A migraine episode is the worst. Hello, sharp pain, throwing up and sensitivity to light. If you’re ready to crawl into a cave to escape symptoms, integrative medicine like chiropractic could be your next stop.
Here’s how chiropractic can help with your migraine attack.
You may be wondering how a crack in your spine can help your head. This could be because chiropractic treatments are believed to:
- Reduce nerve irritation
- promote normal blood flow
- Reduce muscle tension that can trigger migraine episodes
- Strengthen the muscles that support your spine
- help align the spine, which can restore nervous system communication
But does it really work? The results are mixed and TBH we need more research to prove that it works. But here’s what some studies have shown:
- A Study 2016 found that 6 to 8 sessions of manipulation of the cervical spine and upper thoracic spine helped reduce the pain when peeping with. to alleviate chronic headache better than sport and exercise.
- In a case series from 2019, three participants with chronic migraine symptoms received chiropractic treatments over a period of 12 months. At the end of the study, they reported improved pain scores, lower drug consumption and more pain-free days. For information, other treatments (e.g., oral medications and botox injections) were also used.
- A systematic review from 2019 analyzed six randomized controlled trials. The overall results showed that spinal manipulation reduced migraine days and decreased pain and intensity.
Chiropractic treatments are generally safe when performed by a legitimate licensed chiropractor. But there are still some potential risks.
Increased risk of stroke
You can avoid chiropractic if you are at increased risk of stroke. The high-speed pushing technique used in cervical manipulation can put stress on the carotid and vertebral vessels.
Osteoporosis can make your bones more fragile and increase the risk of fractures. Ask your GP or orthopedic surgeon before seeing a chiropractor. Even if they say it’s okay, you should let your chiropractor know anyway. You can change your treatment and take a gentler approach.
Other bone conditions
Consult your doctor before seeing a chiropractor if you have a medical condition that affects your bone health. This contains:
- Paget’s disease
- benign or cancerous bone tumors
- Spinal bone infection (also known as osteomyelitis)
- Multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects the plasma cells in your body
Certain inflammatory diseases
Inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can make chiropractic care difficult. The Arthritis Foundation recommends avoiding the chiropractor if you are in a flare-up.
If chiropractic treatments aren’t enough, you’re still in luck. Here are some other ways to help you manage migraines:
- Medication. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs to help keep symptoms at bay. Triptans, antiemetics, ergot alkaloids, acetaminophen, combination analgesics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are popular choices.
- Relax. Relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditation can reduce stress, a common migraine trigger.
- Work it out. Exercise is a great way to relieve tension. Remember, you don’t have to run a marathon to see results. A nice nature walk, a gentle yoga class, or a chill cycle sesh are all great options.
- Keep a headache diary. Record the time and intensity of your migraine episodes. It can help you keep track of potential triggers.
- Drink up. According to the American Migration Foundation, about a third of people with migraine problems say dehydration is a trigger. So be sure to keep your water intake on fleek.
Chiropractic care isn’t just good for a disturbed back. Some studies suggest that chiropractic treatments can help people with migraines. Consistent treatments can relieve symptoms and give you more pain-free days. Remember, chiropractic care is not a panacea. You can also try medications and other lifestyle treatments to help you lead a life with fewer migraine episodes.