Migraines: A different type of head pain

Vascular flow in the head

This is the last post in our series about headaches. Today I’m talking about the migraine. Migraines are usually debilitating, one sided headaches that can cause nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and a phenomenon called “auras” in which there are floaters or a waterfall over the vision. Migraines are considered vascular headaches and happen when there is a  spasm causing a rapid change in the size of the artery. The other arteries in the brain have to compensate, so they dilate and then the throbbing, pounding headache begins. The migraine aura can happen before or after that, and it’s usually related to a hypersensitivity in the nervous system. There are many “triggers” that can cause migraines: stress, food sensitivity, sounds, smells, lack of sleep and hormonal fluctuations. And sometimes the origin is a mystery, especially in chronic migraine.

I get migraines – I used to get a lot of them, and they would sometimes hit in the middle of my workday. For me, they are largely hormonal and stress related, but I have learned to manage them over the years with getting regular massage, eating clean and limiting my gluten, and also getting acupuncture. I also find that exercise helps to decrease my stress and helps prevent migraines, so even in my busiest of weeks I do my best to get to the gym. When I get one, I get a massage (if I can drive) or do some self-massage at the base of the skull and lay on an ice pack on the back of my neck.

There are several apps available to help track and predict your chances of migraine. Some of our clients use the “Migraine Buddy“, “iHeadache“, and “Migraine Meter” apps successfully. 

We don’t wish the pain of headaches and migraines on anyone, but if you find yourself with one, don’t hesitate to contact us. The sooner you get your muscles treated, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your daily life. 🙂

~Rachel Carroll

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