Migraines are more than just a headache. They are severe, painful and recurring. Having a migraine impacts daily life for sufferers and can last for hours or even days. Stress, dehydration, food, preservatives and sweeteners, sensory stimulation, hormonal changes, medications, sleep cycle changes, physical stress and weather changes are all triggers for migraines. Migraines can occur with or without an aura.
Without an aura, migraines usually last between 4 to 72 hours if it’s not treated or if treatment doesn’t work and isn’t caused by another health problem or diagnosis. There will be at least two traits that will happen if you are experiencing a migraine without an aura, they are:
- Occurs only on one side of the head
- Pain is pulsating or throbbing
- Pain level is moderate or severe
- Pain gets worse when you move like when walking or climbing stairs
And at least one of these traits:
- Sensitive to light
- Sensitive to sound
- Nauseous with or without vomiting or diarrhea
Having a migraine with an aura is grouped into 4 different phases, which are:
Phase 1: Prodrome- warning up to 72 hours before the pain hits. Signals can include severe exhaustion or hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating, food cravings, sleepiness and neck pain.
Phase 2: Aura- Seeing sparkly spots, zigzag lines or tunnel vision which last between 20 to 60 minutes. You may also experience vertigo, tinnitus and temporary paralysis on one side of the body.
Phase 3: Headache- Throbbing, piercing or pulsating. Sensitive to light, sound and smell. Physical activity makes these symptoms worse. Headache can last for hours or days.
Phase 4: Postdrome- Once pain goes away the body needs to recover. You may feel exhausted, sluggish, confused and even depressed.
1. Massage– Pressure, movement and vibration are used to promote relaxation and healing. Massage releases serotonin and blocks pain signals.
- Promotes circulationby increasing blood flow in areas that may be lacking it
- Decreases pain from trigger points
- Relieves muscle spasms and tension which can help loosen tight muscles. Also helps with muscle balance and neck alignment
- Regulates certain hormones by decreasing the stress hormone, cortisol, and increasing endorphins, promotes relaxation, improves quality of sleep which means fewer headaches
2. Manual Osteopathy–Can relieve migraines by correcting blockages, improper joint structure and stiff muscles. Osteopathy will use some of their techniques to help relieve the migraine, such as: soft tissue massage and stretching, joint mobilization and/or manipulation to stiff areas, postural advice and exercise advice, etc.
- Improve circulation of blood and bodily fluids in the lymphatic system
- Correcting oxygen blockages caused by hypertension
- Releasing tension in the muscles, joints and nerves
- Prevent painful muscle spasms
- Restore basic function and mobility
3. Acupuncture– Stimulates the nerves to release hormones that trigger a response from your body.
- Relieves pain naturally by prompting the body to release natural painkillers
- Relaxes muscular tension by signalling the brain through the nervous system to direct blood flow to the affected areas.
- Reduces stress and regulates the body’s stress response
4. Reflexology– pressure is applied to points to release energy through the body and heal the ailment from within.
- Reduces stress and tension
- Improves nervous function
- Improves blood circulation
If you are suffering from migraines then do not hesitate to call Ultimate Health Clinic at (905) 251-0162.