What causes migraines? Or is the real question; Who?

Headaches come in a variety of severity and origins. The most severe is a migraine headache. I classify it as the most painful because we are the reason we get them.

Migraines have an origin in the lack of oxygen to the brain. When the brain loses oxygen, the blood vessels contract to increase the speed at which the blood flows. This carries oxygen faster and thus increases total oxygenation to the brain. The problem is that sometimes this increased pressure causes issues inside the blood vessels, leading to inflammation.

The blood vessels lose their ability to contract and expand out, which decreases the speed of the blood flow, restarting the problem. However, the blood vessels in the brain are wrapped in pain fibers. So, when this contract and the loosening happens, you feel it, often intensely.

This is important to note because anything that can or does create a blood vessel change, especially one that can generate a pressure issue like this, must be considered in the stroke category. Major changes in pressure can weaken blood vessels or dislodge any plaque buildup along the way. Either of these can lead to a stroke.

For this reason, if you have migraines, you need to figure out how to reduce or eliminate them. Many migraines are chemically induced. You're eating, drinking, or breathing something you are allergic to. Food allergy testing can help determine food sensitivities and several outdoor allergies.

How you sit at your computer and the position of your head often create issues. If you constantly look slightly down, the muscles in your neck must maintain that pressure and can slightly pinch off blood vessels. What you're looking at also matters. If you are staring at a screen for long periods, your brain has to work harder, which can create issues. Remember, your eyes are brain tissue.

Positioning of the head and upper back profoundly affects the joints of the neck as well. Often getting adjusted is one of the only things that will help. Find yourself a good chiropractor and make sure your neck is in a position to work correctly.

If you have migraines, do not just blow them off like a typical headache. Get them evaluated. Not only do these reduce the quality of life, but they can also reduce it.

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Dr. Matt Chalmers

Dr. Matt Chalmers

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on this information you should first consult with your physician or health care provider. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition, your health, or wellness.

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