Dr. Stephanie Kinsey, owner and founder of Palencia Dental in St. Augustine, provides opportunities and helps people with migraines understand their causes and triggers.
According to Kinsey, the terms “migraine” and “headache” are often interchangeable, but almost every headache is a form of migraine.
“When we talk about migraines, it’s not just the aura-producing monster that has you called to work to go to a dark room and a face washcloth. It can also be the nagging head-pounding that hits you any time of day or all day for no reason, ”she said. “The debilitating discomfort can be a sharp pain in the front, back, or sides of the head. These are all migraines and patients shouldn’t have to suffer. “
Kinsey added that usually periodic bouts of severe headache on one or both sides of the head of nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity of the eyes to light called photophobia, increased sensitivity to sounds called phonophobia, dizziness, blurred vision, cognitive impairment, and other symptoms .
“Migraines can be a brutal, life-changing experience that affects every part of a person’s existence, from work to personal life to recreation, and they can feel like they are not enjoying life to the full because they are constantly pounding . dull pain or a total attack that migraines represent, ”Kinsey said.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraine is not just a bad headache, but a disabling neurological disorder with different symptoms and different approaches to treatment compared to other headache disorders. Foundation research shows that at least 39 million Americans live with migraines, but because many people don’t get diagnosed or get the treatment they need, the real number is likely higher. The nonprofit also states that migraines can be classified as episodic or chronic.
People with episodic migraines have 14 or fewer headache days per month. People with chronic migraines have more than 15 headache days per month (for three or more months), at least eight of which include migraine characteristics. In some people, episodic migraines can become chronic, which can occur if the condition is not properly identified and treated.
“When you think of migraines, you usually think of pain relievers first, if you can even concentrate when you have a migraine. This is the immediate remedy, but like most immediate remedies, it’s very temporary. And worse, it usually gets to the point where over-the-counter pain relievers don’t even touch a medium migraine, let alone a four-alarm migraine, ”Kinsey said. “In our dental practice, we recommend eliminating environmental causes. Some people claim that coffee triggers their migraines, others say that it repels them. Some people think allergies are to blame, and some think sleep matters. Still others think that it’s just about the computer attitude or the lack of sleep. “
Kinsey believes that the real cause of migraines almost always lies deeper than environmental factors. Environmental factors like food and allergies are called triggers for a reason because they trigger a patient’s migraines but don’t cause them. Instead, the problem is often head and neck imbalances.
“Everything in the head, neck, and jaw has to be symmetrical, and when it isn’t, the TMJ, where the jaw connects to the skull, begins to function,” she said. “When that happens, all kinds of problems can arise, like dizziness, brain fog, pain, and migraines. The effect of this joint on the environment should not be underestimated. “
Palencia Dental patients have experience with migraine solutions that involve correcting the imbalance through one or more simple procedures. The process begins with an assessment that includes a painless head scan. The scan shows where the imbalances are causing problems, then Kinsey will use one or more types of treatments to make corrections such as muscle stimulation therapy to balance the force of the jaw from side to side. Whether the solution is simple or more complicated, a scientific approach can take the guesswork out of migraine treatment. Kinsey specializes in migraine therapies and cures migraines that patients have suffered from for decades.
“The whole process is comfortable, caring, and personal to treating you as an individual,” said Kinsey.