Migraine – more than ‘just a headache’
It is estimated that 6 million people suffer from migraines in the UK and it is estimated that the UK population loses 25 million days from work or school each year because of migraines.
Migraine – what is it?
Anyone who has suffered with a migraine will tell you it is more than ‘just a headache’.
For many people, the base level is a very painful headache combined with additional, more debilitating symptoms, which may include blurry vision, extreme sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling sick and vomiting.
A migraine can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and often people find they have to lie still, in the dark, for several hours until it passes.
What causes a migraine?
There doesn’t seem to be one single cause for migraines, it differs by person.
Those who suffer with migraines are often susceptible to certain triggers, which can include stress, lack of food, alcohol, hormonal changes (in women), lack of sleep and their environment (heat, lights, etc). Wine and cheese have also been shown to increase migraines, as well as those who work shift patterns.
Looking at it from a mechanical perspective, some triggers may be linked to poor posture and long periods sat a desk, looking at a screen. Both can increase stress on the muscles surrounding the neck as they work harder for longer.
How can we help:
Muscular tension on and around the neck can lead to painful migraines or headaches; by releasing the muscles at the base of the skull and neck can reduce tightness and irritation on the central nervous system (which could trigger a migraine). This reduction in tightness can be achieved by combining massage therapy with chiropractic adjustments.
In addition to reducing pressure using hands-on adjustments and massage therapy, we also provide a personalised exercises programme for you to follow at home. These exercises are aimed at reducing and/or improving the mechanical ‘triggers’ (such as poor posture).
How you can help yourself:
1) Keeping a migraine diary can be really useful as it can help your healthcare professional provide a clear diagnosis. It can also help you to recognise triggers and warning signs that could be contributing to your migraine.
2) Leaning how to manage potential triggers, such as:
- Ensuring you are getting enough sleep
- Reducing stress and tension
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding certain foods if these prove to be triggers
3) If you are on a shift pattern with work, try to organise a consistent structure to your week. This is thought to allow the body to regulate itself easier, and in turn make you less susceptible to migraine attacks.
4) Keep up with your preventative treatment plan and/or prescribed exercises. Its easy to let these slip when you are feeling better.
CLICK HERE to book an appointment
All content on this website, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for general information only. It is not intended to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the content on our website.