Migraine Treatment Santa Fe, NM

Migraine Headache Treatment Santa Fe, Dr. Brian Short DC


There are many types and causes of headaches. Regardless of the cause, relief is just a phone call away. Headache sufferers and their need for quick relief have produced a huge market for medications that merely hide the symptoms of headaches. Powerful drugs numb your nervous system so the pain doesn’t signal your brain as such. While these approaches may be fast and convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don’t correct the underlying cause of the headache.

Different Types of Migraines

Migraines can manifest in various forms, each distinguished by unique symptoms and triggers. Understanding the different types of migraines can aid in managing this debilitating condition more effectively. Here's an overview:

  • Episodic Migraines: These occur sporadically, typically fewer than 14 times per month. They may evolve into chronic migraines if the frequency increases.
  • Chronic Migraines: This type affects individuals more frequently, with headaches occurring 15 days or more within a month.
  • Vestibular Migraines: Associated with balance disturbances, these migraines can cause symptoms like dizziness or a spinning sensation (vertigo).
  • Optical Migraines: Also known as ocular migraines, they primarily affect vision, potentially causing visual disturbances or temporary vision loss.
  • Menstrual Migraines: Many women experience this form of migraine shortly before or during their menstrual period. These headaches are linked to hormonal changes.
  • Silent Migraines: Unlike typical migraines, silent migraines do not cause pain. However, they can still produce other migraine symptoms like light sensitivity, dizziness, or nausea.
  • Abdominal Migraines: Mostly affecting children, this type leads to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting yet does not always include the typical migraine headache.
  • Hemiplegic Migraines: A rare but severe form, characterized by temporary paralysis or neurological deficits on one side of the body along with the migraine headache.

Understanding these types helps in identifying the specific characteristics and triggers associated with each, allowing for more tailored and effective treatment strategies.

Understanding the Differences: Migraines vs. Other Headaches

When comparing migraines to other types of headaches, several distinctive features set them apart. Firstly, the nature and intensity of the pain differ significantly. Migraines typically manifest as a pulsating or throbbing pain, often localized to one side of the head. This type of pain is generally more severe and debilitating than the pain experienced with common headaches.

In terms of symptoms, migraines are also unique. Many migraine sufferers report experiencing various prodromal symptoms—warning signs that occur before the actual headache begins. These can include, but are not limited to, heightened sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and visual disturbances known as aura.

On the other hand, other headaches, such as tension-type headaches, often lack these preliminary signs. The pain associated with these more common headaches tends to be of a dull, pressing nature, affecting both sides of the head and is typically linked to stress, posture, or certain activities.

In summary, the main differences between migraines and other types of headaches lie in the severity and characteristics of the pain, as well as the accompanying symptoms, which are more pronounced in migraines.

Understanding Migraines and Their Symptoms

Migraines are more than just headaches; they are an intense, often debilitating form of head pain that can significantly impact daily activities. Individuals experiencing migraines typically report a pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head. However, the discomfort can sometimes encompass the entire head area.

Common Symptoms

Aside from the primary symptom of severe head pain, migraines are associated with a variety of other symptoms:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Many people feel sick to their stomach or experience vomiting during a migraine.
  • Light and Sound Sensitivity: A heightened sensitivity to light and sound is common, often necessitating a retreat to a dark, quiet room.
  • Dizziness: Experiencing vertigo or a spinning sensation is not uncommon during migraine episodes.

Understanding these symptoms is crucial for those suffering from migraines, as it aids in managing and mitigating the impact on one's life.

Understanding Migraine Triggers

Migraines can be debilitating, and knowing what triggers them is crucial for prevention. While the exact cause of migraines remains a topic of ongoing research, several common triggers have been identified. These triggers do not cause migraines in every individual but are commonly reported among those who experience these intense headaches.

Common Triggers for Migraine Headaches:

  • Environmental Factors: Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, and strong odors can initiate migraines. Similarly, changes in the weather or barometric pressure can also act as a trigger.
  • Dietary Choices: Certain foods and beverages, including aged cheeses, alcoholic drinks, and foods containing caffeine or MSG, might prompt migraines. Irregular eating schedules or meal skipping also play a significant role.
  • Physical and Emotional Stress: Both physical exertion and emotional stress are potent triggers. Exercise-induced migraines are a concern for some, while for others, stress at work or home can start an episode.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen, are known to trigger migraines in women, often related to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • Sleep Patterns: Changes in sleep patterns, whether it's getting too much or too little sleep, can trigger a migraine.

By recognizing and understanding these triggers, individuals prone to migraines can take proactive steps to manage their exposure and potentially reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Each person's triggers might be different, and tracking them can be effective for managing this condition.

Why do you have continued headaches over years and decades?

Over 70% of all headaches arise from misalignments in the cervical spine. These misalignments are caused from common daily stresses such as poor posture during sleep, walking, sitting and improper work station ergonomics. The continued overcompensation of opposing skeletal and muscle groups over time can affect nerves, muscles, and ultimately the even blood supply to your head.

The proper diagnosis for these misalignments are vertebral subluxations. These subluxations cause nerve impingement, irritation and inflammation. The body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, “splinting” the joint to protect it from further damage. Massage, medication, exercise, physical therapy and acupuncture treat the muscle but don’t address the underlying cause of the problem.

This is not a self-correcting problem and explains why one could potentially have this problem for years until it is properly diagnosed and appropriate treatment is applied.

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