Often a misalignment of the neck—a subluxation—can irritate the nerves that travel the length of the spine to and from the brain. This misalignment causes the migraine sufferer to be more prone to chemical imbalances in the brain. Realigning the vertebrae can relieve the pressure against inflamed nerves and alleviate the headaches.
Our doctors at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation have found a very interesting correlation between one specific type of spinal misalignment in the neck and migraine headaches. This misalignment is called a cervical kyphosis (commonly known as a reverse curvature of the neck).
The normal position of the neck is designed to be straight from the front. From the side, the neck was designed to have a C-shaped curve. This is also known as a lordosis. This C-shape curve is actually an arc or part of a circle. In nature, structures like this are strong and able to withstand considerable loading. In the case of the neck, this C-shape lordosis allows the neck to both protect the nerves and hold up the head.
A reversed curvature in the neck can occur in one of two ways. The first is from trauma. The other way the neck can become reversed is from abnormal posture over time. In both cases, the end result is the same. A considerable amount of stress is placed upon the spinal nerves, which become irritated. These irritated nerves disrupt blood flow along the spinal cord and into the brain which can cause the migraine headache.
Researchers at Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minnesota recently compared chiropractic care with drug therapies for migraines and chronic tension headaches*. Two hundred and eighteen headache patients were given either drug therapy or regular chiropractic care. While both groups reported a reduction in headache pain at the end of the study, only the chiropractic group still had a decrease in pain four weeks after discontinuing all care.
This study clearly highlights the best aspect of chiropractic care for migraine—that it is a long term solution for a chronic problem. A painkiller may temporarily relieve suffering, but chiropractic care targets the very cause of the disorder.
Chiropractic treatment is also drug-free, allowing the patient relief from pain without the damaging side effects often seen with medical treatment. There is also no risk of rebound headaches, and this type of care may help to avert worst case scenarios (including stroke) by reducing the frequency or eliminating the symptoms of migraine.
The team of chiropractors at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation uses many established techniques to treat spinal misalignment, a cause of migraine. Of the many treatment options offered, the primary analysis used is known as Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP). This is a higher level of chiropractic that uses a comprehensive, systematic, and scientific approach for reliable results for many disorders, including migraine.
To learn more about how the team at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation can treat and ultimately cure migraine, please contact our offices for a complimentary consultation.
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*The study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.