What Causes Migraines?

If you or a family member suffers from migraines, you know how painful and debilitating they can be. So much, in fact, they are known to be the worst type of headache one can experience. A migraine headache can cause intense pain, which is often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and vomiting. But what causes migraines? These headaches are no joke, and the triggers may be different for everyone. There are some solutions though that can give you relief from migraines and help you get rid of the pain and experience a better quality of life!

 

Do You know What Causes Migraine Headaches and the Triggers to Avoid?

When you are experiencing the pain associated with a migraine headache, you may not be aware of what caused it. In many cases, most people do not know much more than the fact that they have a pounding headache that just won’t go away. Typically, a migraine headache occurs when the blood vessels in the brain constrict, then immediately dilate. This rapid increase in blood pressure is what causes migraines intense pain. Although the exact cause of migraines is not completely understood, it is known that genetics as well as certain environmental factors, or triggers, seem to play a role. These migraine headache triggers can be different for each person, but there are common ones that are to be noted.

 

Common Migraine Headache Triggers

Physical or Emotional Stress

According to the American Headache Society, four out of five people with migraines report stress as a trigger. Research indicates this may occur due to changes in the level of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate pain.

Hormones

Hormones can have a huge effect on migraines, especially in women. Fluctuations in estrogen is a common trigger, and women often report these painful headaches before or during their periods, when estrogen levels drop.

Misaligned Bones of the Neck and Back

Misaligned neck and back bones from whiplash and other injuries can affect the nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck, causing pain associated with migraines.

Sensory Stimuli and Environmental Causes

Bright light, glare from the sun, loud sounds, and strong smells like secondhand smoke, perfume, and chemicals are culprits.  

Food and Drinks

Eating or drinking specific foods can be a migraine trigger for some people. Here are some foods that are known to trigger migraine headaches:

  • Aged Cheese and Meats – The nitrates in aged meats like salami and cheddar cheese can trigger migraines for some.
  • Salty Foods – Eating salty foods can make you dehydrated, which can cause migraine headaches.
  • Food Additives – Common food additives such as MSG and aspartame, found in many prepared foods such as store-bought salad dressings and BBQ sauce, as well as diet sodas, and Chinese food, can trigger migraine headaches.   
  • Drinks – The tannins, sulfate preservatives, and other contaminants in alcoholic beverages can cause migraines, especially in wine, caffeinated beverages, and diet sodas.
  • Food Sensitivities – If you have a food sensitivity, your body is unable to process the food you’re eating properly. Sometimes, this results in a migraine. You may want to look into food sensitivity testing in order to eliminate this common migraine trigger.

 

Get Migraine Relief

Chiropractic care is usually very effective for  relieving the pain and treating the structural causes of migraine headaches. BackFit Health + Spine in Phoenix, Arizona offers a revolutionary migraine treatment protocol. The whole team will work together to provide lasting pain relief for those who suffer from migraine headaches and will get to the root of what causes migraines.  Have you tried chiropractic care for your migraines and headaches? It just may offer the migraine solution you are looking for! Contact one of our Arizona locations of BackFit Health + Spine today for a complimentary assessment for the relief of migraine headaches.