Here in our migraine chiropractic clinic in Morgantown, West Virginia, we aim to deliver accurate information to people about migraines. Those who have suffered from migraines before know how debilitating and scary they can be. Unlike what most people believe, migraines are not just terrible headaches. Rather, they have neurological root causes. Although a headache is one of the major symptoms of a migraine, it does not necessarily need to be present when a migraine occurs.
Migraines are one of the most incapacitating illnesses in the world, with 90 percent of people who suffer from them being unable to perform basic daily tasks, go to school or work, or do anything other than lie down and rest until a migraine attack dissipates. Migraine attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours, and they often involve depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. More than 2 out of 10 people who suffer from chronic migraines are disabled. What are chronic migraines?
What Are Chronic Migraines?
To get a chronic migraine diagnosis, you have to experience migraines for more than 15 days in a month for at least three months in a row. People who suffer from chronic migraines are more likely to have the following conditions in comparison to those who suffer from acute migraines:
- Previous head or neck injuries
- Severe headaches
- More disability whether at home or away
- Other health problems such as high blood pressure
- Other chronic pain conditions such as arthritis
Other Types of Migraines
Listed below are the other types of migraines.
Acute migraines are migraines that are not chronic and may be referred to as episodic migraines as they happen every once in a while. Acute migraines occur less than 14 days in a month.
They are also called silent migraines, aura without headache, migraines without headache, or visual migraines without headache. Acephalgic migraines are migraines that come with an aura but are not followed by a headache. People who begin to have migraines after the age of 40 often experience acephalgic migraines, and they commonly include visual symptoms. When you experience acephalgic migraines, you may feel numb, weak, have issues with speech, and be unable to move your body normally. You may also experience an aura that gradually happens over several minutes and moves from one symptom to another.
These are not just headaches, and the term is often used to describe migraines generally. However, this is not a precise way to put it. Some people use this term to describe migraines that come with auras and symptoms of stroke, such as the following:
- Loss of vision
- Trouble speaking
Menstrual migraines are prevalent in as many as 60 percent of women with migraines. This may or may not include an aura, and usually happens during ovulation or before, during, and after menstruation. Research has shown that menstrual migraines are more severe, involve more nausea, and last longer than migraines not associated with menstruation. These migraines are brought about by hormonal level changes.
This rare type of migraine is also known as eye migraines, ocular migraines, ophthalmic migraines, monocular migraines, and retinal migraines, and it usually comes with an aura. The International Headache Society defines optical migraines as attacks on only one eye caused by temporary vision problems that are fully reversible. Symptoms may include the following:
- A blind spot or scotomata (partial loss of vision)
- Scintillations (flashes of light)
- Loss of vision in one eye
Exercise or exhaustion can trigger this type of migraine. About an hour before the headache starts, you will start experiencing problems with your vision. You might experience little to no pain at all in some optical migraines. Most people who have optical migraines also have had another type of migraine in the past.
Although the International Headache Society does not recognize this migraine type, it is essential to recognize that stress can be a big trigger for migraines. Stress brings about tension headaches, and they may get worse and evolve into migraines when the stress becomes consistent. Practicing activities that reduce stress can help improve these migraines.
Vestibular migraines are also known as migraine-associated vertigo. Around 40 percent of people with migraines also have some form of vestibular symptom, which causes feelings of dizziness as if you or your environment is spinning. For this type and other types of migraines, we recommend that you visit a neurologist. The medication for this and the other migraine types are often the same. Different things may trigger vestibular migraines. Thus, you may be able to improve your symptoms by identifying and avoiding your triggers. To do this, using a migraine diary might help. You should also see a vestibular rehabilitation therapist. They will teach you exercises that will help when your dizziness and other symptoms become too severe.
An Effective Natural Treatment for Migraines
Studies have shown a connection between migraines and history of head and neck injuries. Accidents, injuries, and any form of trauma to the head and neck can cause the upper cervical spine to misalign.
The top bones of the upper cervical spine – the C1 and C2 vertebrae – have the important role of protecting the brainstem. It is the communication highway of the body, as this part regulates processes in the body. If the bones that support the brainstem misalign, a lot of problems can happen.
Naturally correcting this misalignment using gentle methods can restore the communication between the brainstem and the body and relieve the symptoms of migraines. You can begin to feel the effects or the improvement of your condition in as few as one to two visits to an upper cervical chiropractor. Visit us here at Mountain State Wellness in Morgantown, West Virginia to have your upper cervical spine checked and see what we can do to relieve your migraines.