The transition through menopause typically involves hot flashes, insomnia, and night sweats. What many don’t know is that chronic migraines can also appear with the onset of menopause. Chronic migraines (10 or more migraine episodes per month) are common in women who are approaching menopause. It is often seen in women between 42-47, approximately 5 years before the onset of menopause. (1)
It is thought that these migraines are due to hormonal fluctuation, leading to dilation of blood vessels in the brain; however, the cause of these irregular hormones is currently unknown. Current management of these migraines is through an estrogen patch or birth control pills. While these can be potentially effective in the short term, they do not examine a possible root cause of these hormonal migraines.
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Migraines and Your Spine
Your spine helps to protect your spinal cord. Your spinal cord carries signals to and from your brain. When the top bone in your neck (atlas) is misaligned, this can create pressure within your spinal cord. This can distort messages going to and from your brain, potentially leading to facial pain, muscle spasm, and other migraine symptoms.
I am trained in NUCCA, a specific chiropractic procedure aimed at detecting and reducing atlas misalignments. NUCCA involves a gentle chiropractic adjustment with no twisting, popping, or cracking. Through realigning the spine, the pressure in the spinal cord is reduced. This can potentially lead to a reduction of migraine systems.
Verderame et al. reported a case of a 75-year-old woman with chronic migraine headaches since she was a teenager. She initially utilized pain medication and anti-inflammatories to manage her symptoms and only saw a slight reduction in her headache severity. After visiting a Blair Technique practitioner over the course of 5 months, her migraine severity decreased from 8/10 initially to a 3/10. Her medical doctor stated that her migraine duration and frequency also decreased.
- Doyle K. Migraines may worsen before menopause [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Internet]. Reuters. 2016 [cited 2 February 2016]. Available from: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-menopause-migraines-idUSKCN0V42N6
- Verderame J, Hollowell J. Cone-beam Computerized Tomography for the Bio-mechanical Assessment of the Occipito-atlanto-axial Articulation in a 75-year-old Woman with Migraines Undergoing Blair Technique. J Upper Cerv Chiro Res [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2 February 2016];2013(July):60-64. Available from: http://www.mccoypress.net/juccr/docs/2013-1255_migraines.pdf
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