People often use the word “headache” to describe troublesome or stressful situations. Now, new research suggests that stress can indeed cause headaches—including its more painful cousin, migraine. As FoxNews.com writes:
“New research lends evidence to the commonly held belief that stress leads to headaches.
Researchers analyzed data of 5,519 participants aged 21-71 years, and found that an increase in stress was associated with an increase in the number of headaches participants suffered each month. The findings were presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Survey participants reported their stress levels and headaches quarterly from 2010-2012, as part of the German Headache Consortium Study. A total of 31 percent had tension-type headaches, 14 percent had migraine and 11 percent had migraine combined with tension-type headache. Participants with tension-type headaches rated their stress at an average of 52 out of 100, while migraine rated at 62 out of 100. Those with migraine and tension-type headaches rated at 59 out of 100.”
Even with these findings though, the exact mechanics of migraine attacks are not yet fully understood. However, experts believe that this debilitating headache is linked to a chemical called serotonin. When your body’s serotonin levels drop, blood vessels in your brain contract but soon expand, which is thought to cause migraines. No one knows what causes serotonin to decrease in the brain, but various factors like magnesium deficiency, gluten sensitivity, and even the weather are all known to trigger migraines.
While the pain can be eased by over-the-counter drugs like Ibuprofen and Tylenol, patients can also rely on a chiropractor in Memphis for drug-free relief. Basically, chiropractic is an alternative and complementary treatment method where practitioners use their hands to correct misalignments in the spine. Chiropractors believe that these misalignments—which they call subluxations—alter the shape of the canal where the brain stem and spinal cord reside. As a result, the brain and the body cannot communicate properly, and this miscommunication is manifested as a painful migraine attack.
Pain is your body’s natural way of telling you that something is wrong. In cases like migraine though, the extreme pain often causes people to miss out on job and home responsibilities, and prevents them from spending quality time with their loved ones. If migraine is taking a toll on your life, don’t hesitate to consult a trusted Memphis chiropractor such as those in practices like Chiropractic Memphis.
(Frequent headaches and migraines? It could be stress, FoxNews.com, February 20, 2014)