Migraine headaches affect 39 million adults and children in the United States. This neurological condition typically involves severe, stabbing or throbbing pain, and is known for a number of other symptoms such as: visual disturbances; nausea and/or vomiting; dizziness; extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell; and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. Due to this complicated array of symptoms, migraines can be so severe they can leave sufferers incapacitated for hours, even days, at a time.
The impact of migraine headaches on our nation’s health and wellbeing is enormous. According to the Migraine Research Foundation:
- Nearly 25% of American homes include at least 1 person who has migraines
- Health care costs can be as much as 70% higher for families with a migraine sufferer.
- Migraines commonly run in families. If one parent has migraines, the child will have a 50% chance of inheriting the condition. If both parents have them, then the number rises to 75%.
- Each minute, 6 people (or 1 every 10 seconds) in the U.S. go to an Emergency Room with head pain.
- Most migraine attacks are once or twice a month. However, more than 4 million have chronic daily migraines and experience migraine pain 15 days a month, or more.
- Episodic migraines that turn to chronic migraines are often as a result of medication overuse.
- Over 90% of people with migraines cannot work during a migraine headache, resulting in over 157 million lost workdays. For more than 20% of migraine sufferers, this leads to disability.
- Children who suffer from migraines miss school twice as much as their peers.
- Roughly 10% of school age children have migraines. Before puberty, this includes more boys. However, during adolescence, the risk and severity increases among girls.
- Most migraine sufferers treat the symptoms themselves without seeking medical care. Of those who do seek out a doctor, only 4% consult headache or pain specialists. Just 12% of all migraine sufferers receive preventative treatment.
In light of these statistics, researchers are taking a closer look at ways to combat the debilitating effects of migraines to reduce their negative impact.
In 2017, the European Journal of Neurology reported on the results of a 17-month migraine study comparing chiropractic treatments with “usual pharmacological management” in patient care. Overall, there was a general reduction in the duration of migraine headaches for the participants; however, for the chiropractic group, this reduction was maintained through the study follow-up period of 12 months.
Additionally, the reduction in the duration of migraines was significantly more when compared to the control group that received medications only.
More recently, a 2019 meta-analysis of 5 randomized clinical trails showed a reduction in both duration as well as pain/intensity for patients who received chiropractic care.
These study results show the importance of ensuring migraine patients understand their options for relief. With proper care, these studies demonstrate that patients can reduce the frequency and/or severity of their migraine symptoms.
For those who have tried various treatment options, it may be enlightening to learn that in comparison to pharmaceutical treatments, these researchers concluded that conservative care such as chiropractic treatments can often work as well or better.
As these studies show, chiropractic care can have a positive impact in relieving symptoms for migraine patients. Additionally, it provides a treatment method that does not involve medications which may have unwanted side effects such as the “medicine hangover” effects which can come from some.
Chiropractic care should be considered as a treatment option to improve the quality of life for migraine patients. If you suspect that you or a loved one is having migraine headaches, or other musculoskeletal issues, schedule an evaluation with your health care provider. As you determine your treatment options, discuss how you can benefit from chiropractic care!
If you don’t have a chiropractor, you can find a TCA doctor near you at www.tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor/.
Beychok, Tina “Research shows for migraines chiropractic is the answer” https://www.chiroeco.com/migraines-chiropractic/
Chaibi A, Benth JŠ, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine: A three-armed, single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Neurology. 2017;24(1):143-153.
Migraine Fact Sheet. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html. Accessed July 14, 2019.
Rist PM, Hernandez A, Bernstein C, et al. The impact of spinal manipulation on migraine pain and disability: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Headache. 2019 Apr;59(4):532-542