If you have migraines, you know there is nothing worse than when you feel that little twinge in your head that will soon become crippling pain. Migraines come in many forms and affect as much as 10% of the global population, including children.1
One of the most common forms of migraines involves one side of the head becoming extremely painful. Migraines are very difficult to diagnose properly which is an important part of treatment plans. Often this type of pain is misdiagnosed as a migraine but is now being recognized as Occipital Neuralgia. This is the proper term and diagnosis for pain which can be caused by compressed arteries or nerves at the base of the skull.2 When the blood flow or nerves are impeded it causes the pain sensation. Unfortunately, there are few treatments that are minimally invasive, and the most effective treatment is a nerve block.
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As a healthcare provider who specializes in the proper alignment of the head and neck, these cases are quite common. The neck is extremely complex and requires great detail to effectively treat patients who are in pain. If the arteries or nerves are compressed at the base of the neck, the best treatment would be to relieve the compression by restoring proper alignment. All too often, the pain is not the cause of the problem, so by correcting the underlying cause, the problem corrects itself over time.
1. Migraine Research Foundation. About Migraines. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html (accessed 5 February 2016).
2. Rome T. A one-sided headache that isn’t migraine. https://migraine.com/blog/a-one-sided-headache/ (accessed 5 February 2016)
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