What Is the Difference Between a Headache and Migraine?

Do you suffer from frequent headaches? 

How can you tell if your problem is actually a migraine? Read on to learn the difference between the two.

The closest thing to compare a migraine headache to are the symptoms of a severe tension headache, but there are definitely things that set a migraine apart. Pain level is one thing. Migraines reach a much higher pain level. In fact, the pain can be so severe that it leads to nausea. Also, since migraines are actually a neurological disorder, they are often associated with sound and light sensitivities as well as aura as a precursor to the migraine (a less common symptom, but one not associated with regular headaches).

Your doctor can help you to determine if the headaches you suffer from are migraines. If they are, there are a number of options for you to consider. Some doctors provide medication to combat the chemical imbalance that leads to migraines. These may include antidepressants, beta-blockers, or even certain seizure medications (the aura experienced by some migraine sufferers is similar to that experienced by persons who have seizures). Since the medical community isn't certain how migraines arise, these medication are primarily used to treat symptoms.

Natural relief

But what if you want natural relief? Upper cervical chiropractic may be of assistance. This is because the C1 and C2 vertebrae are positioned right at the base of the brain stem. An adjustment may thus result in greatly reduced symptoms.

Research with upright MRIs has shown that when a misalignment occurs in the upper neck. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow is changed, which can result in migraine headaches. Correcting this upper neck misalignments has been shown to change the flow of fluid to, from and through the brain, resulting in improved brain health and reduced or eliminated migraine symptoms.

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Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net.

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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

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