will be occurring because of the presentation of an aura a few hours before the actual headache.
Treatments of Migraine
The complexity of migraine requires various disciplines in terms of management. Medication, lifestyle modification and increased nutrition are essential. The treatment of migraine is to reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of migraine attacks.
Medications for migraine involve anti-convulsions, antidepressants and beta blockers and were shown to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by 50%. For mild pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may be given. Lifestyle modification includes reducing or quitting smoking and alcohol drinking.
Surgery is rarely required for migraine and this may only involve those with proven neurologic deficits that may require surgery such as presence of a brain tumor.
Chiropractic care is also seen as an effective management for migraine. Since migraines are more neurologic in nature, chiropractic manipulation helps relieve spinal subluxations, which may affect the flow of nerve impulses to and from the brain preventing migraine attacks as a long-term benefit.
If you or a loved one is suffering from migraine, consult a health care provider for an individualized treatment regimen.