10 Migraine Triggers, 1 Way to Achieve Natural Relief

Migraines are one of the most common incapacitating conditions.  Thirty-nine million Americans and over 1 billion people worldwide cope with migraines, making it the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.  If you suffer from migraines, you may have already been able to identify certain things that will either trigger an attack or make one that is already happening even worse.  For others, they are just beginning that process.  Below you can find ten of the most common migraine triggers as well as some tips to help reduce or eliminate them.

  1. Stress – stress is one of the most common (and difficult to avoid) triggers for migraines.  Almost 70% of migraine sufferers report that stress influences their migraine activity.  To make matters more complicated, worrying about when the next migraine might happen can be enough to actually trigger an episode, which turns into a vicious cycle.  To reduce stress, try to figure out the major sources of daily stress and take appropriate steps to reduce or eliminate them.  Meditation, exercise, relaxation therapies, and other stress-relieving techniques can be very helpful to help cope with the inevitable daily stressors that come your way.
  2. Sleep – an irregular sleep-wake cycle can be problematic for migraine sufferers.  We rely on sleep in order to refresh and repair our bodies.  When sleep becomes irregular or interrupted, you may become more susceptible to migraine attacks.  Scheduling consistent bedtimes that allow for 7-8 hours in bed, avoiding naps if possible, and creating a good sleep environment can help improve your odds of not triggering an attack.
  3. Caffeine – While everyone should watch their caffeine intake, migraine sufferers should be especially careful not to overdo it.  Having more than 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, or soda) daily can be a trigger factor.  Cutting out caffeine suddenly can also bring on a migraine episode, so if you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake it might be best to do it gradually.  Some migraine sufferers might find that their weekend caffeine intake may vary from their weekday consumption, such as always having a cup of coffee before work.  Caffeine can also be found in other products such as over-the-counter painkillers, chocolate, and energy drinks.
  4. Hormonal changes in women – women are three times as likely to experience migraines than men.  Up to three-quarters of women who suffer from migraines find that they occur around the time of their menstrual cycle.  Hormonal changes that happen, particularly with changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, can bring on a migraine.
  5. Foods – about 10% of migraine sufferers can identify particular foods that can trigger an episode.  Sweets, such as chocolate, can be a culprit.  It is also worth noting that skipping meals can also lead to a migraine attack.  If you know you have food-related migraine triggers, making sure you’re keeping a regular meal schedule and supplementing with nutritious snacks in between can help.
  6. Environmental factors – for the most part, these factors are beyond our control.  Weather conditions such as humidity levels, barometric pressure, altitude, and glare from the sun can all contribute to the onset of migraines for many people.
  7. Tyramine – tyramine is a substance found in certain foods that are commonly known migraine triggers.  Aged cheeses, cured meats, and smoked fish all contain naturally-occurring tyramine.  Any foods that are smoked, pickled, aged or fermented can all contain tyramine.
  8. Dehydration – even mild levels of dehydration can have a negative effect on people who have migraines.  Keeping track of your water intake and avoiding diuretics will help you stay hydrated.  The recommendation on the correct amount of water to be drinking each day varies based on age, sex, and other health factors.  General guidelines state that women should drink about 11.5 cups of water daily and men should drink about 15.5 cups.  These recommendations include fluids from water, food, and other drinks.
  9. Medication overuse – if you suffer from chronic migraines and use medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) each time an episode occurs, it can actually cause more migraine attacks.  This is known as medication overuse headache.  Working with your doctor to reduce or change your migraine medications is important in order to break the cycle.
  10. Smells – certain smells can either trigger a migraine attack or cause one that’s already happening to worsen.  Some of the most commonly reported smells that have been known to trigger migraines are strong perfumes, gasoline, chemicals, and even some strong food smells.

Migraine Natural Relief Clear Lake, WI

Natural, Lasting Migraine Relief is Possible

Many people suffering from migraines might feel as if they have exhausted all of their options when it comes to finding relief that is more than just temporary.  Upper cervical chiropractors have been helping those with migraines by checking for a specific misalignment that occurs at the vertebrae that sit at the very top of the neck.  It is without coincidence that a lot of migraine sufferers also experience neck pain before, during or after an attack.  Looking at the head without also considering the part of the neck that holds the head up might be overlooking a critical piece of the puzzle.

Your atlas vertebra is positioned just beneath the skull.  Because of its location, it has the important job of protecting the brainstem, just as the vertebrae beneath it protect the spinal cord.  An atlas misalignment can happen as a result of an injury or accident, or wear and tear that accumulates over time.  This can irritate the brainstem and surrounding nerves and tissues which can contribute to the onset of migraines.  An atlas misalignment can also impact blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow between the head and neck.  These factors can also result in the occurrence of migraines.

At Northern Roots Family Spinal Care, we precisely measure these misalignments and correct them using gentle, effective upper cervical adjustments.  These atlas adjustments are given with the goal of them holding in place for as long as possible.  This has helped many migraine sufferers to experience less frequent and less severe migraine episodes.  We offer a complimentary consultation so you can learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care and we can see if we may be able to help you.







