As much as you may be appreciating the arrival of warmer temperatures here in Ottawa, migraine sufferers can find this time of year particularly challenging. The frequent swings in atmospheric pressure that come with the changing weather systems at this time of year can have sufferers reeling.
“But didn’t you say migraines aren’t caused by the weather”? Yes I did. I understand that many of you have been told to blame your migraines on the weather but the reality is, if atmospheric pressure (AP) was the cause of migraines, everyone would be suffering migraines along with you during this challenging season. The point is, weather changes may be a ‘trigger’ but it’s not a ’cause’ of migraines.
So, what’s the underlying cause then?
In my 20 years of experience as a downtown Ottawa chiropractor, in the vast majority of migraine headache sufferers I’ve seen, the underlying cause has been what is termed ‘vertebral subluxation’. Vertebral subluxations occur when the joints between the spinal bones don’t move properly or become misaligned due to certain stresses or strains in life. Sports injuries, slips and falls, habitually poor postures, and even getting squeezed out during the birth process are just a few examples of what can contribute to vertebral subluxations.
For migraine sufferers (and those suffering from many other types of headaches), the subluxations are typically found in the upper neck near the base of the skull. Sometimes these dysfunctional spinal joints will also cause neck stiffness or pain before or during the headache, but not always. Over time, subluxations can alter the proper curve of the spinal column in the neck causing a gradual process of increasing tension in the spinal cord. This spinal cord tension may not only be the main contributing factor to your headaches but also to many other health issues.
Although a growing number of medical specialists are now sending their headache/migraine suffering patients to chiropractors for functional and structural spinal assessments, this may not have been your experience. Instead, you may have been given powerful medications (that come with serious side effects) that may reduce your symptoms but will never correct the cause.
If the cause of your migraines is vertebral subluxation, the only way you’ll know is by having a thorough chiropractic check-up including spinal x-ray analysis. If subluxations are found, a care plan to stabilize them will be established, as well as to address any structural problems that may be present.
I’ve seen countless numbers of people released from the prison sentence of migraine headaches and their shackled dependence on health damaging medications that give no hope of future improvement.
If you’re suffering from migraines or other headaches or you know someone who does, it’s time for real change. Your ‘prison break’ could start with a simple chiropractic check-up.
Don’t wait another day to make your appointment!
……because there’s so much more….
Dr. Derek Haughton