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Posted on 06-22-2017

Everyone has experienced the dreaded, head pounding, eyes sensitive to light, nauseating, thunder bursts that occur in your head—the migraine. A migraine has many causes that could lead to its unwelcoming presence in your head, and we are going to explore a few.

But first, what is a migraine? A migraine is when a throbbing or pulsating sensation occurs on one side of the head typically from abnormal brain activity that causes alterations in nerve and chemical signals that are sent throughout the brain. Migraines are usually accompanied with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, possible lightheadedness or dizziness, or blurred vision. A person can have chronic migraines or have them occur randomly. However, some precursors exist to migraines such as neck stiffness, constipation, food cravings, mood changes, and the presence of auras, or changes in your visual pathway, like light disturbances or patterns. After the migraine ‘attack,’ a person will generally feel washed out and extremely fatigued, and may also experience dizziness, confusion, or weakness.

The main source of migraines is still unknown, but there are many known associated factors that contribute to the presence of migraines overall. If you are someone who suffers from chronic migraines, you are probably aware of your personal triggers when you sense the oncoming sensation of the migraine. However, for the many that only suffer from them randomly, factors such as allergies, bright lights or loud noises, physical or emotional stress, irregular sleep patterns, smoking, skipping meals, dehydration, alcohol, the presence of an existing tension headache, and some medications including sleeping tablets, contraceptive pills, and hormone replacement therapy. Even though these are known factors that can contribute to the presence of a migraine, there is no guarantee that ridding or reducing the triggers will prevent migraines entirely.

If you are someone who experiences constant migraines, you may want to consult your doctor on possible treatment options to help alleviate or eradicate your migraines. However, there are several lifestyle modifications that are available to help prevent the occurrence of migraines altogether, such as learning to cope with stress in a healthy manner, creating a consistent daily schedule, and exercising regularly. Many migraines are brought on by stress, which is one of the main trigger factors that a person can control with different and new techniques, like learning to talk out your problems with others, finding a new hobby that you enjoy to relax yourself, or learning new methods to reduce the stressor itself.

Even though there are general triggers that can increase the prevalence of migraines, there are several risk factors, or things you cannot change, that may also increase your risk of migraines, such as gender, age, and family history. Most people will experience at least one migraine throughout their lifetime and they typically first occur during adolescence and subside after 30 years old. Before puberty, though, boys typically experience migraines more than girls. After puberty, women are three times more likely to have migraines over men. In addition, if a close relative has had a history of migraines, you will most likely experience them as well. In fact, almost 90% of migraine patients have a family history of them too.

Migraines are a mysterious, yet well-known phenomenon that continues to be researched as time passes on. With continued efforts, the exact source of migraines may become known, but for now, we can only help with knowing certain risk factors and triggers that increase the prevalence of the dreaded, head-throbbing headache. If you experience headaches, our chiropractic techniques may help to alleviate your migraines. Come visit Pelphrey Chiropractic in Lexington, KY that proudly serves the greater Lexington area! 

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