Various Ways to Care for Migraines and What Works Best

March 18, 2018|Migraine / Headache| by Harrison Salisbury

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Migraines are known for severe throbbing and pounding head pain, often affecting only one side of the head and accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain of migraines can last for a few hours or a few days and can be debilitating. Some people have what is called an aura. This is a type of warning symptom that comes on about an hour before the migraine actually happens. It can be in the form of flashing lights, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.


Symptoms and Stages of Migraines

Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Migraines often go through four different stages. Depending on which stage you are in, you will have different symptoms. Not everyone experiences all four stages. Some migraines may go through these stages and some may not, even in the same person. Let’s see what each of these stages are and what symptoms accompany each.

    • Prodrome: A day or so before you get hit with migraine pain, you may notice some odd symptoms:
        • Moodiness — anywhere from feeling extremely happy to being depressed
        • Food cravings
        • Frequent yawning
        • Increased urination and feeling thirsty
        • Constipation
      • Stiffness in your neck
    • Aura: Most people have migraines without an aura. Auras can happen before or during a migraine. They are symptoms of the nervous system and usually include visual disturbances that come across as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag lines. The aura usually begins gradually and build up over several minutes, lasting for about 20 to 60 minutes. Here are some examples of auras:
        • Problems with speech
        • Loss of vision
        • Hearing noise or music that is not there
        • Visual disturbances — seeing shapes, bright spots, flashes of light
        • Uncontrollable jerking movements
        • Weakness or numbness in the face or on one side of the body
      • Pins and needles sensations in the arm or leg
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
    • Attack: This phase lasts for up to 72 hours. Migraines can be rare or chronic and vary in intensity. You may experience the following symptoms:
        • Blurry vision
        • Sensitivity to light, sound, and odors
        • Lightheadedness and sometimes fainting
        • Nausea and vomiting
      • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Post-drome: This happens after the head pain subsides and may last for around 24 hours. You may feel drained and tired or the opposite extreme, elated and happy.  You may also have other symptoms:
      • Dizziness
      • Sensitivity to light and sound
      • Weakness
      • Moodiness
    • Confusion

New Suggestions for How to Care for Migraines

Some new research may help change the way you care for migraines. Here are a few strategies to try.

    1. Rest after being stressed out: Worry causes migraines, but a new study reveals that the let-down after stress can also bring about migraines. This is probably due to the drop is stress hormones, like cortisol. Therefore, it is important to calm yourself in the proper way. Getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, physical activity, and exercise are all good components to prevent migraines in everyday life. Also, practicing relaxation techniques can be very helpful, even just closing your eyes for 30 seconds and thinking only about your breathing.
    1. Tweet the pain away: At the University of Michigan, researchers noted that undergoing a migraine and telling others about the pain actually reduced the sufferer’s symptoms.
    1. Don’t obsess over certain foods: Things like red wine, chocolate, aged cheese, and caffeine can be included on a long list of things to avoid if you have migraines. But it is important to remember that it is compounding factors that bring on migraines. For example, one particular day you might sleep less than normal, have to be around someone with strong perfume, eat a sub filled with meats containing nitrates, and all of these factors combined may indeed bring on a migraine. Another day, you may simply eat a sub and not have a problem whatsoever.
    1. Keep testing to a minimum: CT scans and expensive imaging are often ordered for migraine patients. Before undergoing these, opt for lifestyle changes and see if it helps. Things such as having a healthy lifestyle (a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise) can be very helpful. Keeping a migraine diary can help you see and avoid potential triggers.
  1. Upper cervical chiropractic care: This has been proven to be an effective means of care for those with migraines. A misalignment in the top bones of the neck are often to blame for the onset of migraines.

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How Migraines are Helped Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

This has been seen to be an effective way to care for migraines. The bones of the upper neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae, can be a source of migraines if they have become misaligned because they put pressure on the brainstem and cause it to become stressed. This leads to improper signals being sent to the brain. A decrease in cerebrospinal fluid flow and blood flow to the brain has also been observed in people that have a misalignment here.

Here at Brain & Spine Upper Cervical Chiropractic in West Jordan, Utah, we use a gentle method that helps the bones realign naturally instead of popping or cracking the spine. This results in the body being able to heal from damage done by the misalignment. Proper fluid flow can be restored to the brain. Many people report seeing a big difference in their migraines while some see them go away entirely.


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Salisbury, call our West Jordan office at 801-823-2523. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at