Diseases and symptomsMigraines

Aging and Migraines

Aging and Migraines

Aging and Migraines

Aging is a fact of life. Getting older means increasing frailty and susceptibility to illness,



but it can also be a boon to migraineurs (people who experience migraine headaches). Only 2-10% of the elderly population experiences migraines

(as opposed to up to 28% of adults under 65), and elderly women are still more likely to have them than their male counterparts.

Migraines can happen at any age, but they peak around age 40. The frequency of migraine attacks after 40 decreases for most people.

Many migraineurs who have suffered with this condition for years experience a reduction in the frequency and severity of attacks after age 55.

About two thirds of migraineurs stop having attacks altogether by age 65. Patients over 65 who still have migraines report drastically decreased severity,

duration, and frequency in their attacks. They are also less likely to experience the gastrointestinal upset that accompanies migraine in younger people.

The downside to all this good news is that adults over 65 who suffer from migraines are more likely than younger patients to experience disability because of their affliction.

Many physicians are uncomfortable with treating senior citizens for migraines because therapeutic methods used on younger people are often not tested for safety in an older patient.

Additional conditions and the medications used to treat them complicate the problem. Seniors are more likely to be on one or more prescription drugs and each new medication increases the risk of adverse drug reactions.

This possibility makes some doctors reluctant to offer senior migraineurs pharmaceutical assistance.

The onset of migraines after age 50 is very rare and should be investigated with a doctor to rule out the possibility of secondary causes.

Late onset does not rule out migraine (only one third of senior headaches are due to secondary conditions) but it makes it less likely.


Stopping Your Headache with Acupuncture

There are a lot of things that we have to deal with on a regular basis which affects our health. One very common thing that is experienced by people in general are headaches.



As a matter of fact, some people have headaches so frequently that they simply learn to live with them and deal with the pain as best they can.

Still others have headaches, such as migraines, which are almost impossible to ignore and become a life altering because of their intensity.

As a result of these headaches, many people have turned acupuncture in order to find some relief from their suffering.

There are really two different types of individuals who come to an acupuncturist in order to seek relief from their headaches.

There are those who are currently experiencing a headache and those that are to are trying to get some kind of preventative care in order to stop the next headache from coming or to decrease its intensity.

These are two very different situations and are treated differently from the acupuncturist’s standpoint. Depending on your situation when you enter their office will make a difference in how you are treated.

The reason why this is the case is because acupuncture is a way of moving energy throughout your body and it also can increase blood flow to certain areas.

The way of treating an existing headache differs somewhat from the treatment that will assist in blocking future headaches. Your doctor will be able to make that determination and to adjust the treatment accordingly.

Many people try acupuncture treatments to stop their headaches but they are nervous whenever they enter into the office.

Perhaps they have never experienced acupuncture before and are wondering how it is going to feel or if it is dangerous. The fact is, acupuncture is one of the least dangerous medical treatments that exists.

Although it is possible for problems to happen, it is very rare and if the doctor is competent and uses sterile means when inserting the needles there is little need for worry.

The needles themselves rarely hurt whenever they enter into the skin and often make the individual field either relaxed or even rejuvenated.

So, if you are experiencing headaches, the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture may be able to assist you in dealing with them. By bringing your body back into balance, you may be able to overcome your headaches once and for all.


Treating Frequent Headaches–Without Drugs

If you suffer from frequent headaches, neck pain or jaw pain, you might want to visit a dentist before you reach for any painkillers.



Experts say that people with misaligned bites often have jaw and neck muscles that are overworked. Those overtired muscles can lead to a number of ailments–including headaches,

neck and jaw pain-that people don’t associate with dental problems. LVI Global, the leading postgraduate training facility for dentists, specifically deals with such issues.

LVI Global trains dentists to use a number of techniques that help improve jaw position by focusing on what’s known as the “neuromuscular bite.”

