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MIGRAINES & MOTION SICKNESS

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MANAGING & TREATING CHRONIC MIGRAINES

It's not about seeing a patient for a few minutes, making a diagnosis and leaving. I want to sit down and learn about all aspects of health and discover, with the patient, how we can improve not only the frequency of their symptoms or headaches, but all the factors that play into their continued health — prevention is key.

DISCOVERY

Headaches & migraines are different for everyone. They may be triggered by food, smells, your environment, or so much more. 

THERAPY

We offer a variety of therapy services to help provide relief from headaches such as: dry needling, joint mobilizations, and building healthy habits for migraine prevention.

TREATMENT PLAN

Once we have taken the time to understand your migraines, we will work together to develop an action plan to help provide you some relief.

SUPPORT

Understanding your migraines is not always an easy process. We are here to support you, and to work to find you some real relief.

DO YOU HAVE A MIGRAINE?

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Sometimes it is difficult to determine what kind of headache qualifies as a migraine. Most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with migraine and when we don’t have the severity of headache Aunt Kathy has, we just assume our headache is not migraine.

 

But migraine is not diagnosed simply by the severity of your headache. There is criteria developed by the International Headache Society that is used to identify a patient who is having migraine.

Only a trained provider can diagnose migraine, so reach out to your healthcare provider if you have had 5 attacks that fulfill the following 3 criteria:

1. Headache attack lasting 4-72 hours (untreated or unsuccessfully treated)

 

2. Headache with at least 2 of the following characteristics:

     a. Unilateral location

     b. Pulsating quality

     c. Moderate or Severe pain intensity

     d. Aggravated by (or causes you to avoid) daily activities – like walking, climbing stairs

 

3. During the headache at least one of the following:

     a. Nausea and/or vomiting

     b. Marked increased sensitivity to BOTH normal room lighting and conversational speech

STAGES OF A MIGRAINE

PRODROME

One or two days before a migraine, you might notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including constipation, mood changes from depression to euphoria, food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst and urination or frequent yawning.

 

AURA

For some people, aura might occur before or during migraines. Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They're usually visual, but they also can include other disturbances.

Examples of auras include:

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing bright spots or flashes of light

  • "Pins-and-needles" sensations

  • Hearing noises or music

  • Uncontrollable jerking or other movements

 

ATTACK

A migraine usually lasts anywhere from 4 to 72 hours if untreated. The number of attacks varies by the person and can wax and wane over their lifetime. They can be rare and spread out or frequent in different times of your life.

During a migraine, you might have:

  • Pounding and/or pressure pain on one or both sides of the head

  • Pain worsened by exertion, better with rest

  • Visual Aura- (colored lights, balls, wavy lines) often before the headache develops

  • Abnormally sensitive to normal light, sounds, and sometimes smells

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Vertigo and/or imbalance

  • Slurred words, difficulty thinking, mood changes

 

POST-DROME

After a migraine attack, you may feel drained, confused and washed out for up to a day. Some people report feeling elated. Sudden head movement might bring on pain again briefly.

TREATMENTS

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  • Identify the triggers that provoke your attacks and avoid them.

 

  • Massage therapy for the upper back, neck, head, and jaw muscles.

 

  • Physical therapy treatments including stretching, posture correction, manual soft tissue mobilization, and home exercise programming.

 

  • Dry needling treatments or botox injections to trigger points within the upper back, neck, head and jaw muscles that provoke head pain when they are touched.

  • TMJ night/resting splint (not enamel guard) if jaw muscle trigger points are provoking migraine attacks.

  • Wellness & self-care training to develop a  structured lifestyle to prevent attacks.

  • Rescue medication when there are nine or less attacks per month.

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  • Sometimes daily preventative medication is needed when there are more than nine attacks per month.

  • Biofeedback to train your brain how to reduce the reactive "fight or flight" brain pathways and re-route those electrical signals to the relaxation "feel good" brain pathways.