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Migraine Management 101

Migraine Management 101

That throbbing, unwavering pain in the head- sometimes it's right behind the eyes, radiating outward like a ripple of pain. We are talking about migraines. These tricky and debilitating aches really can make everyday tasks so difficult- even just going outside or into a bright room. But we compiled a list of a few different techniques to help manage your migraines.

To treat migraines, we need to take a look at the two ways to help them. First review what triggers your migraines, and find ways to reduce or eliminate them. Second approach involves treating the migraines.

How Migraines Happen

To manage migraine symptoms, it’s important to understand how migraines happen. According to John Hopkins Medicine, current thinking about migraine is widely understood that chemical compounds and hormones like serotonin and estrogen play a large role for migraine sufferers. When a migraine is triggered, it causes the neurons in your brain to fire abnormally, which can be quite painful, and in the worst case scenario, last even a few days.

Managing Migraine Triggers

What triggers a migraine is different for everybody, but some of the most common migraine triggers include increased stress, changes in the weather, such as barometric pressure, routine changes, strong or pungent smells like certain perfumes, caffeine (either too much or even withdrawal), as well as certain foods or exercise.

If you have migraines frequently and have sought relief from them before, you probably have heard this piece of advice: keep a migraine journal to keep track of when you get migraines, and what was going on that day that might have triggered them. Of course it takes time to see a pattern emerge. However, by correlating the consumption of avocado to a migraine the next day, maybe it makes sense to cut avocado out of your diet. ( This is just an example, but you get the idea!)

Manual Therapy for Migraines

Taking note of your triggers and adjusting your behavior around them accordingly is only one way to help maintain your migraines. Taking care of the physical aspect of what is causing the pain is another way to help. There may be physical trigger points in the muscles of the neck, upper back or shoulders that can be causing tension and pain. Seeking treatment, such as that from a chiropractor or a physical therapist, can help to release these muscles.

Chiropractic adjustments, while focused on spine realignment, have a wonderful effect of increasing blood flow and releasing tension in the surrounding musculature. A physical therapist may use manual therapy to release tension on the musculature or provide guidance on exercises or stretches to help increase the blood flow and strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders. This can help release stress and reduce the body’s levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

Migraines, Chiropractic, and Physical Therapy in Buffalo, NY

If you have been experiencing, suffering, and managing migraines for a while now, and want to try something new or take the next step in your treatment management, then it's time to see if a chiropractor or physical therapist can help you! The doctors at BC + PT are able to work together and collaborate as a team to provide you the best treatment. Give us a call today to set up your first appointment!


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