What is a Migraine?
According to the American Migraine Foundation, a migraine is “an unprovoked headache lasting 4-72 hours, severe enough to markedly restrict or even prohibit routine daily activity and accompanied by nausea or light/sound sensitivity.”
What is the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache?
There are some distinct differences between a migraine and a headache. News-medical.net takes a look at the differences in depth. Some main differences are listed below:
- The pain feels different.
- There are no forewarning signs that signal a headache. Migraines often have warning signs indicating onset that may be unique to the sufferer.
- Both have a variety of suspected triggers, including stress and anxiety. Migraine triggers seem more likely chemical reactions or hormone imbalance issues.
- A migraine is often accompanied by other symptoms such as aura symptoms and problems with sight and sound.
- Migraines are often reported as starting during sleep, while a headache generally does not.
- Headaches commonly are effectively treated with over-the-counter medications and relaxation practices. Migraine treatment is still being studied. It is best to avoid getting the migraine in the first place by recognizing the trigger and moving to a calmer environment as soon as possible. Once the migraine is set, there are some medications and other treatment options believed to be effective for most people. Chiropractic treatment is a treatment method that has had some preliminary studies indicating the worthiness of further research.
- Both forms of head pain can last from a few hours to a few days.
Interesting Facts/Statistics about Migraines
The Migraine Research Foundation reports some interesting statistics:
- Migraines are the 3rd most common illness in the world.
- Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes a migraine sufferer.
- 12% of the population experiences migraines, including children.
- 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.
- The most common age to experience migraines is between the ages of 18 and 44.
- Migraines appear to be a genetic condition – about 90% of migraine sufferers have a family member who also gets migraines.
- For about 25% of migraine sufferers, a visual disturbance accompanies or precedes it. Auras usually last less than an hour.
- Other neurological symptoms can occur before the actual pain in about 15-20% of attacks.
- The most common reason why episodic migraines become chronic is due to medication overuse.
- Women are 85% of chronic migraine sufferers.
- Migraines are the reason for $36 billion of healthcare and lost productivity costs annually in the U.S.
- The medical cost of treating chronic migraines in 2015 was more than $5.4 billion, but these sufferers spent more than $41 billion on treating their entire range of conditions.
What Causes a Migraine?
Migraines seem to be initially triggered by a chemical reaction in the brain. Hormonal changes, including menstrual cycles and menopause, likely play a big part as does dietary issues such as not eating enough or eating foods high in sugar. Anxiety, exercise, medicines, contraceptives, dehydration, alcohol, and computer screens also have been identified as other potential causes.
Can Chiropractic Care Help Migraine Sufferers?
There is growing evidence that specific chiropractic treatments can help migraine sufferers. Chiropractic care is considered a complementary and alternative (CAM) therapy. CAM therapies are a non-medical treatment option that many people are considering given the drug epidemic that is facing our nation.
As mentioned in the statistics, many people find that the medications prescribed eventually stop working, causing them to increase dosage or experiment with potentially more addictive drugs for relief. NeurologyToday, an online publication by the American Academy of Neurology, details this scenario in depth.
More research needs to be done. Most studies are not comprehensive enough to extrapolate conclusive results, but there is enough evidence to implicate that further testing is warranted. In fact, the American Migraine Foundation notes chiropractic care as a “‘a tried and true’ therapies practiced widely in the United States that eventually may be proven effective for head pain management.”
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Helps Migraine Sufferers
Dr. Goldman will begin by evaluating your individual situation. He will propose a treatment plan that will likely include chiropractic treatment methods shown to be effective in the relief of migraine headaches. He will also likely provide lifestyle changes that you can make that may help to alleviate your occurrence rate and pain as well. Schedule your appointment.