The 4 Phases of A Migraine Episode
If you’re among the fortunate who have never endured a migraine episode, then you may not realize that there are many symptoms other than a terrible headache. A migraine attack can actually be made up of four distinct phases, and each brings with it a different set of potential symptoms.
Prodrome phase: This first phase can begin hours or even days before the other phases do. 30%-40% of migraine sufferers experience the prodrome phase, which can consist of digestive problems, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and neck pain.
Aura phase: Approximately 25% experience auras, which are visual changes that precede the headache phase. The visual changes can appear as wavy lines, blind spots, flashes or streaks of light, or blurred vision. The aura phase can also include dizziness, vertigo, and changes in hearing.
Headache phase: This is the phase that most people are familiar with. The headache part of a migraine attack is usually one-sided, though it can affect both sides of the head. The pain is usually throbbing or pulsating and can last up to 72 hours. The pain can also affect the eyes, sinuses, and jaw.
Postdrome phase: The postdrome is sometimes referred to as a migraine “hangover.” For up to a few days after the headache, people can experience extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and trouble with comprehension.
Now that we know the phases of a migraine headache, lets look at the upper neck and how a misalignment of the top bone in your neck may be the cause of recurring migraine episodes.
Finding Migraine Relief with Upper Cervical Chiropractic
A connection between migraines and misalignments of the vertebrae in the upper neck has been observed many times over. If the atlas (C1) or axis (C2) vertebra misalign, it can irritate the nerves and tissues they were designed to protect, compromising blood flow, Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, and brainstem function. A misalignment of the upper neck can also cause spasms in the neck muscles, contributing to the formation of migraines and other headaches.
At HOPE Chiropractic, we work to normalize the alignment of these important vertebrae using gentle and effective techniques. Once we correct the problem, the body works to repair any damaged tissues, restoring health and potentially reducing or eliminating migraines entirely. In fact, in research published in 2015 in the journal BioMed Research International, it was found that upper cervical adjustments caused "changes in migraine-specific outcome assessments...revealed clinically significant improvement in symptoms with a decrease in headache days" in as little as 8 weeks.
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