Migraine Treatment from a Cranial and Chiropractic Approach

Migraines, which come in many forms and are sometimes referred to as a “migraine headache,” vary in intensity and are often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light. Vision can also be affected where some people experience tunnel vision, or even blind spots. The Mayo Clinic states this condition affects millions of Americans every year.

Many of these migraines are debilitating, removing people from activity and the lives they wish to lead. Sometimes, they are suffering from so much pain that medical drugs can’t even reduce the anguish. This can be taxing on many levels of the human body and psyche, affecting many aspects of life from work to family.

As there are many forms of migraines, there are also many forms of treatment. Traditional medical intervention and drugs sometimes work, and sometimes are necessary to help relieve serious migraines. However, these often just leaves migraine sufferers addressing symptoms, but never getting to the heart of the issue.

From a cranial perspective, we often find that old traumas to the head are a big player in the migraines. An example of this was a recent client who is Army veteran and had been strangled in combat. On a weekly basis he would have to utilize pain killers for flares of a migraine right behind his eye. We found a bone that could not move freely in his hard palate, helped him release this, and then added integration in the form of movement for his entire body. He has not had a single migraine since then!

Migraines around or behind the eye are often associated with the sphenoid bone, and the stress it applies to the vision-oriented cranial nerves. However, the stress portion of life and emotions cannot be understated, and the therapists at Denver Pain & Performance Solutions will be able to help localize and identify these triggers. We have many tools to offer, but for helping release these emotional triggers we use a combination of P-DTR® and Cellular Release Therapy®. Cranial work, massage, breath work, and relaxation can all be powerful additions, but getting to the root of the stress, trauma, and emotional responses is especially powerful using CRT®.

– written by Jordan Shane Terry

Migraines are also often related to trigger points in the musculature of the neck. Several muscles that attach to and move the head and neck can have trigger points that refer pain into the head. A trigger point is a tight area of muscle that has begun to create a pain signal larger than itself, and in more areas than just itself. I like to think of this as your body’s way of speaking louder to ask you to change a movement, or do something to change the pain. Repetitive motions, sustained positioning, and reduced motion in the joints of the neck can all contribute to trigger points.

Trigger point release, or Neuromuscular Therapy, are massage techniques that could help reduce symptoms caused by trigger points. Chiropractic assessment could reveal joints that have reduced range of motion and are causing muscle to stay contracted within the neck and upper back. The movement specialists at DPPS can assess your range of motion and daily activities to help create modifications that could reduce your migraine symptoms.

It could be discovered that the activities of your day are not causing migraine as much as the food you may be eating. According to the Mayo Clinic foods that can cause migraine triggers include: aged cheeses, salty food, processed foods with additives such as aspartame (sweetener) or monosodium glutamate-MSG (preservative and flavor enhancer), red wine, and highly caffeinated beverages. Removing these foods from your diet could also help alleviate migraine headaches. As the chiropractor at DPPS, I have had years of experience assisting with relieving the muscular, spinal, and nutritional causes of migraines.

– written by Dr. Victoria Welch