If you've ever experienced a migraine headache, you know how debilitating it can be. According to the Mayo Clinic, "a migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down."
Nearly 30 million American suffer migraine headaches, with women more than three times as likely as men to be victims. Too often, medication is the first-line treatment strategy to control symptoms – particularly the pain – despite the fact that natural options are being shown to be just as, if not more, effective.
Case in point: a recent study that divided 91 adult migraine sufferers into three groups for comparison. One group received topiramate (brand name: Topamax), an anti-convulsant also approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and prevention of migraines; a second group exercised 40 minutes a day, three times a week; and the third group performed relaxation exercises over the course of the study period. After three months, results showed no significant differences between the three groups: all three interventions reduced the frequency of migraine occurrence.
If you suffer from migraines, your doctor of chiropractic may recommend exercise or relaxation techniques to help treat your problem without having to resort to drugs, all of which come with a substantial list of side effects that can make you feel even worse. For example, among the potential side effects of topiramate are nausea, diarrhea and fatigue – just what youdon't need when you're dealing with a debilitating migraine.
Of course, your chiropractor may also perform chiropractic adjustments, which have been shown to be effective for headache symptoms. One study showed spinal manipulation to be as effective as amitriptyline for migraine symptoms; another study showed a significant reduction in frequency, duration and severity of migraines, as well as need for medication, following chiropractic manipulation. And nutritional support, such as magnesium supplementation, has also proven to be effective.
If you suffer from migraines, talk to your doctor of chiropractic about the drug-free options. Say no to medication and yes to natural care.