Here’s a closer look at how an LVI Global-trained neuromuscular dentist might treat the pain caused by what is known as TMD:

A Problem Ailment

TMD, short for temporomandibular (jaw joint) disorder, affects more than 15 percent of American adults. It is particularly prevalent among women.

Common signs and symptoms include headaches, even migraines, pain in the head and neck, painful clicking or popping of the jaw joint, swallowing problems, excessive snoring or sleep apnea and limited mouth opening, among other things.

Diagnosis

When checking for TMD, a neuromuscular dentist takes a patient’s history and does a physical exam of the teeth, posture, head and neck.

The dentist may also conduct a series of tests using noninvasive instruments. If it is determined that the patient’s bite is the likely cause of the pain, the neuromuscular dentist will identify a new jaw position that leaves the patient’s jaw muscles in a relaxed state.

Treatment

There are a number of treatment options, but the process often starts with a patient wearing for a short period of time what’s known as an orthotic.

An orthotic is a custom-made, plastic appliance that can be worn over the teeth. It does not permanently alter a patient’s bite.

If, after wearing the appliance, a patient’s TMD symptoms go away, it can be safely assumed they were caused by poor jaw alignment.

If that’s the case, patients have several options. They include dental treatment to permanently alter the bite to the new position, orthodontics or beautiful porcelain restorations.

Not only is your pain eliminated but you may have a stunning new smile.


Acupressure and Migraines

Acupressure is a completely non-invasive treatment option that has a high success rate among migraineurs (people who suffer from migraine headaches).



It has a proven track record as a successful pain abatement technique. Acupressure is also efficacious in reducing both the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are over 800 vital energy points in the human body. These points lie along meridians that run throughout a person’s body.

Chi, or life energy, flows along the meridians and through the energy points in healthy people. Chi that is blocked or overabundant near particular energy points causes illness and pain.

Acupressure massage applies pressure to these energy points in order to release chi and stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms.

The energy points are massaged with the fingers, thumb, or occasional blunt object with medium pressure in a circular pattern.

The simplest acupressure a migraineur can learn is an all-over head massage. This technique just requires the practitioner to massage the scalp as though they were washing their hair.

Sit with the elbows resting on a table to prevent arm strain and the head resting lightly in the hands to perform head and neck acupressure.

Moderate pressure applied to the GB20 points offers the best relief for migraine pain. They are on either side of the neck,

approximately one inch to each side of the spinal column just below where the skull and neck muscles connect. GB20 also goes by the more romantic-sounding Chinese name “The Gates of Consciousness”.

Migraineurs seeking to relieve their headache and neck pain should practice deep breathing while using the thumbs of both hands to press firmly on the GB20 points for one to two minutes.

If this is painful at first, home practitioners can start out by pressing and releasing the points in five to fifteen second intervals.


Lifestyle Change for Natural Migraine Prevention

Migraine sufferers are turning to non-pharmacological options to reduce the number of headaches they have.



Prophylactic drugs aimed at migraine prevention can have many unpleasant side effects and do not work at all for some migraineurs (people who have chronic migraines).

A migraineur’s lifestyle impacts the severity and frequency of the attacks and lifestyle changes, like those mentioned below can prevent migraine recurrence.

Sleep:

Migraineurs need to learn how much sleep they need and make sure they do not get too little sleep or too much more than they need.

Patients who do not get enough sleep during the workweek who try to make up for it over the weekend may trigger a headache.

Exercise:

Physical exertion in moderation is good for everyone, including migraineurs. Establishing a regular exercise routine, at least 20-40 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times a week, relieves stress that triggers headaches and exercise-induced endorphins are a natural analgesic.

Stress Management:

Migraineurs are susceptible to attacks during periods of high stress. If stress is unavoidable, they should build time for stress relief into their routine to prevent a headache.

Good stress management techniques for migraineurs are massage, exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet.

Eating:

Migraineurs should eat regular meals at roughly the same time daily and not skip a meal unless it is an emergency. A good, healthy breakfast goes a long way in preventing headaches.

The most important thing is to be consistent with any lifestyle change. Migraineurs need regular behavior patterns and they must be applied on weekends and holidays, not just during the week.

