Migraines are a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurring headaches that are moderate to severe in terms of pain. They can also come with autonomic nervous system symptoms and nausea, photophobia, vomiting, and phonophobia. Migraines are thought to be caused by a mixture of genetics and environmental factors, but some treatment options are available to provide relief to patients.
Our chiropractors believe that migraines begin in the spine, possibly due to vertebral misalignment or subluxation that can irritate nerves and then travel up the spine into the brain. This misalignment can then make a person prone to possible brain chemical imbalances. Some researchers believe that realigning vertebrae can relieve the pressure that is placed against inflamed nerves, which can ultimately relieve headaches.
Pain Relieving Medications
By taking pain-relieving medications as soon as signs or symptoms of a migraine are experienced, symptoms can be eliminated. Some of these pain medications can be purchased over the counter, such as Advil, Tylenol, or Motrin. Many people that suffer from migraines choose to use triptans as they are effective in providing relief from pain, light sensitivity, and nausea. These medications include Imitrex, Maxalt, Axert, and others. Other pain relievers for migraine headaches include:
- Anti-nausea medications
Preventative therapy may be an option for you if you suffer two or more migraine attacks that are considered debilitating each month. If pain-relief medications don’t help or if your migraine is accompanied with weakness, numbness, or a prolonged aura, these medications may also be a good choice. In many cases, these medications won’t eliminate the headache entirely and can cause side effects, but popular options include:
- Cardiovascular drugs
- Anti-seizure drugs
If you have had positive results using preventative medications and have been without a migraine for six months, your physician may try to taper off your drug usage to see if your headaches return.