If you get debilitating, recurring headaches 15 days or more per month, you could have a condition called chronic migraine. National Women’s Health Resource Center, Inc. estimates that up to 5 percent of the population experiences chronic migraine, and the majority of sufferers are women. Fortunately, treatments exist to prevent migraines from getting in the way of playing with your kids, having a successful career, and socializing with friends on the weekends.
Symptoms of Chronic Migraine
You have to exhibit certain symptoms to be diagnosed with chronic migraine. First, you must experience tension headaches, migraines, or both 15 days a month or more for at least three months. Then, your headaches must meet two or more of the following criteria at least eight times a month:
- Rank from moderate to severe
- Occur on only one side of your head
- Produce pulsating pain
- Be brought on or worsened by routine physical activity
- Cause nausea, vomiting, or both
- Be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound
Causes of Chronic Migraine
Many factors—including physical conditions, environmental triggers, and genetics—may cause occasional headaches to worsen and become chronic migraines. Here’s what puts you at risk:
- Suffering a closed head injury
- Having a family history of chronic migraine
- Being female (women are three times more likely to have migraines than men)
- Being overweight
- Having depression and anxiety
- Experiencing high stress levels
- Overusing medications to relieve headaches
- Sleeping too much or too little (six to eight hours is ideal)
- Having sleep apnea
- Changing your eating habits, such as skipping meals
- Consuming alcohol and caffeine, smoking, and taking certain medications
Treatments for Chronic Migraine
With a combination of treatments, you should be able to reduce the pain from chronic migraines and, more importantly, avoid these headaches altogether.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Keep a diary to track your recurring headaches and help you pinpoint your triggers. Write down the food you eat, what activities you engage in, and how these things make you feel. This will help you choose what lifestyle changes to make, which may include some of the following:
- Start a diet and exercise program with your doctor’s guidance to help you lose weight
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation
- Seek treatment for sleep apnea if you have this condition
- Avoid certain foods that seem to cause migraines
- Minimize or avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption
Visit a Chiropractor
The chronic migraine treatments chiropractors offer are natural, non-invasive, and drug-free. At Spine Correction Center of the Rockies, we strive to deliver lasting results for migraine sufferers with these techniques:
- Spinal decompression: If your recurring headaches originate in the spine, this non-surgical treatment could prove extremely effective. The purpose is to gently stretch your spine and take pressure off compressed discs and pinched nerves in the spinal column, including the cervical spine in your neck.
- Chiropractic manipulation: Similar to spinal decompression, this treatment aims to prevent headaches caused by a misaligned spine. With your vertebrae aligned properly, you may experience fewer migraines.
- Non-steroidal trigger point injections: Trigger points, or nodules of knotted muscles in your back, could cause referred pain in the form of recurring headaches. Trigger point injections promote healing of dysfunctional muscles, which may ease your chronic migraine symptoms if this is a contributing factor.
- Food intolerance testing: If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, recurring headaches could be a side effect. With the ALCAT test, you can discover definitively what foods to avoid, whether they cause migraines or other problems.
- Tx360 headache treatment: We are excited to offer a safe, innovative acute treatment for chronic migraine called Tx360. This is a nasal spray product that reaches the nerves near the nasal cavity called the sphenopalatine ganglion, which are responsible for many types of headaches. A randomized, double-blind study published in 2014 found that test subjects receiving Tx360 experienced a notable reduction in pain 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 24 hours after treatment. It’s a simple product to use with no significant or lasting side effects.
Begin Chronic Migraine Treatment at Spine Correction Center
If your goal is to prevent most of your migraines and effectively treat pain when an attack does occur, Spine Correction Center has the solutions you seek. We’re eager to share our techniques with you and help you find the right solution for your chronic migraines.
To schedule your free consultation, please call us at (970) 658-5115 or contact us online today!