Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this afternoon to write a little about Migraines. More specifically, I am going to write about the Classic Migraine, and tomorrow I will write about the Common Migraine. There are actually several different types of Migraines, but we will focus on these two.
It was once believed that Migraines stemmed from a lack of blood flow to the brain; however, we now believe them to neurogenic in nature. Migraine with aura (visual disturbance prior to the headache) also known as the Classic Migraine accounts for approximately 10-15% of all Migraines. I will not get into the actual cause of these Migraines because it is quite complex, and it will make me sound a whole lot smarter than I actually am. However, there appears to be a wide variety of triggers for these headaches. These triggers include, but are not limited to, variation in sleeping or eating habits, environmental pollutants, certain medications (including vasodilators), and food. When it comes to food, the primary triggers are chocolate, caffeine, nitrates, cheese, nuts, wine, and many others. I son’t want to blame these headaches on female hormones because everything that occurs to women seems to get blamed on hormones, but there is a hormonal component to these headaches. In fact, as we age these Migraines become more and more predominant in women. Based on symptoms present during the prodromal phase and during aura the Migraines can become more complicated, which we can then break the Classic Migraine into subcategories.
These individuals generally come into my office (mostly female) complaining of one-side throbbing headaches that are preceded by visual disturbances known as aura. The prodrome consists of a progressively increasing blind spot surrounded by flashing lights known as scintillation. This lasts for approximately 30 minutes, and it is then replaced by a completely disabling headache that lasts for several hours and up to possibly 1- 3 days, which leads this individual to seek out a dark and quiet environment. The individual often complains of nausea and vomiting, and they tend to have a history of similar headaches in their family.
We have had some success in our office treating patients with Migraines, but I would never recommend that it be the only source of treatment that they receive. Nutritional supports that have shown to be very effective in treatment are feverfew, 5-HTP, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D, and riboflavin. Supplementation with magnesium prior to the female monthly period may prevent Menstrual Migraines. Individuals that are taking ergots, aspirin, or NSAIDs for longer than three days should be warned that they could face a Rebound Migraine that could possibly occur.
If you are struggling with Migraines, give us a call. We can help! (480) 366-4041