Migraine Treatment

A part of the brain, the hypothalamus, receives migraine and headache triggers, and sends these signals to the brainstem. If there is a misalignment of atlas, the top bone in your neck, it can put indirect pressure on this delicate area. NUCCA Spinal Care is an effective, chronic migraine treatment.

From an upper cervical care perspective, one of the primary factors or causes of migraines is your body’s inability to adapt to some form of stress. The three forms of stress we encounter regularly are physical, chemical or emotional stress. NUCCA Spinal Care focuses on removing physical stress to the upper neck. Take a look in the mirror, is your head on straight? Is one shoulder higher than the other? These postural distortitions put a tremendous amount of stress on the upper neck and can contribute to migraine symptoms.

Here’s how we helped Kevin, our favorite San Diego firefigher…check out his video.

What Causes a Migraine?

Patients report many migraine triggers, but unfortunately the cause of migraines is widely unknown. These are the most common theories believed to cause migraines:

  • An underlying central nervous system disorder is believed to trigger a migraine episode
  • Irregularities in the brain’s vascular system (blood vessel system) may cause migraines
  • Some researchers believe that there is a genetic predisposition that may cause migraines
  • Abnormalities of nerve pathways and brain chemicals may cause migraine episodes

We know that these are likely causes. However, It is unclear why these signals become activated in the first place. A migraine kicks off when overactive nerve cells send out impulses to your blood vessels. This causes a cascade release of substances such as prostaglandins and serotonin which cause swelling of your blood vessels near the nerve endings, resulting in pain.

Common Migraine Triggers

Patients report a variety of things that they believe trigger their migraines, and are often advised to avoid their known triggers. Migraine triggers vary from person to person, but typically a migraine patient only gets triggered by 1 or 2 of the triggers from this list. The most common migraine triggers are:

Certain Foods

  • Highly processed foods
  • Aged or salty foods, such as salami or cheese

Fasting or skipping meals

  • Avoid skipping meals or fasting

Drinks

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas

Sweeteners and preservatives

  • Aspartame can trigger a migraine
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can affect some people

Sensory stimulation

  • Bright lights (flashlights, bright sunlight)
  • Loud noises (music, people, traffic)
  • Strong smells, such as perfume, paint, and cigarette smoke

Stress

  • Stress due to difficult work environments
  • Stress due to home life challenges
  • Extreme physical exertion, such as intense exercising, can trigger an episode

Changes in sleep

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Getting too much sleep

Hormonal changes (Women)

  • Pre-menstrual hormonal changes
  • Menopausal hormone-induced migraines
  • Pregnancy hormone-induced migraines

Hormone medications

  • Birth control medications can increase migraines
  • Hormone replacement therapy post menopause

Other medications

  • Certain medications such as nitroglycerin (vasodialator)

Weather changes

  • Changes in in weather and barometric pressure

Most Common Migraine Symptoms

A typical migraine episode last a few hours upto 3 days. The pain is moderate to severe and usually affect one side of your head. Migraines are typically painful and uncomfortable. They are intense headaches that are often accompanied by 1 or more of these symptoms:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • upset stomach
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to loud sounds
  • sensitivity to smells
  • sensitivity to light
  • temperature changes (sweating or chills)
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • tender scalp
  • diarrhea (rare)
  • fever (rare)

Serious Vascular Headaches

Headaches that arise due to abnormalities in your vascular system (arteries) are more commonly known as “migraines.” Although many Americans experience at least one migraine over the course of their lives, the cause of migraines varies from patient to patient.

Medical studies show that migraines are oftentimes triggered by a change in hormones arising from exposure to food, smells, changes in the weather, and even emotional stress. When these changes in your body’s hormone levels occur, the blood vessels located in your head dilate. This causes other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras, followed by a severe headache that cannot be treated effectively or even disguised by aspirin and other over-the-counter medications.

The good news is that migraines respond well to chiropractic care, and especially to NUCCA Spinal Care. NUCCA is a specialized form of upper cervical chiropractic care that does not require any popping, cracking or twisting of your neck.

Migraine and Headache Relief intouch chiropractic san diego chiropractor near meNUCCA Spinal Care | Effective Migraine Treatment

NUCCA is a gentle procedure that realigns atlas, taking pressure off the brainstem. Our doctors are experts at analyzing this area of the spine by using precise measurements of your head and neck. NUCCA Spinal Care restores body alignment and balance to this vital part of your spine based on information we get from x-rays of your head and neck.

In many cases, NUCCA oftentimes completely eliminates migraine symptoms or reduces the intensity and frequency of migraine episodes. For many patients, NUCCA is the best treatment for migraines. You can learn more about NUCCA Spinal Care on our NUCCA Chiropractic webpage.

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What is a Migraine Aura?

About 1 in 5 migraine sufferers experience an aura. An aura is considered a warning signal that a migraine is about to start soon. In some cases, an aura appears during or after the migraine episode. An aura lasts 15 to 60 minutes. Classic visual aura symptoms are:

  • Seeing bright flashing dots
  • Seeing bright flashing lights
  • Blurred vision
  • Experiencing blind spots
  • Having temporary vision loss
  • Seeing jagged or wavy lines

Auras can affect different senses too such as:

  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Arm tingling
  • Face tingling
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Changes in smell (such as strange odors)
  • Changes in taste

These neurological auras are very rare and specific, and include:

  • Temporary paralysis, neurological or sensory changes on one side of the body (hemiplegic migraine). At the beginning of the headache, temporary dizziness, numbness, or vision changes can also occur.
  • Partial or complete, temporary loss of vision in one of your eyes (retinal migraine). This type of headache occurs with a dull ache behind one of your eyes that spreads to the rest of your head.
  • Sudden vertigo, double vision, loss of balance and slurred speech occur before the headache (migraine with brainstem aura). These severe symptoms are often accompanied by pain in the back of your head, vomiting, tinnitus and inability to speak.
  • A rare and severe migraine that lasts more than 72 hours (status migrainosus). Medication withdrawal can cause this type of migraine syndrome, and the nausea and headache pain can be extremely severe.

Get Help for Your Migraines & Start Living

Many patients tell us that they have suffered for years searching for effective, chronic migraine treatment. They have already been to their primary care doctor and oftentimes a neurologist. They have taken every over-the-counter pill and prescription medication available and manage their symptoms as best possible year after year. Some experts report that up to 20% of the U.S. population experiences migraines. That’s 1 in 5 people, and migraines are 66% more common in women than in men.

Don’t lose hope! Effective migraine headache treatment is a phone call away.

Want help with your migraine symptoms? Call our office at (619) 313-5403 or request an appointment here.

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I started seeing Dr. Young after being hospitalized with severe vertigo that was apparently a new symptom related to years of migraines.
After radiograph assessment, it was determined that I had several cervical spine subluxations that were causing compression and poor function of my nervous system in many ways.
With regular treatment from Dr. Young, I have started improving my quality of life and have increased range of motion and much less neck pain. My headaches are steadily decreasing in frequency and severity.

Jocelyn is amazing and ever helpful - always smiling. These folks are awesome and are flexible to help make appointment changes or things fit when life and work happen!