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What is the Difference Between a Headache and a Migraine?

what-is-the-difference-between-a-headache-and-a-migraineHaving a severe headache does not necessarily mean that you are experiencing a migraine. There different types of headaches that produce different levels and types of pain. In this article, we will discuss some of the more definitive signs of a migraine headache.

Migraines

An estimated 28 million US residents get migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation. Among those affected, most are women. This type of headache can be so excruciating that it interrupts a person’s ability to function in daily life. Here is a list of several migraine symptoms:

  • Moderate to severe throbbing and pounding head pain
  • The whole head can be affected, or the pain can shift from one side to the other
  • Sensitivity to noise, light, or odors
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling very warm or very cold
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Seeing flashing lights, dots, or blind spots

Certain foods may trigger migraines. For example, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine have been known to trigger migraines in some people. Other culprits are skipping a meal, getting too little sleep, using tobacco or being stressed. The question is, what can be done for relief from migraines?

Care Options

Generally, the first place people turn to is their doctor, who normally prescribes a pain medication to take upon migraine onset. The problem is that many of these medications come with harmful side-effects, and they only manage the symptoms without resolving the underlying problem.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Migraines

Upper Cervical Chiropractors have a thorough knowledge of the how the spinal structure directly impacts the effectiveness of the central nervous system and how this may be a key to the origin of migraines in their patients. The upper neck is composed of the atlas and axis, two vertebra that house the brainstem. Any misalignment to this area can cause upsets to the brainstem, disrupting vital signals for the brain and body’s connection, causing migraine symptoms. With specialized training in this unique part of the spine, upper cervical chiropractors can correct these types of alignment issues with precision and very little pressure. Many patients report that their migraines become less frequent and milder, and some patients even report that their migraines have stopped completely.

References:

  1. Ferri, Fred MD. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor, 2012 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2012.

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