Have you ever experienced the head pounding, stomach churning pain associated with a headache? Has it ever made you want to stay in bed with all of the blinds closed to find relief? If you can relate to any of these feelings then you may have suffered from a migraine. You’re not alone in this feeling! Millions of people (women more than men) experience migraines regularly.
What is a migraine?
A migraine can last for hours, or even days. Patients with migraines generally have severe headaches that can be unbearable. They are described by patients as throbbing, local to one specific area, and very painful. Certain symptoms including nausea, increased sensitivity to light and sound, and dizziness can be present. Migraines are often preceded by an “aura”. Patients have described this “aura” as blurred or obstructed vision, numbness or tingling in their skin, exaggerated pain to things that don’t normally hurt and even momentary losses of consciousness.
How can you relieve a migraine?
There are many medications on the market which combat migraines. However, many of these provide a temporary solution to a chronic problem. Pain relieving medications will often mask the pain until it returns, sometimes worse than it was before. These medications can also be a costly long term option.
To properly treat a migraine it is important to know the cause. One way is through the treatment of trigger points. A trigger point within a muscle commonly cause of migraine headaches. Treatment of these involves a chiropractor applying pressure to a specific point within the muscle, like the trapezius or sternocleidomastoid. The primary focus in the case of migraine headaches is to place pressure onto muscles which connect to the base of the skull. The pressure will calm the nerve that is signaling, and relax the muscles. This may help alleviate some of the tension on the skull and reduce some migraine associated pain.
Another way to relieve some symptoms associated with migraine headaches is through the use of essential oils. Try adding oils to a warm bath, inhaling them through a diffuser, or applying them to your temples and forehead after diluting them with carrier oil. Some researched essential oils include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Lavender oil, for example, is known for its properties associated with relieving stress and anxiety, common triggers for migraine headaches. Peppermint oil is known for having the active ingredient ‘methanol’ which has shown to be effective in the treatment of migraines and tension headaches.
How to prevent a migraine?
The prevention of a migraine headache has largely to do with the severity of the headache, as well as its cause. Poor posture and weak muscles can create tension, leading to headaches and migraines. Habits developed by hunching over a keyboard all day while working, or slouching when standing can lead to this poor posture. Try to brush up on proper ergonomics for the workplace, or incorporate back strengthening exercises into your daily routine.
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Santa Clara Custom Chiropractic
3700 Thomas Road, Suite 207
Santa Clara, CA 95054