If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know how debilitating it can be. It’s hard to explain the effects to someone who’s never had one—and it’s just as hard to know how to make them stop.
Though it may not be intuitive, many people struggling with migraines seek help from an unlikely corner: the chiropractor. An estimated 35 million people visit their local chiropractor each year. It’s safe to say that their complaints range far beyond simple back pain!
Unlike many pain treatments, chiropractic care services can help address the underlying causes of your migraines. That’s in addition to their impact on your health overall, of course—but how does it work?
If you’re not sure how chiropractic treatment can help ease your headaches, here’s what you should know.
Understanding Migraine Headaches
Although migraines are associated with the head, they can often stem from other parts of the body. Tension in the neck or upper back can contribute to headaches, and neck pain or spinal pain can be key signs that your migraine has an underlying cause that can be addressed through chiropractic care.
It’s worth noting that migraine triggers themselves, from bright lights to loud music, may have little to do with your spinal tension. Despite this, taking steps to relieve your pain via chiropractic care can help.
When you seek out a chiropractor to manage your pain, you’ll find that these professionals start by identifying skeletal misalignments in your spine.
Through spinal adjustments, they’ll work to treat your migraines. This often happens without the need for prescription or over-the-counter pain meds. To do this, your chiropractor will place you in specific positions to apply controlled force to your joints and spine.
These spinal adjustments can help you in several areas:
- Relieving tension and stress
- Decreasing inflammation
- Increasing joint mobility
- Improving nervous system function
- Improving overall spinal health
- Improving physical performance
At the end of the day, your chiropractor’s care can help correct spinal issues that may be causing or contributing to your tension headaches.
This can help you feel some immediate relief from those headaches, though it alone may not be enough to keep them at bay for good. You may need further spinal adjustments to see long-term effects. You’ll also need to work with your chiropractor to understand other lifestyle changes you should make, as discussed below.
Though spinal adjustments can help, poor posture habits can reverse the treatment of even the best chiropractor. Bad posture can have a negative impact on your spine, neck, and upper back, so it’s important to understand how to make lifestyle adjustments. Keeping tension and strain from your neck and spine can help you minimize or eliminate your migraines in the future.
The best chiropractic practice will work with you to help you understand how your posture affects your current spinal health. They can also offer advice on how to make postural adjustments.
In general, a chiropractor will make a few key recommendations to help you alleviate posture-related damage.
First, you may need to update your workspace and seated posture. Working from home during the pandemic has made many of us more likely to hunch over the kitchen table or slump on the sofa. However, this isn’t the best posture for your spine.
Instead, you’ll want to reconsider your desk’s ergonomics. Your chiropractor should be able to recommend specific supportive chairs or products for your lumbar region or upper back, as needed. You’ll also need to work on achieving a “neutral spine” posture, a feat your chiropractor can guide you through.
You should also take breaks throughout the day to avoid sitting in a single static position. Your chiropractor may recommend taking up a few specific postures to ease tension and pain throughout the day. For example, many people who suffer from migraines benefit from certain recovery postures, like yoga poses that lengthen the affected neck and upper spine area.
Last, you may need to change up your sleeping habits! Depending on your needs, a chiropractor may recommend sleeping on your back. They may also recommend specific supportive pillows or products to help you get a better rest while keeping your spine in check.
Further Care and Advice
In addition to postural changes, there are other habits that may have a positive impact on your headaches. Working with a chiropractor can mean better access to specific tips that help you relieve stress, pain, and misalignment in the long run.
For example, your chiropractor may recommend taking up a few specific activities to get your body moving in certain ways.
Some patients may benefit from yoga, for example, while others may need aerobic exercise. Some people may not be able to take up jogging, while others may find it soothing on the spine. Your chiropractor can help you decide which activities will be beneficial to your health without reversing the spinal adjustments they’ve made.
When you do experience a migraine, your chiropractor may also be able to recommend specific strategies for how to get rid of a headache. In many cases, relaxation and meditation techniques can help. Finding effective ways to soothe stress can reduce the tension in your spine and the back of your neck as well.
Finally, if a combined treatment may help alleviate your tension headaches fast, a chiropractor may be able to recommend a physical therapist or massage therapist in your area to help you further. This may be necessary for severe cases, but your doctor can help you come up with a treatment plan to help.
Know When to Seek Out Chiropractic Care Services
When you’re struggling with migraines and tension headaches, it’s crucial to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Chiropractic care services can help you when these headaches become debilitating or impact your life in severe ways, so make sure to seek out an expert when you need to. With a treatment plan in place, you’ll find that your tension headaches may recede into the distance in no time!
For more of the health tips you need to know, be sure to check out our other handy guides.