Around 10 million people suffer from migraine in the United Kingdom, and 3 million workdays are lost annually because of migraine-related sick leaves.

For people who suffer from migraines, the painful episodes often get in the way of their day-to-day activities. In fact, the World Health Organisation ranks migraine as one of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.

Do you also suffer from headaches and migraines? If so, the first thing you should do is understand the illness. We have curated this guide to help you learn everything about migraines so that you can make informed decisions.

What is a migraine?

A migraine is often characterised by throbbing pain on one side of the head. Many patients also experience vomiting, nausea, and heightened sensitivity to light or sound.

Migraine is a common medical disorder that hits 1 in every 15 males and about 1 in every 5 women and often starts in early adulthood.

What are the causes of migraines?

The exact cause of migraines is unknown. However, they are believed to be caused by abnormal brain activity that temporarily affects nerve signals, blood vessels, and chemicals in the brain.

It is also vital to know that the cause of such change in brain activity is also unknown. However, it is believed that your genes make you more prone to migraines as a result of a specific trigger.

Migraine triggers

●  A major culprit: stress

Emotional stress can lead to the release of certain chemicals in the brain that provoke migraine attacks.

Handling stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in hobbies, can help reduce the risk of migraines. You can contact an Osteopath at Tim wood Healthcare to learn how to manage stress and help ease your headaches and migraine.

Also, adequate sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are essential, as lack of sleep can trigger migraines in some individuals.

●  Food intake

Another significant trigger is certain foods and beverages, but it is rare. These can differ from person to person, but some common culprits include aged cheeses, processed meats, chocolate, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages.

Individuals prone to migraines should keep a food diary to identify specific triggers and then avoid or limit their consumption.

●  Environmental changes

Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, strong odours (such as perfumes or cleaning products), and extreme temperatures are known triggers.

Using sunglasses, earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones and avoiding excessive exposure to extreme temperature conditions can help reduce the likelihood of headaches and migraines in such situations.

●  Hormonal changes in women

Hormonal changes in women, particularly fluctuations in oestrogen levels, can trigger migraines.

Many women experience migraines during or just before their menstrual periods. Contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy can also affect migraine frequency. In such cases, consulting with a G.P to explore hormonal management options may be beneficial.

●      Physical stress

Physical factors, such as intense physical exertion or strenuous activities, can trigger migraines in some individuals.

It is advisable to pace yourself during exercise and engage in activities with proper warm-up and cool-down periods.

What are common migraine symptoms?

The most common migraine symptom is a severe headache on one side of the head. The pain is often a moderate to severe throbbing sensation that worsens with movement and hinders you from performing daily tasks.

In certain circumstances, you may have discomfort on both sides of your head, as well as in your neck or face.

Other symptoms include the following:

  •     Feeling nauseous
  •     More sensitivity to sound and light
  •     Poor concentration
  •     Sweating
  •     Abdominal pain
  •     Feeling extremely cold or hot
  •     Diarrhoea

We must note that not every person with a migraine will have all of these symptoms. Also, some people might experience other symptoms that are not on this list.

Migraine symptoms generally last between four hours to three days. Some people also feel tired for up to a week after the significant signs of migraine wane.

Do you or your family members suffer with migraines? If so, you may benefit from Osteopathy in Maidstone. They will try to find the root cause of your problem and help treat your pain.

How can osteopathy help migraines?

If you are looking for an alternative to medications, osteopathy may be a great solution for your migraine management. Osteopaths at Tim Wood Healthcare believe that the body is a self-healing system and that the treatment may help the body to heal itself.

When it comes to migraines, our osteopaths aim to address any underlying structural imbalances or dysfunctions in the body that may contribute to the frequency or severity of migraines.

Our osteopaths may use a variety of techniques to treat migraine, including:

  •     Massage
  •     Joint manipulation
  •     Dietary Recommendations for better nutrition
  •     Stress management suggestions

Additionally, osteopaths may recommend specific exercises to improve posture, strengthen supportive muscles, and enhance overall body mechanics.

However, Osteopathy is not a cure for migraine, but it can be an effective treatment for many people. Also, each individual's response to osteopathic treatment may vary, and it is essential to work with a qualified osteopath (like us!) who can tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs.

Wrapping up!

Headaches and migraines can cause debilitating pain and trouble completing your daily activities. If you discover any symptoms mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact an Osteopath at Tim Wood Healthcare. They may also help you identify other problems and follow a holistic approach to treatment.