Migraines affect 12% of the population and affect women more than men (3:1). They are caused by a dilation of the artery on the side of the head and a release of chemicals from the surrounding nerves, which results in inflammation and pain. An intense throbbing/pounding feeling occurs in one side of the head (1/3 of the time on both sides) and can last from 4 – 72 hours. Migraines may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They are usually recurrent and chronic.
A 2003 study involving 400 headache sufferers asked each patient a nine-question survey at their doctors’ offices. Afterwards, they were sent to a headache specialty centre, where they had their headaches diagnosed without knowledge of their survey answers. Later, researchers were able to narrow it down to 3 questions to solidly determine if their headaches were migraines.
If you answer yes to at least 2 of these 3 questions, you could have a migraine.
Has a headache limited your activities for a day or more in the last three months?
Are you nauseated or sick to your stomach when you have a headache?
Does light bother you when you have a headache?
The researchers estimated that these 3 questions could accurately identify 93% of people with migraines. These questions work regardless of sex, age, presence of other headaches or previous diagnosis.
What Can You Do To Relieve Your Suffering?
A study published in the February 2000 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that people suffering with migraine headaches were helped with chiropractic care. In this research, 177 volunteers had on average been suffering with migraines for an average of over 18 years and many also suffered from neck pain.
The average response of the group that received chiropractic care showed a statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration and disability. The study also showed that those who received chiropractic care were able to reduce their medication use, many reducing their medication use to zero. Additionally, 59% had no neck pain after two months, and another 35% had a decrease in neck pain.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics February 2000