Many people seek chiropractic for migraine relief. Most get headaches every now and then but for someone who has migraines those headaches can be unbearable. These pulsating headaches can last anywhere from several hours to several days. Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light/sound and an aura are common symptoms. 2.7 million Canadians suffer with migraines, and most will tell you it impacts their family, social and work life – not good.
Certain triggers have been identified such as alcohol and caffeine, and a recent study found that 75% of migraines started after changes in barometric air pressure. While it is easy to make lifestyle changes to avoid alcohol and chocolate, how do you avoid the weather?
Controlling the weather outside is certainly not very likely, but we control how our body reacts to it. Our body responds to drops in pressure (and all of life’s stressors) by processing it through our central nervous system. This consists of our nerves and spinal cord. This in turn is processed through the brainstem, which sits at the bottom of the brain and skull. The top bone in the neck is called the atlas bone and it circles and protects the brain stem and spinal cord.
If this atlas bone moves out of place it not only impacts the spinal cord and brain stem, but research out of Calgary also suggest it alters blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in and out of the brain. This shift in bone position is referred to as a vertebral subluxation. This results in the nervous system not working properly and can lead to headaches and migraines, made worse when air pressure drops. We see time and time again that headache and migraine relief is one of the most common results when the C1 atlas bone is re-aligned with the NUCCA adjustment. The research team in Calgary agreed, finding that when patients had their atlas misalignment corrected they saw notable improvements in migraine symptoms and frequency, along with improvements to overall quality of life.
Dr Andrew Moore