Your Migraine Guide: Next Steps After a Diagnosis

your-migraine-guide-next-steps-after-a-diagnosisMigraines affect a staggering 39 million Americans. The number is even higher in other parts of the world. This makes migraines one of the most common disorders today. Finding out you have migraines can be life-changing. What should you do and expect after a diagnosis?

Take control of your migraines by following these natural and practical steps.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Any time you receive the news of a medical diagnosis, you should do some research to learn more about your condition. A great resource about migraines is the Upper Cervical Awareness website. The site regularly publishes helpful blogs about migraines. Reading and researching can help you deal with the symptoms of migraines and is the first step toward finding a migraine treatment that works for you.

Step 2: Set and Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Getting restful sleep every night is vital for everyone suffering from any condition, especially those suffering from migraines. First of all, sleep helps the brain in the pain management department. Second, lack of sleep can trigger a migraine episode. To get a good night’s sleep, set a regular schedule where you sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and stick to it. Avoid bad habits such as using your smartphone before bedtime. It can inhibit your sleep cycle. Using a new mattress or pillow can also help you sleep comfortably if your current ones are worn out.

Step 3: Look for a Good Stress-Coping Mechanism

Another primary trigger for migraines is stress. Some stress is unavoidable, so it is important to have a positive coping mechanism. Avoid negative coping strategies such as smoking or drinking alcohol. They can worsen your migraines. Positive stress relievers include the following:

  • Talking about your anxiety
  • Taking breaks or occasional vacations
  • Doing a relaxing hobby
  • Exercise

Step 4: Exercise Regularly

Exercise is beneficial for migraine patients for several reasons. First, the body releases happy hormones during exercise, and it helps the brain cope with pain levels. Second, regular exercise is a great stress reliever, so it is a positive method of reducing your migraine attacks. Just be sure to consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine. Exertion may aggravate a headache, so do not exercise during a migraine episode.

Step 5: Avoid Skipping Meals

Missing a meal can also trigger a migraine attack because it can make your blood sugar level drop. The key is steadying the blood sugar level. Even when you are busy, make time to eat three meals every day. Don’t skip breakfast just because you’re in a hurry. If you have to, grab something you can eat at your desk when you get to work. Also, pack emergency snacks just in case you need them.

Step 6: Watch Your Use of OTC Pain Medications

Over the counter (OTC) pain medications should have approval from your doctor. Be sure to read the label or learn what they are for before taking them. While OTC pain pills (and even some prescription medications) can relieve a painful headache, taking them on a regular basis can bring more headaches. Headaches caused by medication overuse are known as rebound headaches. You must stop taking pain relievers after a week or two of consistently using them. This can reduce the frequency of rebound headaches.

Step 7: Seek an Upper Cervical Chiropractor

If you are unfamiliar of this niche within the chiropractic profession, we are happy to give you an introduction to this natural therapy for migraines and other headache disorders. It helps with conditions that are due to an issue in the central nervous system (CNS), such as migraines. Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the top two bones in the neck to improve the function of the CNS.

How is the upper cervical spine (the uppermost bones in the neck) connected to the CNS? Here are three ways.

Brainstem function

The atlas (C1 vertebra), protects and surrounds the brainstem right where it meets the spinal cord. This means that even the tiniest misalignment of the atlas can have an impact on the brainstem function.

Blood flow

The cervical spine facilitates the smooth flow of blood to the brain. This is possible thanks to the vertebral foramen, small loops of bone connected to the vertebrae that provide a pathway for the vertebral arteries. Even a slight misalignment in the upper cervical spine can hinder blood flow.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow

MRI scans can evaluate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain, and they have detected that misalignments of the upper cervical spine can impede the proper drainage of the CSF. As a result, it can cause intracranial pressure and all sorts of problems in the central nervous system.

Upper cervical chiropractors pay attention to the uppermost bones in the neck. Given our specialization, we ensure precise measurements of any misalignment in the upper cervical spine using x-rays and diagnostic imaging. This, in turn, allows for gentle adjustments that are both safe and long-lasting, providing time for the body to heal on its own.

If you have migraines or other health conditions, perhaps it’s time to give upper cervical chiropractic care a chance. It can be the right relief option for you, especially if you have a history of neck or head injury. To learn more, call us or fill out our contact form, and schedule a no-obligation appointment.