Coping with Common Migraine Triggers in San Diego, California

Migraines are a difficult condition to live with for both the one dealing from the problem as well as those who have to see a loved one suffering. While the detrimental effects of a migraine are readily apparent, understanding what causes migraines to occur is anything but clear. There are a number of recognized factors that can trigger a migraine. As a result, some people are advised to make dietary or other lifestyle adjustments. Here are a couple of other triggers that are less well-known.

  • In Missouri, a study was conducted that revealed migraines become more common when lightning is nearby. Barometric pressure and levels of humidity are two other weather conditions that have been linked to migraine occurrence.

  • Migraines can spring up when a person returns to a calm state after being stressed. When a person’s mood shifts from anxious to relaxed or sad to happy, a “let-down” migraine may occur. This is connected to the fact that certain hormones in the body decrease in production when calmness or happiness returns.


Rather than being tied to medications, many are looking for natural ways to cope with migraines. Recognizing triggers is one way to reduce migraines or at least be prepared for the likelihood of one. Of course, as with medication, avoiding triggers does not address the underlying issue.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Migraines

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we take a different approach to helping migraine patients. We specifically examine and correct misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. This is because a misalignment in this part of the neck can interfere with the correct function of the brainstem, the proper flow of blood to the brain, and the drainage of cerebrospinal fluid. Once this misalignment is corrected, many experience fewer or less severe migraines. Some never have to worry about migraines again.




To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.



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The Nature of Headaches

headachew09The sudden onset of headaches or experiencing more headaches than usual could be the result of an injury or medical condition. When headaches are the result of these factors, they are called secondary headaches. Unfortunately, medications are often ineffective at managing them. For some, medications commonly prescribed for headaches can have no effect and in others, they can actually cause headaches to become worse.


There are a number of reasons that this might happen. Some people see issues because the ingredients in the medication (such as caffeine) are not well tolerated. The type of headaches experienced and the frequency of which medication is taken can also contribute to the aforementioned outcomes.


Common Causes of Secondary Headaches

Let’s take a look at a few common and less common reasons behind secondary headaches.

  • Concussion

  • Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Dental Problems

  • Panic Attacks

  • Acute Sinusitis

  • Dehydration

  • Whiplash

  • Certain medications

  • Structural Damage at Base of the Skull (Chiari Malformation)

  • Misuse of pain medication

  • Damage to the nerve connecting the brain and face (Trigeminal Neuralgia)


Helping Secondary Headaches

Knowing the source of a headache can help determine where to go to get help for the pain and suffering. For example, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck can hinder communication between the brainstem and the body. A misalignment of as little as ¼ millimeter can impede normal nervous system function and communication. Complications arise if this is the case and is left uncorrected for long periods of time.

In such situations, the disease or injury responsible for secondary headaches could be resulting from this structural imbalance. Scheduling an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor will determine if there is a need for an alignment of the upper neck vertebrae. Gently easing the vertebrae into place will aid in opening up communication between the brain and the body. When this is accomplished, it allows for natural relief from chronic headaches.  


To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.



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Cluster Migraine Awareness: Deadly Headache and Natural Solutions

Migraines are no joke for anyone, but the “suicide headache” is the worst of all. They earned the nickname of suicide headache because patients want to be rid of the excruciating pain so badly. Recently March 21st, 2016 was Cluster Headache Awareness Day.

The More You Know

You may commonly know of it as a cluster migraine, or wish you never knew about it if you have them. It is the worst of all migraines, coming in episodes as short as 15 minutes and lasting up to 3 hours. Attacks may happen sparingly or up to 10 times per day only to disappear for weeks and then come back again with the same intensity. It affects one side of the head with a severe, stabbing type of pain that comes in clusters.

These types of migraines are easily diagnosed, but due to the severity of the condition, they are not so easily treated. A common treatment is breathing pure oxygen because of the known abnormalities in blood flow to the head and neck with migraines. The standard procedure involves powerful drugs aimed to minimize the pain during the episodes. Many patients struggle from the extremes of the pain and the dismal treatment options, leaving a desire for something more holistic.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below:


Taking the Problem Head-on

As a migraine specialist, I see many people coming to me who are defeated from the agony of the condition. I am an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, and I offer something very different in addition to hope for the challenging condition. By focusing on the first bone in the spine known as the atlas bone, we are able to help patients get natural relief. This is because of the relationship of the spine to the brain, nervous system, and blood flow.

When the atlas is misaligned (typically as a result of trauma), it affects the brain, nerves, and blood vessels even if just slightly. If this is left untreated for a long enough period of time, migraines can be the result. Clinical studies have shown that patients under upper cervical chiropractic care have experienced relief in as little as one adjustment and even complete resolution. When the proper blood flow is restored to the brain and nervous system, the body is able to resolve the condition on its own over time.

If you are struggling with severe migraine pain, let us show you how we can help.


1. Rome T. Raise awareness for cluster headache. (accessed 01 April 2016).

2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.


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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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