The cause of migraines is still somewhat a mystery. Scientists have found a number of neurological and even genetic factors at play in regard to these often life-altering headaches, but haven’t yet identified a primary cause. Unfortunately, since the research is constantly changing, this essentially forces patients to accept treatments that temporarily ease their pain, but don’t offer any long-term solutions.
However, the first step to preventing migraines is discovering the triggers that bring them on. And beyond wine, stress, and chocolate, there’s an extremely common migraine trigger that may just surprise you. It involves tiny knots of muscles in your neck, called myofascial trigger points.
In a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, researchers found that migraine sufferers had increased muscle stiffness and myofascial trigger points in their right sternocleidomastoid and right trapezius neck muscles when compared to headache-free patients.
Myofascial trigger points create a “cycle of pain” in which your migraine headache causes you tense your neck muscles, which leads to knots, which further forces you to constrict your muscles, leading to even more headaches. How can you break this cycle? Through regular spinal manipulations, a chiropractor may be able to provide you migraine relief, if not take your head pain away entirely.
For instance, a recent case study involved a 15-year old male who had a migraine for over a month, along with suffering from a whole other host of issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette syndrome. He engaged in chiropractic care over the course of 19 weeks and, not only did his migraine go away, but his other conditions improved as well.
Beyond this case study, studies involving larger sample sizes show that patients with migraine can expect to experience a 68-90 percent decrease in headache severity by using chiropractic care.
If you suffer from migraines, make an appointment with your chiropractor today. It may be just the treatment you need to become pain-free!
Tali D, et al. Upper cervical mobility, posture and myofascial trigger points in subjects with episodic migraine: Case control study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2014.
Jahangiri JN, Vatankhah N, and Baradaran HR. Reduction of Current Migraine Headache Pain Following Neck Massage and Spinal Manipulation. Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 2012; 5(1): 5–13.
Kuhn K and Cambron J. Chiropractic management using a brain-based model of care for a 15-year-old adolescent boy with migraine headaches and behavioral and learning difficulties: a case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2013) 12, 274-280.
Tuchin P, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2000; 23 (2) 91-95.