The Association between Meniere’s Disease and Migraine Headaches

Posted in Head Pain Disorders on May 2, 2022

New research reveals that there is a connection between Meniere’s Disease and Migraine headaches. In brief, people who suffer from migraine headaches are 2x more likely than normal to suffer from Meniere’s disease later in life. And people who suffer from Meniere’s disease and 2x more likely to suffer migraine headaches as well. The researchers in this study concluded, “ Based on the bidirectional association, therapeutics for migraine could potentially be applied to [Meniere’s disease] and vice versa.” 

In other words, a treatment for one can be used as a treatment for the other. In truth, a concept is not a new or novel idea at all. There is an abundance of research that has been collected for years that reveals a connection between migraine headaches and Meniere’s disease with a common underlying cause.  The hard part for so many people is that they aren’t told about the connection, or what to do about it.

We hope in this article that we may illustrate the connection between Meniere’s disease and migraine headaches, and then offer a unique and powerful approach to healthcare that may be able to help with both.

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The cause of Meniere’s Disease and Migraine Headaches 

Meniere’s disease is not a thing. It is what is known as a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that you experience the symptoms of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss but without an apparent cause. That is, your MRI scans for your brain all appear normal. 

More appropriately, the condition should be known as Meniere’s syndrome, which means that it is a functional disorder. A functional disorder is a process in the body were a few things, each normally fine by itself, combine to affect the function of your nerve system. We might imagine gunpowder, but then adding fire. Functional disorders may be akin to malware on your computer. Even though you cannot see them per se, they certainly affect how well your computer works.

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In the case of Meniere’s disease, we are talking about something then that is affecting how they balance, heating and equilibrium centres of your brain are able to process information. While vertigo and hearing are commonly associated with the inner ear, the processing centres in your brain also receive an abundance of information from the nerves in your neck.

More on that later. For the interim, all we need to clarify is that the centres that process balance and equilibrium are located in your brainstem, what is known as the medulla, at the base of your skull just above the top vertebrae in your neck, which are known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2).

Now, migraine headaches are characterised and distinguished from standard headaches by nausea and a sense that the brain itself is on fire. While the brain tissue does not actually have any neural sensors that detect pain, the connective tissue around the brain, which is known as the meninges do. Hence, when anything may produce irritation of the meninges - whether physical tension, chemical irritation (e.g., hangover) or severe emotional stress - that can be the spark that triggers a migraine.

There are certainly many triggers and indeed any things that can cause migraines. Nevertheless, one of the most important elements that often go overlooked involves the alignment and motion of the top vertebrae in the neck: the atlas and axis. The shape of the atlas and axis are unique in your spine because they support the weight of your skull, and also provide 50% of your total neck movement. What this means is that this particular area of your neck represents a weak spot that is susceptive to injury.

The other important point is that there are unique and important ligaments that anchor the atlas and axis to your spinal cord and brainstem, Normally, these ligaments help to make sure that your spinal canal stays open when you move your head. These ligaments also help to circulate fluid within your brain that provides energy and oxygen so that your nervous system can work properly. 

Unfortunately, if either the atlas or axis is ever injured (not broken or dislocated per se), but offset by even a few millimetres, the resulting offset can produce physical tension that pulls on the spinal cord and irritates the nerves in that area. These nerves and sensory processing centres may include the vagus nerve which transmits sensory information from the digestive system (nausea) and also from the meninges around the brain; and also the spinal trigeminal nucleus, which is the primary processing centre for all pain sensations of the head, face and neck.

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So what we have here is an interesting phenomenon where we have one area of the body, the atlas and axis vertebrae, that provide two different types of sensory information to the brain: pain and balance.  Therefore, it is not hard to imagine that a problem that affects either the C1 or the C2 vertebrae may have the potential to produce the symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, migraine headaches or even both.

Unfortunately, so many people are told that they need drugs or medical procedures for Meniere’s disease or migraine headaches. Or they are told that there’s nothing that they can do. While medication may assist with treating the symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease and migraine headaches, they seldom address the root cause. This is where a unique approach to healthcare may be able to assist people who experience Meniere’s disease or migraine headaches known as the Blair Technique.

The Blair Technique for people with Meniere’s disease and Migraine headaches

The Blair Technique is a precise, personalised and natural approach to healthcare that is founded on the principle that it is the innate power of the human body that health itself, and then when we struggle with pain, balance issues or other symptoms, it is because something is simply interfering in that process.

The Blair Technique is also founded on the principle of uniqueness. As human beings, we are all constructed differently on both the outside and the inside. As a result, unless we take those unique aspects of our own anatomy into account, especially when we are doing diagnostic tests, we may not actually be able to identify what is going on.

The Blair Technique was founded and researched in the USA as part of a special division of chiropractic known as Upper Cervical Care. Unlike general spinal manipulation, the Blair technique does not use any twisting or cracking of the neck but applies a precise and gentle impulse through the skin at the base of the skull to restore normal alignment and mobility through the vertebrae and the top of your spine, the atlas and axis. The purpose of this correction, in turn, is to free the physical source of interference restore the normal function of the delicate nerves in that area, and then allow your body to do what it is designed to do: heal itself.

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The Blair Technique is still relatively unknown in Australia, including among medical doctors, physiotherapists and even chiropractors. Although you may have had previous work with the alignment or muscles of your upper neck, with the Blair Technique, we typically find that other healthcare professionals are indeed working in the right area for you, but perhaps not quite the right vector. And sometimes, that subtle shift makes all the difference.

We hope that this article has been both informative and valuable. If so, we would like to offer you our assistance however we may be abler to help. If you or a loved one is looking for a natural solution for Meniere’s disease or migraine headaches, contact us for a 15-minute no-obligation phone consultation where we can discuss your individualised needs and answer any questions that you may have so that you can decide if the Blair Technique is right for you. 

Our practice, Atlas Health, is the leading Blair Upper Cervical chiropractic centre in Australia. Located in North Lakes (north Brisbane), our focus is on helping people who experience symptoms such as Meniere’s disease and migraine headaches find long-term solutions and healing so that you can get back to enjoying the things in life that matter most to you.

Call us at 07 3188 9329 to schedule a consolation, or click the Contact Us link on the top of this page.


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