Getting out of sync two days a week by sleeping in, skipping meals, or staying up late defeats the purpose of lifestyle changes and upsets the balance created by having a pattern the rest of the week.


Headache Facts

FACT: Headaches Affect Nearly 90% of Men and 95% of Women. All kinds of pains are bad. But there is nothing as mentally exhausting as a headache.



It affects our well-being, our productivity and even our social existence. After a headache we feel mentally drained and physically exhausted. But then we come to the interesting question, should a bad headache keep a good man down?

To find
a solution to this question, it is important that we understand
more about headaches.
Headaches are of different types.
They can be identified as headaches due to migraine, sinus and tension.

Now these headaches are very different but they do affect the same part that is the head in general. So if we understand more about them we can reach an interesting conclusion.

And you know what that is?
Headaches are largely preventable. Of course there are a lot of cures available over the counter now but do we really have to wait for the headache to start to resort to treatment?

Isn’t
prevention better than cure? Isn’t it better to be proactive than reactive?

There are many factors that contribute to the onset of headache pain and even migraines.
A few of the most common factors are…
1. Stress
2. Diet
3. Environment
Being aware of what brings on your headaches is key to finding drug free relief.


Headaches – 3 Home Treatment Methods – Migraine – Tension

There are two main categories of headaches, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are not caused by underlying medical conditions while



secondary headaches are the end result of some other medical condition such as a brain tumor, infection or trauma.

Primary headaches make up about 90% of all headaches and tension-type headaches are the most common of these. Migraine headaches are also primary and affect as many as 30 or 40 million Americans.

It has been estimated that as many as 75% or more of all headache sufferers have tension headaches. And upwards of 90% of adults in the USA have experienced the pain of a tension headache.

In differentiating tension and migraine headaches the tension-type is usually characterized by a constant dull aching on both sides of the head. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are typically felt on just one side and are throbbing in nature.

Tension headaches usually begin slowly and worsen over time. They often begin in the middle of the day and are caused by stress.

Because of this they are often called stress headaches. They can become chronic in nature, occurring every day in some patients. Many tension-type headache sufferers experience a tight feeling in their head or neck muscles.

Migraine headaches can also become chronic in nature, but are usually experienced once or twice a week at most and not daily.

Approximately 75% of patients experiencing migraine headaches are female. Migraine headaches can be disabling and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

About 20% will experience an aura, a disturbance in vision that can consist of bright blinking colored lights that move across their field of vision.

There are many types of treatment methods available to sufferers of both tension and migraine headaches. The most common approach is to take an over-the-counter pain reliever (no prescription necessary).

Non-prescription medicines can include aspirin, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Motrin), or a combination of aspirin and acetaminophen.

These are the most popular types of non-prescription pain relievers. People with more severe pain may need prescription medicine.

There are also different types of natural treatment methods that dont involve the use of over-the-counter or prescription medicines. These can often relieve headache symptoms.

One method is to put an ice pack on the base of the skull. When using an ice pack there should be a barrier between the ice pack and the skin, such as a wetted cloth that has had the water wrung out of it.

This can lessen the flow of blood to the head resulting in less pressure in the head.

A person can also put their feet in a container of warm water. This has the effect of attracting the blood to the feet instead of the head, again reducing pressure to the head.

Migraine headaches can sometimes be helped by eliminating the triggers. Foods that may trigger migraines include, but are not limited to,

cheese, alcohol, MSG (monosodium glutamate), nuts, beans, caffeine, chocolate, onions and others. Eliminating the trigger may eliminate migraines.

Another way to eliminate headaches naturally is to reduce your stress by relaxing. Get plenty of sleep. Lie down in a dark quiet room.

Or try a combination of lying down in a dark quiet room while you have a small ice pack positioned at the base of your skull.

This article is a general overview of tension-type and migraine headaches and may not apply to everyone. But sometimes one idea is all it takes to reduce painful tension or migraine headaches.


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