Migraine headaches are less common than tension–type headaches. Nevertheless, migraines afflict 25 to 30 million people in the United States. As many as 6% of all men, and up to 18% of all women experience a migraine headache at some time during their lives. Among the most distinguishing features is the potential disability accompanying the headache pain of a migraine: migraines may last 4-72 hours, are typically unilateral (one sided), throbbing and or pounding, of moderate to severe intensity, and are aggravated by routine physical activity. Nausea, with or without vomiting, and/or sensitivity to light and sound often accompany migraines. An “aura” may occur before head pain begins — involving a disturbance in vision, and/or an experience of brightly colored or flashing lights in a pattern that moves across the field of vision. Only about one in five migraine sufferers experiences an aura.
Migraine headaches are usually managed by medication, but some patients do not tolerate acute and/or prophylactic medicine due to side effects, or contraindications. Some patients wish to avoid medication for other reasons. Thus, non-pharmacological management such as massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic may be an alternative treatment option. Massage therapy in Western cultures uses classic massage, trigger points, myofascial release and other passive muscle stretching among other treatment techniques which are applied to abnormal muscle tissue. Modern physiotherapy focuses on rehabilitation and exercise, while manual treatment emphasis postural corrections, soft tissue work, stretching, active and passive mobilization and manipulation techniques.
Chiropractic during random clinical trials have demonstrated to be a viable alternative to medications in both acute and prophylactic care for migraines. Adjustments to the first three vertebras can instantly give relief.
If you think you may be experiencing migraines, it will help a lot to understand precisely what a migraine is. You know it's an intense headache. But what else is involved? Find out more about Migraines as well as what's going on inside your brain during a migraine.