Migraine Treatment: Try Natural Care to Eliminate Cause!
If you have ever suffered with the symptoms of a migraine, then you are painfully aware that migraine relief is the only thing you have on your mind at the time. Just make it stop – the pain, the nausea, the weakness, the sensitivity to light, sound, even touch – it’s just so unbearable!
Migraine treatment traditionally includes the use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and prescription medications that list many risky side effects. However, migraine relief that deals with eliminating the cause of your migraine symptoms, thereby relieving your headaches altogether, is closer than you think!
Migraine Treatment: Over-the-Counter Migraine Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications (analgesics) are typically used to treat the symptoms of a migraine headache that has already started, particularly in the case of individuals who experience mild, infrequent migraine episodes that don’t generally disrupt their daily routines.
There are two types of OTC analgesics, acetaminophen and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Each works in different ways:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) goes to pain centers in the brain to reduce pain. It is generally better tolerated by the stomach than NSAIDs; however, long-term and/or high dosage usage can cause liver disease. Less frequent/lower dosages use can still severely affect individuals who consume large quantities of alcohol.
- NSAIDs include aspirin and non-aspirin ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®). These drugs provide migraine relief by reducing inflammation that causes the pain. They do not have the same serious side effects as anti-inflammatory medications with steroids, but they still can cause ulcers, gastrointestinal problems, and rebound headaches if used too often or in high doses.
There are combination OTC pain relievers that combine aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine (Excedrin Migraine®) that also are available to ease migraine symptoms.
Migraine Treatment: Prescription Medications
Many migraine sufferers get little relief from their migraine symptoms with over-the-counter drugs alone. For mild to more severe symptoms, there are two types of prescription medications for migraines: abortive medications taken after the onset of migraine symptoms to relieve them and prophylactic (preventive) medications used to reduce your chances of even getting a migraine.
Abortive medications, which are taken to treat migraine symptoms that are already present, include:
- Triptans – help to relieve the pain, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light symptoms of a migraine by increasing the release of serotonin in the brain.
Brand names include Imitrex®, Maxalt®, Amerge®, Zomig®, Axert®, Frova®, and Relpax®. These medications are available in oral, nasal and injectable doses, but they tend to have some serious side effects, including facial flushing, tightness in the chest and throat, tingling of the skin, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, stroke and heart attack.
- Ergots – an older type of abortive migraine medication that is taken during the first stages of a migraine. It reduces migraine symptoms by constricting blood vessels.
Sold under the brand names Migranal®, DHE-45®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®, and Cafergot®, ergots are dispensed in tablets that dissolve under the tongue (sublingual) and in injectable form. These medications are made from a fungus; side effects can be severe and include cramps, nausea/vomiting, feelings of coldness and muscle pain/weakness. They can also cause miscarriage and uterine contractions in pregnant women. Ergots can be habit-forming.
- Midrin – an oral combination of acetaminophen (to decrease pain), isometheptene (to narrow blood vessels in the head), and dichloralphenazone (a mild sedative) that is taken at the first sign of a migraine headache.
Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes and fast/irregular heartbeat. This drug may be habit forming and cause drug-seeking or addictive behavior.
- Corticosteroids – painkillers, such as Prednisone, that are used when prolonged migraine symptoms last longer than 24 hours.
- Butalbital combination drugs – migraine medications that combine butalbital, a sedative, with aspirin or acetaminophen. Some butalbital combinations may also contain caffeine or codeine. These medications can be habit forming and they also carry a high risk for rebound headaches (headaches that are triggered by the medication itself).
- Opiates – migraine medications that contain narcotics, usually codeine, that are habit forming and are typically only used as drugs of last resort.
Abortive migraine medications work best when they are taken at the very first appearance of any migraine symptoms.
Migraine Treatments – Preventive Medications
For those with frequent and severe migraines that interfere with the tasks of daily living, many doctors prescribe preventive medications, to either ward off migraine symptoms completely or to provide migraine relief that lessens the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
- Beta-blockers – usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart disease; no one is quite sure how these drugs work to help prevent migraine headaches! The most commonly prescribed preventive medications for migraine symptoms include brand names Inderal®, Tenormin®, Lopressor®, Lopressor LA®, Toprol XL®, Corgard®, and Blocadren®.
Side effects that may occur as a result of using these drugs include drowsiness, diarrhea/ constipation, fatigue, sleeping difficulties, nausea, depression, memory loss and impotence. These migraine medications can increase breathing problems in patients with asthma, emphysema and other breathing difficulties. They can also cause extremely slow heartbeats and intensify the symptoms of heart failure.
- Calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) – used to block calcium from entering heart muscles and arteries, which reduces heart muscle contractions, blood pressure and heart rate. They also block serotonin entry into the nerves. Brand names include Cardizem®, Dilacor®, Tiazac® Calan®, Verelan® and Isoptin®.
Side effects of CCBs include constipation, nausea, headache, rash, swelling in the legs, decrease in blood pressure, drowsiness, dizziness, drug toxicity and a worsening of heart failure symptoms.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) – prevent migraine symptoms by affecting nerve (norepinephrine and serotonin) communication in the brain. Tricyclic antidepressants generally prescribed to prevent migraine symptoms include Elavil®, Pamelor®, Aventyl®, Sinequan® and Tofranil®.
The most common side effects of these medications include faster heart rate, blurred vision, difficulty urinating, dry mouth, constipation, weight gain/loss, and low blood pressure. These medications should not be used in combination with certain other medications because they can increase the risk of seizures, seriously elevate eye and blood pressure, prohibit normal urinary function and cause over-sedation.
- Anticonvulsants – also known as anti-seizure medications, these medications are also used to treat bipolar disease. They can prevent migraine symptoms, yet no one seems to understand why. The most popular brand names include Depakote®, Topamax® and Neurontin®.
Side effects of these medications include nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, cramps, hair loss and dizziness.
Preventive (prophylactic) migraine treatment medications cannot completely eliminate migraine headaches; in fact the success rate is around 50%. In addition, it can often take three months or more after starting these medications to see a reduction in the frequency, severity and duration of migraine symptoms.
Migraine Treatment: Drug-Free Approaches
In addition to preventive and abortive migraine medications, there are a number of non-drug therapies that have shown some success in alleviating the severity and duration of migraine symptoms. These include biofeedback, acupuncture, eating and exercising regularly, going to bed and getting up on a regular schedule and avoiding triggers that are known to cause migraines. For a list of migraine symptom triggers, see related article, Migraine Symptoms are Severe – Natural Care Addresses Their Cause.
There is another all-natural approach to migraine treatment that doesn’t advocate the use of potentially dangerous medications. This approach has been around for years, yet very few people think of it in terms of being able to reduce or even eliminate the cause of migraine symptoms. This approach doesn’t just relieve migraine pain and other symptoms; it addresses the cause of those symptoms so that painful migraine episodes can become things of the past!
Migraine Treatment with Natural Chiropractic Care!
The idea of seeing a chiropractor for natural migraine relief may seem completely foreign to you. After all, don’t chiropractors just treat achy necks and backs? No, in fact they don’t!
For years, those who suffer from the painful and debilitating symptoms of migraine headaches have sought chiropractic care for migraine symptom relief. The sponsors of ChooseNatural.com are chiropractors who have been successful in reducing, or even totally eliminating, migraine symptoms – and they do this in offices around the world every single day!
“Chiropractors are specifically trained to locate and remove spinal interference that keeps your nervous system from functioning as it should, ” says a busy chiropractor in Airdrie, Alberta. “Nerve interference can occur when a spinal bone is out of place and it is pressing on surrounding nerves. When this happens, the necessary communication between the brain and the body, that takes place through the nerves, is interrupted, causing all sorts of problems. You may not even be aware that this interference is present, but in time, your body reacts by becoming sick or dis-eased in some way.”
Are you a resident of Surrey, BC? Check out one of these chiropractors in Surrey.
How do bones “slip” out of place? Usually this occurs as the result of an accident (slip or fall, auto crash), an injury or even the birth process itself, when tender spinal bones are easily moved out of place due to the pulling and twisting that takes place during a typical delivery.
How Does Chiropractic Work to Eliminate the Cause of Your Migraines?
Our sponsors are chiropractors who are specially trained to locate and remove the nerve interference that is interrupting brain-body communication. How do they do this? They deliver a very precise, safe and natural adjustment that puts out-of-place bones back into their proper places.
The result? No more nerve interference – so the body is capable of healing itself! By addressing and eliminating the underlying cause of your migraine headaches, your nervous system functions as it is intended; your migraine symptoms either disappear completely or are far less severe than they have been in the past.
What Do I Do Now?
Pick up your phone and call one of our sponsoring chiropractors today. Describe your symptoms and the types of migraine relief you have sought thus far, then make an appointment to have a consultation and examination. You’ll be surprised at the amount of time the doctor devotes to obtaining a complete health history and thoroughly examining your spine.
Obviously, none of the sponsors of ChooseNatural.com can guarantee resolution of all your migraine symptoms. However, many migraine headache sufferers will tell you that they no longer suffering the debilitating effects of migraine attacks and the levels of patient satisfaction experienced by our sponsors are extremely high!
All we ask is that you give natural migraine relief a try, before you take risky migraine medications with dangerous side effects. What do you have to lose, except for that awful pain in your head!