Can Chiropractic Adjustment Help In Migraine Relief?

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Either frequently or periodically, one shouldn't live and endure migraines and tension headaches. Often, muscle contractions in the head or neck area cause migraines and tension headaches. Some of the common factors that can trigger migraines are bright screen, loud music, and lack of food or water. But there is a natural and non-medication solution.

People who have migraines seek help from a chiropractor; however, a study says that any pain relief they get might be a placebo effect. Although before doctors have looked down on the placebo effect, there’s a phenomenon where people get better after they had sugar pills or other phony therapy.

What is Migraine?


A migraine is a throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation on one side of the head. It usually comes with nausea, vomiting, and excessive sensitivity to light and sound. The usual length of time for migraine attacks can take from an hour to a day where the pain can be severely interfering with daily activities.

Some people experience a warning symptom called aura that occurs before or with a headache. There are specific medicines for migraines to lessen the pain, but it usually comes with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of Migraine

Migraines can be experienced by a child, teens, or young adults. It has four stages, the prodome, aura, attack, and post-drome. However, not everyone goes through all those four stages.


One or two days prior to your migraine, you may notice subtle changes that serve as a warning of an upcoming migraine episode.

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
  • Food cravings
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Frequent yawning


Aura occurs differently in every individual. Some might go through it before or during migraines. They are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They are commonly visual, but may also include other disturbances. Often, each symptom starts gradually, and then it grows up in several minutes that may last for 20 to 60 minutes.

Common aura includes:

  • Visual phenomena like seeing various shapes, bright spots, or flashes of lights.
  • Loss of vision
  • Some pins and needles sensation on arms or legs
  • Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
  • Hearing noises
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Uncontrollable jerking or movements of the body


Migraines can last from 4 to 72 hours if left untreated. A migraine can occur differently from person to person. It may happen rarely or many times in a month. Some of the things you may experience during a migraine:

Pain on one side of the head, or both sides

Throbbing or pulsing pain

Light or sound sensitivity and for others, smell or touch

Nausea and vomiting


Most people feel drained, confused, or lost for a day every day after a migraine attack. Others reported they felt elated, and a few sudden head movements may trigger the pain again.

When to see a doctor?

Migraines are commonly undiagnosed and untreated. Suppose you suffer from migraines or experience symptoms regularly—note of your attacks and how you were able to treat them. See a doctor discuss the type of headache you had, especially if you have a history of headaches, to find if there are some changes in the pattern or suddenly feel different.

If you have the following signs and symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. It indicates a more severe problem.

  • A thunderclap headache like an earthquake
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, double vision, or trouble speaking
  • Headache after a head injury
  • Severe headache, especially after coughing, exertion, or abrupt body or head movement
  • Unusual headache pain after reaching 50 yrs old.

Causes of Migraine

There might be no exact causes of migraines, but genetics and environmental factors play an important role. One of the known causes is the brainstem's changes and its connection with the trigeminal nerve, involving the main pathway. So there might be chemical imbalances in the brain that involve serotonin that helps regulate pain in your nervous system. Researchers are currently studying how the serotonin affects the migraines. Some neurotransmitters also play an essential role in the migraine's pain and the calcitonin gene-related peptide.

Migraine Triggers

There are a lot of things that trigger migraines.

  • Hormonal changes in women. The estrogen amount varies among women, such as during periods, pregnancy, and menopause, which can trigger women's headaches.
  • Hormonal medications. Oral contraceptives and hormonal replacement therapy can increase migraine pain. For some women they find their migraines to occur less often when they are taking these medications.
  • Drinks. Alcohol, wine, and too much caffeine like coffee.
  • Stress. Stress can cause migraines.
  • Sensory stimuli. Sunlight or any bright lights and loud sounds can trigger migraines, even strong smells like perfume, paint, thinner and second-hand smoke.
  • Sleep changes. Missed sleep or having too much sleep or jet lag can trigger migraines.
  • Physical factors. Intense physical exertion and even sexual activity can trigger migraines.
  • Weather changes. Changes in weather or barometric pressure can provoke a migraine.
  • Foods. Aged cheese, salty, and processed foods can trigger migraines.
  • Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and other preservatives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) are found in many kinds of food.

How can Chiropractic help migraines?

Chiropractic is a health care profession where chiropractors work on adjusting (manipulating) the spine and other parts of the body. This treatment aims to align problems, ease pain, and support the natural ability of the body to heal itself. Other treatments are done using

  • Heat and ice
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Rehabilitative and general exercise
  • Counseling on a diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors
  • Dietary supplements

A chiropractic adjustment is a method wherein trained specialists to use their hands or a small instrument to apply manageable force to the affected area. Chiropractic treatment is mainly used to relieve pain and the best option to treat pain on muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue. It is used as a conventional medical treatment.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, about 12% of Americans have migraines. Some medications prescribed by the doctors are used to treat acute migraine attacks or help to prevent them.

Some people who have migraines want to lessen their medication use or avoid drugs, so they are going for low-risk options like acupuncture or chiropractic care. They may try these therapies alone or with medication. However, it does not have to be, which is which but people should consider first the safe option. This incorporation of approaches had shown that chiropractic techniques could relieve migraines, although it has already been used for hundreds of years. It helps treat neck pain and all sorts of headaches. Through chiropractic technique, joint mobility and nervous systems improved, resulting in the body to gain abilities in better managing the pain caused by migraines.

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DISCLAIMER: This site does not constitute a doctor patient relationship, and is not to be confused with medical advice. All injuries are unique, and the doctor must examine the patient before recommendations can be made.
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