Can Chiropractors Treat Migraines?
Unlike the mild pain of a headache, migraines can cause nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light/sound, intense pain, and a whole host of other symptoms that can interfere with your everyday activities. If you know that there are no underlying illnesses of your migraines, your focus may be on preventive measures, such as knowing your triggers (e.g. too much caffeine) and using medications to decrease the severity or frequency of the migraine. However, one preventative measure that you may be wondering about is chiropractic care. Read on to see how chiropractors could possibly help your migraines.
What Do Studies Say?
One study found that chiropractic care, such as spinal manipulations and massage therapy, could help people with episodic or chronic migraines.
Spinal manipulations are arguably what people think of when they picture chiropractic work. During spinal manipulation, your chiropractor will use his or her hands or small instruments to apply controlled forces to vertebrae. The goal of manipulations is to improve range of motion and to reduce any nerve impingement that could be contributing to/causing migraines. Massage therapy could be helpful for people with migraines because it can improve stress levels and promote better sleep health. Stress and poor sleep habits are common triggers for migraines.
Another study found that chiropractic care, like spinal manipulation, could actually reduce pain intensity and duration of migraine days. The only caveat is that there aren't a lot of studies available at the moment, so while these results are promising, you may need to explore the type/duration of treatments with your chiropractor until you find preventative therapies that work for your needs.
Could a Chiropractor Help with Dietary Triggers?
Besides visiting a chiropractor for spinal manipulations and massage therapy, you may want to visit a chiropractor to discuss dietary needs. Since chiropractors focus on holistic health, many providers provide nutritional counseling. When people think of nutritional counseling, they may think of dieting for weight loss, but your diet is actually an important part of the migraine puzzle since food sensitivities are a common trigger for migraines.
Food sensitivities are different than allergies. While an allergy may result in symptoms right away, you may not experience symptoms of a food sensitivity until a few days later. Your chiropractor can help you construct an elimination diet, where you cut out certain food groups to pinpoint possible triggers for your migraines. One study found that diet restriction based on IgG findings could help reduce migraines.
Reach out to a chiropractor in your area for more information about chiropractic care for migraines.