Migraine sufferers know; a migraine is not just a headache. A migraine headache is a severe and sometimes disabling condition. Cures and treatments have always been elusive. Many times a patient has little option but to take medications which will allow them to sleep until the headache subsides. Migraines are caused by a disorder in the central nervous system which involves the nerves and the blood vessels. Pain medications address the symptoms of the migraine but do not treat the causes.
There is hope for the migraine patient. The specialty of physiotherapy is offering promise with early intervention of migraines. Physiotherapy involves work on the muscles and joints which are involved with the arrival of the attack.
Tightness and stress of the neck contribute to the beginning and severity of the migraine. Physiotherapy addresses the muscles and joints with physical therapy. By working closely with a patient, often a program can be planned that will delay and lessen the migraine attacks. This is done through physical therapy, manual manipulation of the body and with the use of ice and heat. Triggers are identified and the migraine is dealt with by addressing all these causes.
There is also a direct connection between vitamin and minerals in the body and migraines. Therefore, there are certain supplements that will dramatically improve the quality of life of a migraine sufferer. Here are the most effective supplements to date:
A magnesium deficiency can bring on a migraine headache. Studies have been done that confirm magnesium supplement significantly reduce the amount of migraine attacks. The dosage for an adult is from 200 to 800 milligrams per day depending on the physical tolerance of the patient. If magnesium supplements are too harsh in larger doses for a patient, they can absorb extra magnesium by adding Epsom Salt to their bath.
A recent study showed, 68% of patients reduced the number of migraines they had by adding 150 mg of the natural root Butterbur to their diets. This is taken as75 mg, twice per day. If a migraine is present, taking 100 mg twice per day has been shown to relieve the severity of the pain.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Doctors recommend 400 mg per day (taken as 200 mg, twice per day) to help prevent migraines. This should be taken with magnesium as the combination makes both more effective.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid is often used for stroke victims. It has been shown to lower blood sugar and increase blood-flow to the brain. The increase of blood-flow assists in the treatment of migraines. Alpha Lipoic Acid also regulates the human metabolism.
Many migraine sufferers claim that a strong cup of coffee will stop a migraine and in fact that is sometimes true. Caffeine is a powerful pain killer. In fact many over the counter pain medications that people commonly take contain significant amounts of caffeine. As a preventative, 100 mg twice per day for three days a week is sufficient. Beware of the backlash of caffeine. Caffeine is addictive and taking it more than three times per week can send a patient into withdrawal upon stopping. The withdrawal can actually bring on migraines. It is important to check the caffeine values of the foods, drinks and over the counter medications consumed before adding additional caffeine to the diet.
Each person is different and there are many vitamins and minerals that work for some (but not all) migraine sufferers. It is important to work with a doctor, nutritionist or physiotherapist to find the right plan and the right treatment. Migraine treatment and prevention is a personalized science.
For more information visit physio-cambridge.co.uk