Migraine is a common neurological disorder that can cause severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They can significantly impact a person's quality of life, making it difficult to work, go to school, or enjoy activities. According to the American Migraine Foundation as of 2023, 39 million Americans live with migraine. The AMF also estimates that migraine affects 1 in 4 households in the United States.
There is no cure for migraine, but there are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. One promising treatment option is NUCCA upper cervical chiropractic care. (NUCCA is an acronym for the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association.) NUCCA is what we offer here at Atlas Chiropractic of Fort Wayne.
NUCCA is a specific type of chiropractic care that focuses on the alignment of the upper cervical spine. More specifically, NUCCA focuses on the top vertebra C1, also known as the atlas bone. These upper cervical vertebrae are responsible for supporting the head and neck, as well as for protecting the brainstem and spinal cord. The atlas bone itself is known as the brain to body connection through which all of the nerves of the body pass through.
When the upper cervical spine is misaligned, it can put pressure on the nerves, blood vessels, and cerebrospinal fluid that travel through this area. This can lead to a variety of problems, including migraine attacks.
NUCCA adjustments aim to realign the upper cervical spine, reduce the pressure on these nerves and blood vessels, and improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This can help to prevent migraine attacks or reduce their severity.
How NUCCA Works for Migraine
One way that NUCCA helps is to improve the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to the brain. This is because the upper cervical spine is located near the base of the skull, where the brainstem and spinal cord connect. When the upper cervical spine is misaligned, it can put pressure on these structures and restrict the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid.
Another way that NUCCA helps is to reduce inflammation in the brain. Inflammation is a common trigger for migraine attacks. When the upper cervical spine is misaligned, it can irritate the nerves and blood vessels in this area, which can lead to inflammation.
Research on NUCCA for Migraine
There is a growing body of research on the effectiveness of NUCCA care for those with migraine. A 2017 study published in the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies found that NUCCA treatment was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks in adults. The study also found that NUCCA was well-tolerated and had no serious side effects.
Another study, published in the journal Headache in 2018, found that NUCCA treatment was effective in reducing the frequency and severity of attacks in children. The study also found that NUCCA was more effective than medication in reducing the frequency of attacks.
Here are some additional tips for people with migraine who are considering NUCCA:
- Keep a headache diary to track your symptoms and triggers. This will help your chiropractor identify the underlying cause of your attacks and develop a treatment plan.
- Make lifestyle changes that can help to reduce your risk of attacks. These changes may include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.
- Be patient. It may take some time to see the full benefits of NUCCA treatment.
If you are looking for a natural and effective way to manage your migraine, NUCCA may be a good option for you. Book a complimentary consultation at Atlas Chiropractic of Fort Wayne to learn more.