Migraines

BEYOND BONES

Migraines Treatment Conditions chiropractor Jacksonville, FL

Migraines Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

It’s no secret: suffering from migraines is a terrible experience. Migraine symptoms can make it nearly impossible to focus on anything else. An estimated $36 billion is spent every single year in the United States on the costs of healthcare and lost productivity associated with migraines, and nearly one in four U.S. households includes somebody living with a migraine. Women suffer disproportionately from migraines, with 85% of migraine sufferers being female.

Many people don’t know that migraine and its incapacitating symptoms are actually a neurological disease. Migraine destroys a person’s quality of life through attacks lasting 4-72 hours. The most common migraine symptom is a severe, recurring throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. Migraine headache attacks are often accompanied by at least one (and usually more) of the following debilitating symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual disturbances
  • Numbness/tingling in the face or extremities
  • Extreme sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell

Around 25% of migraine sufferers will have a specific visual disturbance called an aura that generally lasts less than an hour. Triggers for migraine attacks may include a range of lifestyle factors. Problems in the spine may also cause them - either a lack of proper motion or improper alignment.

It's important that we get your migraines corrected and just as important that we keep them corrected. It’s wonderful to feel good for the short term, but it’s even better to know the pain isn’t going to come back.

In some cases, the cause of a migraine is a mechanical or physical dysfunction. It’s good news to discover that because it means that chiropractic care will almost definitely be able to help. Failing to correct those physical causes will ensure that the headaches return. This is why our first step is to thoroughly investigate the specific causes of your headaches. That way, we can determine how much chiropractic will be able to help you.

Pressure on the nerves results from spinal degeneration or a subluxation - a misalignment of the vertebrae. Subluxation is one of the major causes of migraine headaches. If subluxation is the cause of this problem for you, we’ll definitely be able to help!

Migraines can be complicated, and many different things can contribute to them. At Beyond Bones, we’ll discuss some of those things, and we may have some recommendations for you to help supplement your adjustments, but we focus most strongly on just one thing when it comes to getting your migraines better: delivering high-quality, results-demanding chiropractic adjustments. We understand that our patients do much better when we remove all distractions and keep it simple: a well-adjusted spine is the key to feeling great and staying that way!

We’re excited to play a part in your healing process!

How We Treat Migraines in Jacksonville, Florida

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

We need to get to know you to determine if and how we can help you. Everybody’s experiences, traumas, and habits in life are different. So are the specifics around their current problems and their future goals. The best way to eliminate any problem, including those migraines, is to take care of their cause. If we don’t remove the cause of the problem, your migraines will just come back…again and again and again.
The first step in this whole process is a one-on-one consultation with your chiropractor. They’ll really listen to understand what’s bothering you, how your migraines are interrupting your life, and what’s behind them. At your evaluation appointment, we’ll perform some important tests to see how your spine is moving, where and how it’s stuck, and find any other problems.

The point of going through this thorough process is to understand how to best help you heal up and feel better and get rid of your migraines for the long term. This is how we learn what’s causing your migraines, how to get rid of them, and, most importantly, how to keep them a thing of the past.

In most cases, the next step from here is one of the most important: X-rays. They give us a crystal-clear picture of your spine, identifying any damage and how long it’s been there and telling us exactly what steps we need to take for you to get well and feel great.

Take a look at these X-rays. This one on the left is a side view of the neck, with the person facing to the right. It’s normal and healthy. You can see that their spine curves forward, making a nice, healthy arc. The bones themselves, and the disc spaces, look great! This is a healthy, flexible spine and what we hope to see on the X-ray. It’s where pretty much everybody starts.

The image on the right shows what happens when the stresses of life start to accumulate and a person chooses to do nothing to care for their spine. Can you see the difference? That normal, healthy curve we saw before is almost totally gone. There are some significant indications of wear and tear, meaning the damage started a long time ago, and nothing was done about it. The disc space has worn away, causing even more stress and pressure on the nerves. By this point, the person is almost definitely suffering from all sorts of unnecessary symptoms, including migraine headaches.

Of course, X-rays are critical, but they’re just one part of the puzzle. The whole point of the consultation and exam is to pinpoint the cause of your migraine so we can help you get better.

Chiropractic Care in Jacksonville, FL

Chiropractic is so profoundly helpful for so many people because it changes how your body functions, effectively removing the cause of your migraines. There’s an unfortunate state of being called subluxation. In this state, there’s more stress on your spine and body than a person can manage—excessive stress on the nervous system results in health problems like migraines. In fact, these headaches are one of the most disruptive and common signs of subluxation.

Chiropractic is a powerful reset for your body. Each chiropractic adjustment lowers your body's stress, bringing you closer to a state of ease and balance. Regular adjustments return you to that more relaxed, pain-free state for the long term. You’ll feel an undeniable difference in your migraines and overall quality of life.

These improvements aren’t meant to be temporary! With repetition and time, adjustment benefits accumulate. This means the feelings of relaxation and ease will become your normal way of operating. A flexible, relaxed body and spine have the best chances of eliminating your migraines and keeping them away.

Massage Therapy and Soft Tissue Work

Massage therapy and other soft tissue work are a critical complement to the essential structural work achieved by chiropractic adjustments. While massage alone won’t be able to correct misalignments in the spine (often the cause of migraines), it can have some very beneficial effects.

In some instances, massage can work to correct the root cause of certain headaches. Examples include tension headaches caused by a pulled muscle and nerve irritation caused by a problem other than subluxation.

