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How do you know if you’re experiencing a headache or a migraine? As a Sacramento upper cervical chiropractor, I can provide you with much-needed answers to that question. 

Once a headache hits, it’s easy to dismiss it as something that isn’t a cause for concern. But before you know it, you might be enduring a full-blown migraine attack that’s unbearable. 

Keep in mind that a migraine isn’t just a bad headache. There is much more to this condition that needs care and attention, and that is what I intend to discuss in this article. 

After reading this piece, you should be able to have a better understanding of headaches and migraines. My primary goal is to help you prevent migraine attacks from happening. 

What exactly are headaches?

We know that headaches are uncomfortable, sometimes unexplainable pain and pressure that ranges from mild to severe. You can feel headache pain in a variety of areas on the head and neck. Frequently the forehead, temples, and back of the neck feel the most pain. 

Headaches may last for as little as thirty minutes. At worst, a headache could go on for an entire week. Some people feel a squeezing sensation to their heads, and this is the most common case. Referred to as a tension headache, the usual triggers are stress, anxiety, and straining of the neck muscles. 

There are, however, other types of headaches. Cluster headaches, for example, only occur on one side of the head. And as the name suggests, they occur in clusters. Sinus headaches, on the other hand, happen as a result of a sinus infection or extreme congestion. But be aware that migraines with symptoms of runny nose and watery eyes are often misdiagnosed as sinus headaches.  

Chiari headaches are special cases. People born with a defect called Chiari malformation experience these headaches. Those who suffer from them have their skulls pushed against some parts of the brain. It then leads to pain to the back of the head. 

Thunderclap headaches are the most severe ones in this list, but they also happen in a short period. Such attacks last up to 60 seconds and can be life-threatening. Some causes of thunderclap headaches are strokes, aneurysms, or injuries. If you experience a thunderclap headache, seek medical help immediately. 

What are migraines? 

To put things into perspective, a migraine is a neurological condition that has a headache as one of its many symptoms. Other indicators include nausea and vomiting, pain behind the eye, ear or on the temples, and pounding head pain. 

Some people also experience visual disturbances like flashing lights and vision loss. Others tend to be sensitive sound, lights, and certain odors. 

Migraine pain ranges from mild to severe, and those who are unable to handle the pain may choose to seek medical help. Unlike headaches, migraines usually affect only one side of the head. About one-third of patients experience pain on both sides. 

The pain brought on by migraines is worse and more intense than headaches. So much so that some people aren’t able to carry out their daily tasks. 

One type of migraine comes with an aura. An aura is a neurological disturbance that patients can use as a warning sign that a migraine is likely to happen within a few hours or the next day. People who experience an aura have unusual food cravings, have trouble thinking, and may see flashing lights or strange lines and shapes. In some cases, people who suffer from migraines with aura have an unusual sense of taste, smell, or touch. Most of them do not feel mentally alert when such attacks happen. 

Finding natural relief from migraines and headaches

While there are forms of medication to combat migraines and headaches, there is a natural way to receive pain relief: upper cervical chiropractic care. Many people go for this safe, non-intrusive method for its effectiveness and ability to deliver results. 

This type of care focuses on the proper alignment of the top two bones in the neck, which are the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Both are designed to protect the brainstem. 

Once a misalignment occurs, the brainstem endures unnecessary pressure. The misalignment causes an interruption in the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Nerves and muscles get irritated, and because the brainstem is not functioning at its best, health conditions like migraines can develop. 

Correcting the misalignment normalizes the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid. In turn, the body goes back to using its natural, self-healing ability. Many people are surprised at how successful upper cervical chiropractic care is at offering relief to headaches and migraines. Once they’ve discovered this method, they no longer resort to previous options. 

A Sacramento upper cervical chiropractor like myself uses gentle methods for adjustments. This is one thing I can guarantee if you choose to receive care here at my clinic, Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Sacramento. 

I make sure to put bones back into place without cracking or popping them. This causes less trauma to the body, which is less painful to the patient. And to give you some perspective, 9 out of 10 people surveyed in this study are satisfied with upper cervical care as a method to relieve them from headaches and migraines. 

So if you live in the Sacramento area, you now know where to go. Should you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to drop me a line or schedule a visit for a complimentary consultation. Who knows? Maybe this could be a life-changer for you.

Contact Dr. Gottlieb in their Sacramento, CA practice.

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