By William Huhn
“A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling.
Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.”
It’s impossible to understand the true shattering effects of a full-blown migraine – unless you’ve personally experienced one.
Migraine presents in various ways and all too often, the sufferer tells me they have little choice but to let it run its course.
Migraine events can happen occasionally for some, while a few of my clients have experienced one or more every week.
I have treated dozens of clients with intractable migraines. I find it encouraging that the treatment success rate is quite high even with these intractable cases.
It appears that often the true source of these events is muscular. Travell and Simons refer to several muscles and their involved trigger points, that when active, will produce migraine.
A client of mine told me that she had suffered intractable and frequent migraines since her teens, and she is now in her 50s.
One of the biggest perpetuators to her suffering was her almost daily use of ice to mitigate the pain. Ice can do that – mitigate some types of pain. Ironically, this icing of her posterior neck and forehead every night, was causing the already tight muscles to tighten further.
After the intake interview and treatment, I concluded that she indeed had TrPs that could produce migraine. I told her that she must stop icing. She said “no way, it’s the only relief I get!” – my reply was “I understand your concern”. She gasped when I then told her to apply heat to the neck and shoulders every evening, but after explaining the effects of heat (vasodilation and relaxing of muscle tissue) she consented to trying it, at least for a week to see how things go.
I also advised her to change some bad posture habits that were connected to computer work and to prevent her shoulders, neck and head from being chilled. She agreed to try everything I suggested (yes, it’s the stuff I learnt from reading the T&S manual).
After about 6 weekly treatments, along with some changes to her routine, her migraine events became much less frequent/intense. She was thrilled to report after a few more treatments, her migraines had stopped.
Since our goal is to heal the involved muscles, I advised that she continue with visits until we had all the involved TrPs inactivated (or she could self-treat them at home). This is the difference between remedial therapy and simply offering symptomatic relief.
All we did was treat some muscles in the shoulders, neck and head – therefore, in her case there had to be a muscular connection to migraine.