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Dr. Seymour Diamond, Executive Director of the National Headache Foundation, has announced that new imaging techniques now allow scientists to identify what they believe to be a cause of migraines: a malfunctioning brainstem. When the brainstem, located near the top of the neck malfunctions, it increases the swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain, setting up a chain reaction that results in a migraine headache.
When the brainstem, located near the top of the neck malfunctions, it increases the swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain, setting up a chain reaction that results in a migraine headache. A misalignment in the upper cervical spine (neck) can affect the function of the brainstem. This, in turn, can cause migraine headaches.
Some migraine sufferers also experience visual disturbances, numbness, tingling, clumsiness, or have difficulty communicating. Typical medical treatments include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. However, if you’ve seen the drug ads on TV or read the Physician’s Desk Reference, you know that all of the common migraine drugs are potentially dangerous and can cause serious side effects.
Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors including stress, excessive light or sound, fatigue, hunger, diet, hormonal changes, weather changes, caffeine, cigarette smoke, head trauma, neck movements, and even the use of a low pillow. However, it is important to understand that these “trigger factors” do not cause migraine headaches.