With many classifications of migraine, the knowns and unknowns, hereditary link, the one-off in the family, triggers, testing, treatment, and more, many look for new solutions and options to fold into their wellness plan.
As a chiropractor, Dr. Mandi McCoy said, “Trying to help those with migraines can be a complicated process as to finding out what exactly is causing them.”
What is the first thing Dr. McCoy does when evaluating a patient who experiences migraine?
- “Discuss triggers; as migraines typically have one”
She provides patients a list of common triggers and has them journal in an effort to narrow down and identify theirs.
From an assessment/adjustment standpoint, she
- Assesses the neck mobility and muscle tension in the neck and upper back region
This is because “When there is tension/stiffness in this area, it can trigger migraines very easily, so we work on making sure their neck stays mobile and their muscles relaxed.”
Being sent home with stretches and exercises is part of the treatment plan. In order to achieve a healthier body, we know that taking actionable steps in our health does not end when we leave a doctor’s office. More often than not, we are left to our own devices. How we spend our time and how we take care of ourselves play an integral role in our health.
- Assesses the jaw
“Since the neck and the jaw are so closely related, when you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, it can easily trigger headaches.”
It is a common condition.
Did you know that teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching affect up to one-third of adults in the daytime and more than 1 in 10 during their hours of sleep?*
The irony is “Most people don’t even realize that they clench their jaw until I have them pay attention throughout the day,” McCoy said.
McCoy focuses on “the muscles of the jaw, both externally and internally to help relieve the tension. You’d be surprised how this almost has an immediate effect on headaches if it is truly coming from the jaw.”
- Assesses the cranial bones
If you are an individual that gets migraine due to change in barometric pressure (weather changes – i.e. going from a warm, humid day to rainy, windy the next), she often finds cranial bones are stiff.
“When there are drastic changes in the weather, it causes the brain to slightly swell and if the cranial bones do not open slightly to accommodate this change, then it can trigger a migraine.”
Her best advice to you in reaching migraine relief?
“Is figuring out what is triggering them and either correcting or avoiding it.”
If you experience migraine, perhaps it’s time to research and make an initial consult with a chiropractor.
Dr. Mandi McCoy treats all ages, but specializes in treating the pregnant and pediatric population.
*Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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