Migraines - Low Levels of Cerebrospinal Fluid in the Brain

Posted in Head Pain Disorders on Aug 26, 2018

Migraines are intense and pounding head pain that lasts for several hours or even a few days. Usually, the pounding feeling begins around the forehead, on the side of the head, or around the eyes.

The pain worsens upon physical activity. Any movement, bright lights, loud noises, or activities make the pain more intense. Nausea and vomiting often accompany the head pain. Migraines may hit a couple of times a year or on a daily basis. Women are diagnosed three times more often than men.

Types of Migraines and the Symptoms Accompanying Them

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There are a few different kinds of migraines, most of them rare. The most common are classic and common. Let’s see what each of these is and what symptoms come with them.

  • Classic migraines: These migraines start with what is called an aura and are sometimes referred to as migraines with aura. An aura is a type of warning sign that comes on before a migraine. It often involves visual changes -- blind spots, flashing lights, colors, wavy lines, or shadows -- or it can be weakness felt on one side of the body or a numb and tingling sensation. You may have a problem communicating, and you may feel depressed, irritable, and restless. Auras usually last for 10 to 15 minutes and come on before your head pain. Usually, the aura goes away when the head pain occurs, but, in some cases, they overlap or the head pain might not happen at all. Head pain occurs on one or both sides of the head with classic migraines.
  • Common migraines: These do not start with an aura and are referred to as migraines without an aura. They start more slowly than classic migraines and last longer. They interfere more with daily activities. The pain of common migraines may be on only one side of your head. These are the most common type of migraines.

The following symptoms are the most commonly seen in patients with migraines:

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  • Severe throbbing or dull aching pain on one or both sides of your head
  • Sensitivity to loud noise, certain odors, and bright light
  • A stuffy nose
  • Pain that gets worse with physical activity
  • Nausea and possible vomiting
  • Visual disturbances -- blurry vision and blind spots
  • A tender scalp
  • Feeling lightheaded or having vertigo
  • A stiff or tender neck
  • Feeling cold and sweaty

The pain of a migraine can be extremely intense and interfere with your normal daily routine. Each migraine differs from person to person or even from migraine to migraine in the same person. You may have some strange feelings before migraines hit that indicates one may be coming on. Things such as food cravings, fatigue, feeling thirsty, moodiness, and extreme energy are common.

How the Upright MRI Helps Us to Understand Migraines

It is important to get to the bottom of migraines and try to alleviate them at their root cause. As reported in the Journal of the American Headache Society, there are researchers located in the Netherlands who have discovered that people who have migraines for a long period of time end up having brain damage.

In fact, they found that the more severe and more often one has migraines, the more brain damage is done. This research was performed using an MRI machine so as to get a closer look at the brain activity of 28 patients diagnosed with migraines. Those with at least 3 or more migraines a month had more damage than those who only had an attack now and then.

In addition, if they had migraines for over 15 years, worse damage was noted than the damage in those who had just recently begun experiencing migraines. Dr. Raymond Damadian, the inventor of the MRI and upright MRI machines, found that a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck can cause a change in the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to the brain. 

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Cerebrospinal fluid is key to proper nervous system function as it lubricates the spinal cord and the brain. If the proper flow is interrupted, this can lead to migraines. Research performed by NUCCA (the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) backed up these findings as they discovered the same results when using the phase-contrast MRI.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractors Help with Migraines

The top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae, are susceptible to misaligning due to things such as whiplash, sporting accidents, blows to the head, or even minor trips and falls. When these bones misalign, the brainstem is put under pressure or stress. 

This can result in improper signals being sent to the brain and hindering the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood. This is what was revealed in the studies mentioned above. Once this fluid is compromised, migraines can be an end result.

The more migraines you have, the more damage is done to the brain. It is important, therefore, to get this misalignment taken care of as soon as possible. We begin by examining the neck using the help of specific imaging, postural testing, and taking a detailed patient history of not just medical encounters but any kind of accidents you have ever had.

We then develop a care plan that is tailored just to your specific needs. We use a gentle method that allows the bones of the neck to move back into place more gently than if we were to pop or crack the back. This allows for a longer-lasting adjustment in the long run. 

Once the misalignment is corrected, proper blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow can be restored to the brain. This often results in fewer migraines. Some patients see them go away completely.

To schedule, a complimentary consultation call our North Lakes Queensland office at 07-3188-9329 

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