Vertigo: Hitting a Home Run to Find Help in Clear Lake, WI

Vertigo is the sensation that you are spinning or rotating, or the things around you are doing so. It can be very unnerving and lead to a great deal of anxiety. One second you are fine, and the next you feel as if you might fall down. Vertigo and dizziness are two of the most common reasons that people visit their family physician.

Vertigo can affect anyone at any time, as major league baseball player, Stephen Drew, can attest to. Drew is the second baseman for the NY Yankees and had to leave the game due to dizziness recently. He was forced to remain in the dugout until the spell passed. He theorized that it was due to a recent cold resulting in fluid build-up in the ears. What else causes vertigo or dizziness to occur?

Reasons for Vertigo and Dizziness

Proper Spinal Alignment Helps Vertigo

In the above list, a misalignment in the neck is mentioned. Why is this so significant? Often the C1 and C2 vertebrae misalign due to a trip and fall, wear and tear, a vehicle accident, or a sports injury. A misalignment in these bones puts pressure on the brainstem as it is located in the same general area. This leads to a problem in communication between the brain and body. If the brain gets improper signals about where the body is located in its environment, vertigo can ensue.

Here at Northern Roots Family Spinal Care, once we determine the exact location of the misalignment, we can develop a care plan for each individual patient. We use a very restrained method that does not require us to pop or crack the neck. Rather we gently encourage the bones to move back into place naturally. This restores communication as the body heals and often leads to an improvement in or elimination of vertigo.

Northern Roots Family Spinal Care Takes on Migraine Pain and Wins!

Migraines are on the increase in today’s fast-paced world. More than 10% of those in America – 38 million people – get migraines. This is more than those who suffer from diabetes and asthma

combined! Migraines can affect anyone at any age. Every 10 seconds, someone visits the ER to get relief for migraines or another kind of a headache.

Migraine symptoms can include:

Common Care for Headaches

The first step most people take is to grab the nearest bottle of pills when they feel a migraine coming on. There is quite a list of medications that are recommended by primary care doctors for migraines. These include:

What are the dangers of taking these? Some common side effects are:

Caring for Migraines Naturally in Clear Lake, Wisconsin

Rather than covering over symptoms with medication, it is important to try to find the underlying cause of migraines. One reason that migraines occur is due to a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck – the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If these bones are out of place, they can put the brainstem under extreme stress causing it to malfunction and send improper signals to the brain. Upper cervical chiropractic is a way to help these bones to realign, leading to a restoration of communication in the body. But does it work?

A case study observed a teenage girl who was diagnosed with migraines. She had as many as two migraines each week lasting about 3 hours each. She sought the care of an upper cervical chiropractor before taking medication or having surgery. After the misalignment had been corrected, she saw major improvement in the frequency and intensity of her migraines.

Natural Care for Meniere’s Disease Sufferers in Clear Lake, WI

Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear.  It causes a fairly predictable combination of symptoms:

The reason Meniere’s disease develops is not yet fully understood.  The fluid that is normally present in the inner ear will build up in excess, either due to increased production or decreased drainage.  The fluid within the inner ear plays an important role in telling the brain how the body is positioned in space.  This excess fluid will cause signals that travel to the brain carrying information about your body’s position and balance to become distorted, which can lead to the crippling vertigo attacks associated with Meniere’s.

What Are My Care Options?

Upon diagnosis with Meniere’s disease, there are some common recommendations that might be made.  A low-sodium diet combined with diuretics are often prescribed in an effort to reduce overall fluid in the body with hopes that the excess fluid in the inner ear will also lessen.  Medications to try and provide some relief from the vertigo attacks, such as lorazepam, are also used.

Outside of these typical recommendations, upper cervical chiropractic care has seen great success in helping Meniere’s disease sufferers achieve relief that is both natural and long lasting.

Vertigo and Atlas Alignment

While the reason for the excess fluid buildup within the inner ear still puzzles many in the medical field, recent upper cervical chiropractic research has illuminated a possible cause.  In a study where 300 Meniere’s patients were followed over the course of 6 years, results of upper cervical care showed a 97% success rate in creating a dramatic improvement of vertigo.  The same type of care that was given to the patients in this study, we provide to patients in our practice.  We analyze for specific misalignments of the atlas vertebra, the uppermost one in the spine, and gently adjust it with the goal of restoring normal brain-body communication.  What many people don’t know is how very close the atlas sits in relationship to the inner ear.  Even a small misalignment of this vertebra can disturb the normal function of the inner ear.

100% of the 300 Meniere’s disease patients in the study were found to have atlas misalignments, most commonly from some type of whiplash injury in their past.  90% of them presented with a similar pattern of atlas misalignment that may explain the pressure on the inner ear.  If you are dealing with the debilitating vertigo of Meniere’s disease and have any history of head or neck injury, then an upper cervical chiropractic approach may be as successful for you as it was for the 300 people who found relief in this study.