Migraines and Chiropractic
If you get migraines you may think you already know how to deal with them, or perhaps you have given up trying to alleviate them. Here's the good news: there are things you can do to help!
Know your triggers
Some of the most common triggers are hormonal fluctuations, weather changes, stress, red wine, aged cheese, chemically processed foods, strong odours, bright lights and irritation in your jaw and neck. By steering clear of your triggers, you can limit the effect they have on your body.
Keep a migraine diary
Track your diet, exercise, stress level and symptoms. This will help to identify your triggers and help to keep you on a healthy nutrition and exercise program. For a downloadable migraine diary, visit the Headache Network Canada at headachenetwork.ca.
Watch what you eat and drink
Avoid foods that contain chemicals such as MSG and artificial sweeteners. Generally avoid red and white wine as it contains sulphites and preservatives. If you are really unhappy about giving up your wine, look for organic wines and drink in moderation as they contain fewer preservatives. Reduce the amount of red meat you consume and be very careful with seasonings and preservatives added to some meats, as these also contain chemicals. Cut back on your caffeine intake by limiting tea, coffee and cola. Slowly decrease your consumption and switch to herbal teas and water.
Can Chiropractic Help with Migraines?
Several clinical trials indicate that spinal manipulation therapy helps in the treatment of migraine headaches. In one study of people with migraines, 22% of those who received chiropractic manipulation reported more than a 90% reduction of attacks and 49% reported a significant reduction of the intensity of each migraine.
In another study, people with migraine headaches were randomly assigned to receive spinal manipulation, a daily medication (Elavil), or a combination of both. Spinal manipulation was as effective as Elavil in reducing migraines and had fewer side effects. There was no added benefit to combining the two therapies.
In addition, researchers reviewed 9 studies that tested spinal manipulative therapy for tension or migraine headaches and found that it was as effective as medications in preventing these headaches.