Migraines are neurological conditions characterized by frequent, moderate to severe headaches with associated nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, and visual disturbances known as “auras” that may persist for hours to days at a time, substantially disrupting daily activities and can severely affect your quality of life.
Migraines differ significantly from tension headaches, sinus, or cluster headaches in their symptoms and duration, often having pulsating, throbbing quality that typically appears only on one side of the head and being more disabling and potentially made worse with physical activity than cluster headaches; though both often include severe, excruciating pain in one eye area.
Common migraine triggers may include stress, hormonal shifts in women (for instance, during menstruation), specific foods or additives in foodstuffs, changes in sleeping patterns, physical exertion, and sensory stimuli such as bright lights or strong scents. However, these triggers vary between individuals, thus leading to different responses when experiencing migraine symptoms – not everyone responds similarly.
Diagnosing migraines requires conducting an exhaustive medical history review and physical exam, along with any tests available that might confirm or refute a migraine diagnosis. Since no test definitively diagnoses migraines, diagnosis typically relies upon symptoms and ruling out other potential headache causes through medical evaluations such as imaging studies or blood tests.
Conventional treatment of migraines involves lifestyle modifications, medications for acute attacks, and preventive medications to lower their frequency and severity. Lifestyle adjustments might include identifying triggers, managing stress levels, sleeping regularly through the night, and adopting healthy diet practices; acute medications include pain relievers, anti-nausea drugs, or triptans (drugs specifically targeting migraines); preventive medicine for those experiencing frequent or severe migraine attacks may include beta-blockers, antidepressants, or antiseizure medications to decrease frequency or intensity of attacks further.
Complimentary Migraine Consultation
We’d love to meet you for a 15-20 minute session with a doctor to get your story, conduct any preliminary tests, and see if we can help you. If so, great, if not, we’ll help you find the place that can.
At Mount Dora Family Chiropractic, we specialize in Upper Cervical Chiropractic care – the upper spinal region where the head and neck join. The top two bones in the neck are scientifically and very precisely analyzed (known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae). Doctors of Upper Cervical Chiropractic understand that misalignments or subluxations in this part of the spine can interfere with normal nerve pathways, cranial blood, and CSF flow, thus affecting various body systems which may cause or contribute to various health conditions, including migraine headaches.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, however, aims at realigning the upper cervical vertebrae to restore proper nerve function and promote overall health. This form of care, along with lifestyle modifications and support, can make a significant difference for those dealing with migraines.
How Our Migraine Care Plan Works
1. Real Answers
You have a story and we want to hear it. We want to understand you. If we feel we can help, we’ll complete a very detailed exam–unlike anything you’ve done anywhere else to get to the root of the problem.
2. Real Solutions
Once we’ve gotten to the bottom of things–the root cause–we’ll tailor-make a program of care first to stop the damage and turn things around, then continue to move your health and function in a constructive direction.
3. Real Life
At the end of the day, you want your quality of life back. Better. Stronger. Healthier. We desire to help you achieve the life that God has called you to–getting you back to your sense of purpose and joy.
How We Treat Migraines in Mount Dora, FL
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
The doctor and team will first do a consultation and preliminary migraine headache evaluation (complimentary) to ensure you’re in the right place and that we believe we can help you. If we can, we’ll dive much deeper into your migraine headache condition and how it’s affecting your life. Once we understand you clearly, we’ll thoroughly examine your spine and nervous system utilizing chiropractic, functional, and neurologic testing to find the root cause of the problem(s).
CBCT (3D Panoramic X-ray) and Motion Study X-rays
Once we’ve determined that you are a good candidate for care and can help you, we will likely need to take very specific forms of imaging to pinpoint the problem (unless you are pregnant). We want to get a good look at the curve of the spine, the alignment (or lack thereof), any degenerative changes, and contraindications to care, and ultimately find out EXACTLY what we need to do for you to get better.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
Our family-oriented practice in Mount Dora provides a unique form of Chiropractic care that is precise, extremely effective, and very gentle. In fact, there is no twisting or “cracking” of your neck. We utilize a form of care known as Blair Upper Cervical, which focuses on the top two bones in the neck, where your head and neck come together, and tends to yield uncommon results due to the neurological influence of this critical area of your spine. We add a supportive type of adjusting for the rest of your spine known as TRT (Torque Release Technique). TRT is a precise, effective, gentle instrument-based technique that produces fantastic results.
