Migraine headache symptoms can vary from one person to another. The most common symptom is a throbbing pain in the head, usually focused on the sides. The pain may occur on only one side or on both sides of the head. Many patients experience nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and scent sensitivity as well. Some people have auras, visual disturbances that make them see flashing lights, irregular zigzag lines, stars or shimmering light patterns. These auras often happen an hour or less before the onset of head pain.
It varies by person and by situation, but migraines generally last from four to 72 hours.
Changes in the blood vessels that supply blood flow to the brain appear to be the cause of migraines. It is not known why the blood vessels do this sudden constriction and dilation, however. Some people are more likely to suffer from migraines. One increased risk factor is gender, as women are more likely to have migraines than men. Genetics appears to play a role as well since people are more likely to have migraines if one or both of their parents also had them. There are also a number of controllable risk factors, including dehydration, poor sleep habits, smoking and consumption of caffeine.
In many cases, chiropractic care can dramatically reduce or even eliminate migraine headaches without medication. When the vertebrae in the neck are misaligned, they will often pinch the nerves in the area. This interference may lead to migraines. The chiropractor can gently guide the vertebrae into the correct position, which can dramatically reduce or eliminate migraine symptoms. There are also several lifestyle changes that the chiropractic care provider can recommend. Identifying and avoiding migraine triggers can be a very effective type of prevention when coupled with chiropractic adjustments.
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