• October 23,2017

MIGRAINE... For some, the word alone is enough to send a chill down the spine. This often-debilitating headache disorder will have attacks that occur on and off and may last anywhere between 4-72 hours.1 Symptoms do vary, but may include: an intense one-sided headache (although 40% can occur on both sides), throbbing/pulsing nature, sensitivity to light/sound, nausea/vomiting, a visual aura (occurring in 15-20% of cases) and may be worse with exercise (although exercise can abort some types of migraines).1 Migraine triggers are vast and vary from person to person. These may include: loud noises, glare, certain foods and fluids, stress, lack of sleep and fluctuations in estrogen levels.1

Migraines may present with a Prodrome and is a common among 10-80% of regular migraine sufferers.This is thought to be the 'wind-up phase' of a full blow migraine and tends to present itself anywhere from 1-24 hours prior to an episode.1 Symptoms tend to be less focal and very vague. These can include: sensitivity to cold, lethargy, food cravings, gastrointestinal upsets and irritability.1 It is important that a patient is aware of these symptoms as effective action during the prodrome may reduce migraine severity or abort one altogether.1

Based off the statistics found in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted in America, it has been shown that 23% of households across the nation may have at least one migraine sufferer.2 The overall cost of Migraines both directly and indirectly, amounted to over $721 million in a study conducted in Australia.3With these figures in mind, it is of great importance that migraine sufferers are delivered appropriate and effective care.

Treatment will often include a variety of medications such as Triptans and Anti-inflammatories.1 Manual therapy and rehabilitation have also been shown to be beneficial and may help abort the migraines in up to 60% of cases when delivered during the prodromal phase.1 From a Chiropractic perspective this will include: myofascial release, trigger point therapy, manipulations and postural rehabilitation all of which have been shown to have potential over some pharmacological interventions: "Current RCTs (studies) suggest that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be equally efficient as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine."4

Further info:

Migraine can be an intense and debilitating disorder leaving sufferers to miss out on some of life's most precious moments if not appropriately tended to. Fortunately, there are many effective avenues for the treatment of this disorder at hand. At Mortdale Family Chiropractic we aim to use the best proven manual therapy techniques to help target and reduce the severity of migraines. If you or someone you know is a migraine sufferer, you may be an excellent candidate for our care as a part of your treatment plan. Contact us today on (02) 8068 4455 or BOOK ONLINE to schedule a consult.


(1) Kalra AA, Elliott D. Acute migraine: Current treatment and emerging therapies. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 2007;3(3):449-459.

(2) Burch RC, Loder S, Loder E, Smitherman TA. The prevalence and burden of migraine and severe headache in the United States: updated statistics from government health surveillance studies. Headache. 2015 Jan;55(1):21-34. doi: 10.1111/head.12482. Review. Erratum in: Headache. 2015 Feb;55(2):356. PMID:25600719.

(3) Prevalence and Cost Of Headache. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2017, from http://headacheaustralia.org.au/what-is-headache/prevalence-and-cost-of-headache/

(4) Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 2011;12(2):127-133. doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0296-6.