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If you have ever suffered from a headache or migraine, you know all too well how painful and miserable it can be. With a migraine in particular, the attacks can last from four to 72 hours. Migraine is differentiated from other types of headaches in that the condition often presents as a four-stage process from start to finish. Not all migraineurs suffer from all four phases all of the time; a person who experiences all of them is considered a ‘classic’ migraineur.
These four stages begin with the prodrome, which may be experienced as changes in mood (depression or elation), sleepiness, digestive problems (diarrhea or constipation), and/or stiff muscles. The second stage is called the aura, which involves visual dysfunction such as flashes of white, black, or colored lights or blurred vision. Other neurological symptoms may also occur at this time, including olfactory or auditory hallucinations, numbness, or vertigo.
At some point, the migraine patient will begin to experience extreme pain on one side of the head (unilaterally). Sensitivity to light, odors, motion, and sounds may accompany this pain. Nausea is also common. The final stage is the prodrome, wherein the sufferer will begin to feel relief from pain and may be tired, depressed, and may continue to have some level of pain and/or stomach problems. Some patients experience a burst of energy or euphoria.
The kind of treatment for headaches will depend on what is causing the headaches. Each year millions of dollars are spent treating headaches with aspirin and other drugs. While this may help in some cases, it is often not treating the cause of the problem. Chiropractors are often able to work at the source of the problem which can help you prevent the need for headache medications.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
If you would like to find out how customized treatments with a chiropractor in Augusta GA and a chiropractor in Evans GA that specializes in treating headaches and migraines, may help you, you can schedule a complimentary consultation. Many times our patients did not realize that specialized chiropractic care can successfully treat headaches and migraines. Many of our patients were previously on prescription medication as well as regularly taking over-the-counter medications, with little to no success. The usual medications prescribed for migraine pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), butalbital combinations (sedative in combination with aspirin, acetaminophen, and/or caffeine) triptans, anti-nausea medications, and opiates. These drugs carry a number of risks, including Gastrointestinal Bleeding (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, when taken long-term and in high doses); Kidney and Liver Damage (long-term NSAID usage); and Rebound Headaches (Opiates, Butalbital, and NSAIDs).