In the United States, more than 39 million people have migraines. It is possible that 2 to 3 million are what are called chronic sufferers, meaning that they have headaches for at least 15 days during a 30-day period. As many as 5 million have at least one migraine per month. In addition, 11 million claim their migraines cause moderate to severe disability.
Here are some interesting facts you might want to know about migraines:
- Women get migraines 3 times more often than men
- Migraines happen most during the ages 35 to 55
- Migraines are seen more in Caucasians and low-income groups
- In a study from Canada, 70 percent said migraines added to relationship problems
- 59 percent reported missing social or family events
- 49 percent said they had to restrict activities for at least one day
- As many as half of migraine sufferers have not been diagnosed
- 70 percent of those with migraines are women
- 63 percent have more than one migraine event per month
- 91 percent take the day off of work or miss out on social event during an attack
- 51 percent said migraines cut their work or school productivity in half
- 69 percent have sought care from a primary care physician or another doctor for migraine pain
- 24 percent have gone to the ER due to the severity of their migraine pain
- 6 percent saw a doctor at a hospital for migraines in the last three months
- 47 percent who have symptoms that meet the guidelines to be diagnosed with migraines actually thought they had sinus, tension, or another type of a headache
- 25 percent have one or more migraines a week
The Symptoms of Migraines
The most common symptoms of migraine sufferers and how many have them are listed below:
- 85% – throbbing, pulsating pain
- 80% – light sensitivity
- 76% – sound sensitivity
- 73% – nausea
- 59% – pain on only one side of the head
- 44% – vision changes or blurry vision
- 36% – aura
- 29% – vomiting
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
Other symptoms can include:
- Sensitivity to smell
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Cloudy vision or visual disturbances
- Stiff or sore neck
Migraines Take a Toll on the Economy
Since migraines seem to come about during the most productive time of life for many people, the pain of this condition certainly takes its toll. According to the World Health Organization’s disability rating for migraines, they are the 19th most common reason for disability. It is also noted that migraine sufferers use two times the number of prescription drugs and they visit doctors in the emergency rooms twice as often as those without migraines.
The loss of productivity in the United States, according to one particular study, is approximately $5-17 billion per year due to lost days of work. On average, those with migraines miss 2 days of work per year, while others continue to work with their migraines, leading to less productive days. Migraines are to blame for 36 million days of bed rest and 21 million days of limited activity.
Migraine patients spend more on their health care than those who do not have this condition. They take 2.5 times more prescription medication and have 6 times as many diagnostic tests. During a month’s time, healthcare costs come in at $145.00 for those with migraines compared to $89.00 a month for those without migraines.
What Causes Migraines?
No one knows the exact cause of migraines. Each person experiences them differently and has different things that trigger them. Some people have an aura before migraines come on. This is a type of neurological event — such as visual changes, weakness on one side of the body, or numbness and tingling — that occurs up to an hour before the head pain begins. Due to brain scans, it is theorized that migraines may be due to hyperactivity in parts of the brain. In fact, there is proof that someone with migraines has a different chemical make up in his or her brain than those without the disorder. There is also evidence to suggest that migraines run in families. Familial hemiplegic migraine is a particular migraine syndrome where a known genetic deficiency in one type of protein exists.
Finding Help for Migraines
While medication is often suggested by primary care doctors and specialists, it is important to try to find the underlying cause of migraines. A connection has been seen between a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine and migraines. The C1 and C2 vertebrae were designed to protect the delicate brainstem. The brainstem is the communication highway between the brain and the body. All signals from the body come through it to tell the brain how to respond to certain stimuli. When a misalignment occurs — often due to some type of head or neck trauma such as whiplash — the bones actually put pressure on the brainstem, causing it to malfunction. This can cause improper signals to be sent to the brain and lead to a migraine. Something else may occur due to a misalignment. It may cause a kind of blockage, not allowing blood and cerebrospinal fluid to leave or enter the brain in the right amount. This is another reason migraines can occur.
Here at Haan Family Chiropractic in Huxley, Iowa, we help our migraine patients by using a gentle method to realign the bones of the neck. This does not require us to pop or crack the back or neck like traditional chiropractic does. Rather, our method is more natural and encourages the bones to realign on their own without the use of force. This results in a longer-lasting adjustment. Some patients have reported seeing improvement in their migraines in only one or two visits.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haan call 515-597-4600 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.