When it comes to migraines, massage can indirectly help by relieving stress and improving sleep. By relieving two of the primary triggers of migraine attacks, massage can help decrease the frequency of the attacks. While not as good as correcting the primary cause, this can still lead to significant improvements in the quality of life for migraine sufferers and makes massage an excellent addition to high-quality chiropractic care.

Common Migraine Triggers

Stress

Stress is one of the most common triggers for migraine headaches. The bad news is that we all have so many sources of stress in our lives. There are the mental and emotional stresses of trying to manage relationships with our family and friends, the demands of work, financial challenges, and traffic. And then there are the physical and structural stresses of sitting for long hours, bad sleeping positions, and falls and accidents. Life is stressful!

For people suffering from debilitating migraine attacks, there can be another major stress: wondering and worrying about when the next one will strike. This exhaustingly stressful cycle needs to be broken as soon as possible!

It’s less about the stress itself and more about how we and our bodies handle it. An inappropriate reaction to emotional stress affects our physiology and weakens our body’s autoimmune response.

Identifying the sources of stress in our lives goes a long way toward correcting the problem. Once we’ve identified those sources, we can correct them through powerful and simple natural means. Chiropractic adjustments, meditation, exercise, relaxation therapy, and good, consistent sleep can often help a great deal.

Irregular Sleep Schedule

Sleep is essential to our overall health, specifically in symptoms like migraines. Sleep is when all parts of our bodies rest and repair – including the brain! The renewal processes that occur during sleep are vital for the proper functioning of all aspects of our bodies and our health, and unfortunately, it’s very often neglected and disrespected.

Even beyond the general importance of sleep, it’s known that half of migraine attacks take place between 4 am and 9 am. As unfair as it seems, people who suffer from sleep disorders are much more likely to also suffer from migraines. The good news here is that we have a great deal of control over both the quality and quantity of our sleep. It’s also important to sleep in positions that allow us to relax throughout the night. The last thing we want is for our critical regenerative sleep processes to end up causing us even more harm by putting extra stress on the spine.

Caffeine and Alcohol

It’s well-known that the symptoms of migraines can be caused or intensified by the intake of alcohol or caffeine.

Somewhat surprisingly, for those who regularly consume caffeine, migraines can be caused by not drinking enough caffeine. This happens because caffeine narrows the blood vessels surrounding the brain. When the person stops having caffeine, those blood vessels enlarge, increasing blood flow around the brain and putting pressure on the surrounding nerves. When done gradually, caffeine withdrawal is less likely to trigger migraines.

The way alcohol causes migraines is different. Alcohol is a diuretic, which often causes our kidneys to release more fluid than we’re taking in. Losing excessive fluid from our bodies causes dehydration, leading to headaches and migraines.

These two substances can play a significant role in causing migraine headaches when we’re not careful about managing our consumption of them.

Diet and Dehydration

Diet and dehydration are two very important categories of triggers of migraines. Monitoring our consumption of certain foods and drinks can give us a big head-start on resolving migraine headaches.

Following is a list of foods and chemicals known to trigger migraine headaches in some people:

  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Anything with a strong smell
  • Caffeine
  • Cured meats
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Anything containing MSG or histamine

Roughly one-third of migraine sufferers report that dehydration is another trigger. Besides being bad for joint health and the body’s natural healing processes, dehydration can cause confusion and dizziness.

One excellent strategy is monitoring your diet and noting which foods and drinks are triggering your migraines. Eliminating those foods and beverages from your diet is very likely to decrease the likelihood of you suffering an attack.

Medication Overuse

Surprisingly, consuming high levels of headache medications can also trigger migraine headaches. Appropriately, this phenomenon has a name: Medication Overuse Headache. Risks for suffering from this type of headache go way up in people who consume combination pain relievers, triptans or ergotamine ten or more days a month, or simple analgesics more than 15 days a month. When that regular use continues for three or more months, the risk increases even more.

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: medications are drugs, and they can have various severe and negative effects on the body. This is especially true when the drugs are taken in excess and combined with other medications. Fortunately, natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals are prescribed for many things, including pain management. It’s absolutely worth investing some time, energy, and money into some of those alternatives. Things like relaxation therapy, massage, and chiropractic care can go a long way toward eliminating the need for any more extreme intervention.

Taking care of your migraines through natural chiropractic care makes much more sense than covering them up with drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a regular series of chiropractic adjustments almost always bring at least some relief to migraine sufferers! If the cause of your migraines is nerve pressure due to misalignment, we’ll most likely be able to get rid of your migraines for the long term.

Misalignment of the bones of the neck can, and often do, cause migraines. To get you back to feeling great, seeing a chiropractor as early as possible is imperative to see how we can help.

Massage is an excellent idea for many migraine sufferers. Sometimes massage can help directly with migraine symptoms. In other cases, massage helps with stress relief and sleep, which can help decrease the likelihood of migraine attacks.

This all depends on the cause of the migraine. Many migraines are often caused by nerve pressure due to subluxation and the pressure it puts on the nerves of your neck. In those cases, the only way to permanently eliminate your migraines is to remove that nerve pressure by receiving high-quality chiropractic adjustments.

The following foods and chemicals are known to trigger migraine headaches in some people:

  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine
  • Anything with a strong smell
  • Cured meats
  • Anything containing MSG or histamine

In many cases, experimenting with eliminating those things from your diet can help dramatically with migraines.

Former professional athlete (baseball)

Certified in the Syntropy Chiropractic Training methodology.

Former UNF alumni and student-athlete

Carbon Neutral Business

Founder of “Raiz da Cura” a non-profit organization in Brasil developed to deliver free chiropractic care to the underserved population