When the joints of your spine are misaligned, it puts undue pressure on your joints and, more importantly, on your nervous system—known as a subluxation—which may cause pain and affect your global health. The goal of your specific adjustments is to reduce the subluxations, taking pressure off your spine and nervous system so that your body can self-heal the way it was created.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Depending on your particular case, we will design a custom rehab/exercise plan (Vestibular Rehab) to help you recover quicker and attain lasting results. Your unique exercise plan aims to help restore global spinal and vestibular imbalances, address muscle weakness, increase range of motion, improve your posture and reduce your migraine headache symptoms. We also aim to keep it simple—so you can do it at home in very little time. If you are a severe case, we may refer you for physical therapy aimed at a more tailored and monitored exercise rehab to complement your upper cervical chiropractic care.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I should see a chiropractor for migraine headaches?
If you have unresolved migraine attacks that haven’t responded to other treatments or home care, getting a proper upper cervical chiropractic spinal evaluation would be prudent. If you have accompanying tension-type headaches, neck pain, upper back or shoulder pain, or muscle tension, these are also red flags for spinal/structural issues best addressed by a great chiropractor.
Is a massage or chiropractic better for migraines?
Both are great but serve different purposes. Massage primarily focuses on the soft tissues (muscles, fascia), improving circulation and reducing stress, whereas chiropractic focuses on the neuro-structural system (the spinal joints and adjacent nerves). Because a chiropractic adjustment affects the nervous system, it will also directly affect muscle tension. Massage is a wonderful compliment to chiropractic care, but not a replacement for it.
What can I do in the meantime to relieve migraine symptoms?
- Relaxation Techniques: Incorporating relaxation practices such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation into daily practice to relieve stress and promote overall well-being is one way of reducing tension and improving health and well-being.
- Cold or Hot Compress: Applying a cold or hot compress may relieve migraine pain. Find which temperature works best for you by experimenting.
- Adequate Rest and Sleep: To prevent migraine attacks, make sure you’re sleeping enough by setting a consistent sleeping pattern and schedule. A lack of restful slumber or irregular patterns could trigger migraine symptoms.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as dehydration may be one of the primary migraine triggers for some sufferers. Aim for 8-12 glasses at least daily.
- Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and may help relieve migraine symptoms. You can consume ginger in various forms, such as fresh ginger slices, tea with ginger extract, or supplements. Ginger can also help reduce associated nausea.
- Magnesium Supplementation: Magnesium deficiency may play a part in migraine attacks. Food sources rich in magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds; supplements may be an option; just be sure to consult your doctor first!
- Avoid Trigger Foods: Certain food and drinks, such as chocolate, aged cheese, processed meats, and alcohol, may trigger migraines in some individuals. We suggest keeping a food diary to identify possible migraine triggers and which foods or drinks they should avoid.
- Essential Oils: Many individuals find relief from migraines with essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oils. Simply dilute several drops in a carrier oil before gently massaging or inhaling their aroma onto temples for immediate results. Be careful not to overdo it!
What’s the best way to sleep with migraines?
If you’re currently symptomatic, the best way to sleep with a migraine is semi-recumbent (as in a recliner chair) with support under your neck. Some contoured pillows are good (some are terrible)—we recommend the Killapilla—or simply put a small, rolled-up towel under your neck. If you can lie flat in bed, put a pillow under your knees to help achieve a more neutral spinal posture. If on your side, it’s important to have just the right amount of pillow height so that your head is not tilted up or down, which will only irritate your neck joints and receptor nerves, possibly aggravating your symptoms.
Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?
No, a chiropractic adjustment should not hurt. Some technique models use more force to move the vertebrae where there may be an audible “cracking or popping sound”. This is nothing to fear; it’s just gas escaping the joint. That being said, in our office, we utilize a very specialized form of care that does not involve twisting or “cracking” of your spine—it is very gentle, precise, and extremely effective at producing good results for migraine headache conditions. You can learn more on our website’s “Upper Cervical” page. You may also find more information at www.blairchiropractic.com