Migraine Headaches

Affected by Migraine Headaches? Find Out How We Can Help.

Migraines are a common type of headache affecting millions of Americans on a frequent or chronic basis. In fact, 1 in 4 U.S. households have at least one person living in them who suffers with migraine headaches.


Unfortunately, many of the people who develop migraines do so chronically. Approximately 37 million Americans have migraines occasionally, and some – approximately 3 million – have them a minimum of 15 days per month.


Migraine headaches can be severely debilitating and often affect a person’s ability to function in day-to-day life. It is not uncommon for people with migraines to miss out on important events, even missing work, school or social activities. Sometimes, frequent migraines can lead to secondary complications, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.


Anyone can get migraines, but certain people groups seem to be more predisposed to them than others. Specifically, migraines affect women at a rate of 3 to 1 in comparison to men. They are also most common in people between the ages of 35 and 55. Caucasians may be more inclined to develop migraines, as are people with a family history of the condition.


People with migraine headaches should not ignore the symptoms as “normal” headaches. In actuality, a migraine is a combination of neurological problems for which the headache may be only one of many symptoms. Signs that a headache may be a migraine include:



  • Pulsing or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head

  • Blurred vision

  • Faintness or dizziness

  • Sensory sensitivity, such as to light, sound or smell

  • Nausea and/or vomiting


These symptoms may or may not accompany a migraine attack. However, many people who get frequent migraine attacks notice additional symptomatic patterns preceding or following a headache. This may include:



  • Prodrome – The stage in which subtle symptoms appear one to two days prior to a migraine; symptoms may include neck stiffness, irritability, frequent yawning.

  • Aura – The stage occurring in the minutes immediately preceding a migraine; symptoms may include visual disturbances, speech impairment, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the limbs.

  • Postdrome – The stage occurring after a migraine attack; some people feel exhausted or drained of energy during this phase.

Anyone can get migraine headaches – including children. It is unknown exactly why some people develop migraines, though a combination of genetics, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors seem to trigger the onset of attacks. Examples of common migraine triggers include:



  • hormonal changes in women

  • certain smells

  • weather changes

  • food additives like artificial sweeteners

  • stress

  • lack of sleep

  • Pressure on the brainstem from misaligned vertebra effecting cranial nerve ten (vagus) not to communicate properly to the vascular system, causing the body not to regulate blood pressure properly.

  • Misalignment of any of the cervical bones in the neck can put pressure on the vertebral artery which supplies blood to the brain, especially the middle meningeal artery, which is considered the most common cause of migraines.


Many people never seek help for their chronic migraines, instead opting to treat them with over-the-counter medications or seek no treatment at all. This is unfortunate, considering there are natural methods, such as upper cervical care, that may be able to relieve the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.


At Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Spartanburg, we understand how debilitating frequent migraines can be. We are highly trained in helping people with a history of chronic migraines.


Using techniques that address only the upper cervical area of the spine – the Atlas and the Axis – we work to minimize the severity and frequency of migraines as naturally as possible. For more information about upper cervical chiropractic care for migraine headaches, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.