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Migraine

Chiropractic CHIROfamily

Migraine

Migraine headaches are a symptom of a condition known as migraine. Doctors don’t know the exact cause of migraine headaches, although they seem to be related to changes in your brain and to your genes. Your parents can even pass down migraine triggers like fatigue, bright lights, or weather changes.

For many years, scientists thought migraines happened because of changes in blood flow in the brain. Most now think this can contribute to the pain, but is not what starts it.

Current thinking is that a migraine likely starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals that trigger your trigeminal nerve, which gives sensation to your head and face. This cues your body to release chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP makes blood vessels in the lining of your brain swell. Then, neurotransmitters cause inflammation and pain.

Some things may make you more likely to get them:

Sex. Women have migraines three times more often than men.

Age. Most people start having migraine headaches between ages 10 and 40. But many women find that their migraines get better or go away after age 50.

Family history. Four out of five people with migraines have other family members who get them. If one parent has a history of these types of headaches, their child has a 50% chance of getting them. If both parents have them, the risk jumps to 75%.

Other medical conditions. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy can raise your odds.

A migraine headache often begins as a dull ache and grows into throbbing pain. It usually gets worse during physical activity. The pain can move from one side of your head to the other, can be in the front of your head, or can feel like it’s affecting your entire head.

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