When you hear someone say they suffer from migraines, you probably imagine they have really bad headaches from time to time. While this is true to a point, it is not the entire story. Migraines are not just really bad headaches. They are actually a disabling collection of neurological symptoms that include a really bad headache. Pain is often confined to one side of the head. However, in a third of the cases, pain can impact both sides. Attacks can last anywhere between 4 and 72 hours. The following symptoms often accompany the throbbing, pounding head pain:
What Causes Migraines?
Previously, it was thought that the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head brought on migraine pain. However, current thinking has changed due to advances in technology helping us to better see how the brain and nervous system function together. It is now agreed upon that nerve pathways and brain chemicals are involved in causing migraines. Migraines are hereditary, and 90 percent of people with migraines have a family member with them.
Migraines and the Connection to Heart Disease
An analysis from the Nurses Health Study II, a Harvard study, observed 115,541 women in the age range of 25 to 42, from 1989 through 2011. When the study began, 15 percent of these had migraines. Here is what happened over these two decades:
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A more recent study, published in 2018, backs up these findings. This study was performed in Denmark. The BMJ, a medical journal, published the results connecting an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation (a kind of irregular heart rhythm), and blood clots starting in a person’s veins to those suffering from migraines.
Lead study author Dr. Kasper Adelborg, a cardiologist at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, explains how previous studies, such as the one mentioned above, suggested a link between heart disease and migraines, particularly in women. His study not only confirmed this link but was also able to verify that other heart problems were included as well. Things such as blood clots and atrial fibrillation were also a risk. His study included a large number of people, providing researchers with additional clues about how migraines impact cardiovascular problems at a population level.
The study looked at data from about 51,000 people in Denmark diagnosed with migraines and about 510,000 people who did not have migraines. The migraine group was diagnosed by age 35, and 71 percent of them were women. The study followed these people over a 19-year period. The results revealed that people with migraines had a 1.5-fold increased risk of heart attack and a 2-fold increased risk of stroke compared to those without migraines. When it came to blood clots, migraine sufferers were 1.6 times more likely to get them, and atrial fibrillation put migraine sufferers at 1.3 times greater risk than those who were migraine-free.
What is the Connection Between the Heart and the Head?
Several reasons exist as to why those with migraines may be more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. It may be due to the sudden constriction of blood vessels in the brain, which can make a person not only have a migraine but also be more prone to strokes. Another reason can be that people with migraines are less active during an attack, leading to their resting more and making them vulnerable to blood clots.
Finding a Natural Way to Combat Migraines
Turning to a bottle of pain relievers may be a quick and easy answer to fighting the pain of migraines. However, it is not a long-lasting solution due to the health problems that will arise due to the side effects of long-term drug use.
Unless the underlying cause is addressed, they will continue to occur and continue to put your heart health at risk. Dr. Grayson Blom of Upper Cervical Health Center Boise in Boise, Idaho, uses an alternative, natural way to care for migraines. It has been shown that migraines commonly occur due to a misalignment of the bones of the upper cervical spine (Atlas and Axis). If the bones here have become misaligned due to a car accident (whiplash), a sporting accident, a trip and fall, or some other kind of blow to the head and neck, they may be putting undue pressure on the brainstem and hindering the proper flow of blood from entering and exiting the brain. This can lead to migraines.
We use a gentle method that is based on scientific measurements and a precision technique to help the vertebrae move back into their original positions. We do not need to pop or crack the neck to get positive results. In fact the adjustment is very underwhelming. Many patients report seeing a great improvement in migraines within a short period of time.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Blom click the button below or call 208-559-0541.
Upper Cervical Chiropractor