Today we have a guest post from one of Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation’s patients. This comes from thirty year old woman from Middletown, NJ, who had been living with chronic and debilitating migraines since childhood. Here is her story:
I had been living with migraines for so long that I had forgotten what it was like to live without pain and nausea. I can remember experiencing my first migraine headache when I was seven years old. It began with several hours of what appeared to be bright flashing lights, and eventually turned into a two-day ordeal of agonizing pain and vomiting. I was terrified, and so was my mother. She brought me to the doctor immediately and remembers (although I don’t) that I vomited all over the unfortunate pediatrician.
I began to experience severe migraines that would last, on average, around two-three days. This happened to me at least once a month. I was taken to a neurologist, who, after performing a series of tests to rule out other conditions, diagnosed me with migraine.
He attempted to prescribe me Inderal, a blood pressure medication that, twenty-five years later, is still not approved for use with children. When my mother refused, he tried to persuade her to give me an anti-seizure medication. Fortunately, my mother is a very smart woman and, although it hurt her to see me in pain, wouldn’t allow me to take anything stronger than Coke syrup (for the caffeine).
Dr. Dandrea’s Note: Today, more and more people are taking a conservative approach to medication and healthcare; this patient’s mother was ahead of her time in some ways.
I continued to experience migraines occasionally throughout the years until my early twenties, when I start to have terrible headaches on a nearly constant basis. If I wasn’t actually suffering from a headache, I was experiencing the before-and-after neurological symptoms of migraine. Major triggers for me included fluorescent lights and computer screens—and I worked for years in a publishing office behind a computer desk.
Because I live in Middletown, I was referred to Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center’s Red Bank office by a friend who lives in the area. Like many people, I was a complete skeptic but I was willing to try. It was explained to me that migraines, for some people, happen because of a misalignment in the neck. Basically, as I understand it, this misalignment wreaks havoc with the central nervous system (which explains the flashing lights and other neurological symptoms) and puts pressure on and inflames the nerves (causing pain).
I was actually kind of surprised at the simplicity of this explanation, mostly because it made so much sense that I was surprised that no one had mentioned any of this to me before. I actually saw, in an x-ray, the curvature of my neck. Dr. Murray took the time to really show me the difference between a healthy neck curvature and my own.
I immediately began treatment that included chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. This continued for several months, during which period I bounced between being thrilled when I was headache-free, and then skeptical again when I would get another headache.
Eventually, the headaches stopped altogether, and today I have not had a migraine in over two months. And more than simply relieving my pain, fewer migraines also mean a lowered risk of stroke (which I’ve learned is heightened in migraine sufferers).