Migraines: They Suck the Life Out of You
4-minute read time
Gold Coast Blog
Dr. Paul Fisher
Today, we are going to talk about: Migraines. The evil stepsister that comes out of nowhere and is almost impossible to get rid of.
For those of you who have migraines, or suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating this issue can be.
What’s Up With Migraines, Anyway?
Typically, a migraine starts in the base of the neck and it will go to the front of the head. Sweet spot of intense pain, here we go.
Even more frequently, when we think about a traditional migraine, we have this thing called a “prodromal effect.” And what in the world does that mean? It’s classically known as an aura around certain objects.
People may start to smell something funny… and it’s not cause it’s 4:20 PM.
They effectively just know that something’s going to happen very soon.
Usually, if you’re going through a migraine episode, people will have to go to a dark room, rest, and relax.
If the migraine responds at all to medication, know that there’s a very short window that you may get relief. Very short.
We’ve had patients that have come in extremely quickly to try to get adjusted because they know that adjustments can really help, but migraines just show up, and at times without cause. Kind of like in laws.
Migraines can really come on without a lot of warning. For those of us who have jobs, who’ve got kids to take care of, you really understand how much of an effect this can have on your day to day life.
Almost impossible to plan out a work schedule or childcare schedule if you know you might be down for six, seven, hours at a time. This obviously affects you, but even more so the ones around you.
Cause and Effect
What can cause migraines?
We’ve seen rare instances, where they’re actually related to women’s cycles. Women have been through enough, I know, life is too unfair. They’ll know at one time of the month, that’s where they are more likely to get a migraine, if at all.
Sometimes we have patients who have food allergies. Could come from foods like sulfite spread wine, chocolates, sometimes dairy, grains can be a big one too. What happens with this is you eat something your body has a reaction and your immune system just doesn’t respond the way that it should, it creates an inflammatory cascade. Then boom, migraine. No fun.
What we see in the office here a lot is that the migraine is really coming from issues with your neck.
What Does It Look Like?
We should have a nice, curved neck. That allows the spinal cord to be nice and relaxed.
Now throughout your day, obviously, you’re going to look down, look up… but what we found is that when you move your head down, that puts stress on the spinal cord.
And that’s normal. It’s how your body is designed to operate. That allows fluid to pump through it, nutrients, oxygenation, all these good things to happen with your spinal cord.
But, when it’s stretched out, and you’ve lost that curve, or when, even worse, that curve gets reversed, that puts in tension on the spinal cord and the nerves don’t function the way they’re supposed to.
They lose their nerve conduction velocity. In other words, they don’t fire as fast as they’re supposed to and contract signals.
This becomes extremely important because your brain stem is right there around your neck, along with cranial nerves. There’s a lot of very important things that happen in this area.
So, when these nerves aren’t firing the way that they’re supposed to, we get problems.
Everything regarding the nerves around your neck is based on work from the 1950s, from a neurosurgeon named Alf Breig, and what he found was that as you stretch that spinal cord out, you lose that curve if it can create a whole host of issues.
We found a solution with patients who complain of migraines and also have this neck configuration where you’ve lost that curve, with the nerves stretched out, not firing the way they’re supposed to.
Hear me out: Restoring the normal curve. Wow, I know.
It helps bring back the normal nerve function, and does phenomenal work with migraines. Sometimes even completely alleviating them.
Where Is The Pain At?
This is an extremely important area of cranial nerves. Those are the nerves that come out, especially in this area that go to the face, and these are the nerves that would come down your arm and hands so, a loss of the curve here is no bueno.
Not just migraines, but also neck pain, shoulder pain, and when you really start having issues, the further up the neck you go, the more severe the symptoms can be.
Long story short, stop taking off days, missing out on being with your family and loved ones, just head on over to Gold Coast Chiropractic and get your life back. We’ll see you soon.
Dr. Paul Fisher