How Migraine Can Ruin a Good Day and How You Can Cope Better

migraine relief in San FranciscoIf you’re one of the thousands of people pursuing effective migraine relief in San Francisco, you will likely agree that migraine is the perfect recipe to ruin your day. Once migraine attacks, it feels as if you are no longer allowed to be productive and have fun, and you must retreat to the darkest corner of the room until you feel better (which can take hours, even days!).

There are roughly one billion people worldwide who suffer from migraine. Notably, most people experience severely disabling symptoms such as dizziness linked to vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and the most common symptom – severe head pain. 

 As if those symptoms are not enough, you may also experience a tingling sensation and numbness in the arms, legs, and face, along with acute throbbing head pain on either side of the head. If you’re unlucky, you may feel it on both sides too. You might also experience hypersensitivity to lights and sounds. 

Naturally, if you have such symptoms, you will most likely need to set aside your plans and wait until the symptoms fade. You might also need to miss out on important events with your friends and families! Learn how you can prevent this from happening by reading through the discussion below.


What’s causing your migraine?

You may be asking by now, what’s causing your pesky migraine? Although unfortunately, the exact cause of migraine remains unknown, experts are currently looking into abnormal brain activity as a key trigger. Studies have found that unusual neural activity in the brain can affect nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels.


What are the different migraine triggers?

Anyone looking for migraine relief in San Francisco knows the importance of identifying migraine triggers. That’s because by knowing the specific things that set off the symptoms, you can potentially reduce the impact of an episode. It’s good practice to observe your migraine attack patterns and work backward to see which trigger(s) causes the most problems for you. Here are some examples: 

Skipping a meal

Irregular food intake or skipping a meal can cause a drop in your blood sugar level, which triggers a migraine attack.

Irregular sleeping schedule

Sleep helps renew and repair all parts of your body. However, when your sleep schedule becomes irregular, you lack enough rest making you more prone to migraine attacks.


In reality, women are more likely to have migraine than men due to the regular fluctuation of hormones linked to the menstrual cycle. About 75% of women experience attacks around their menstrual period, referred to as menstrual migraine.

Diet and specific food

There’s a long list of foods that can trigger a migraine attack. Most of these items contain histamine, caffeine, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and MSG. As a result, you should also consider reducing your consumption of chocolate, cheese, shellfish, soda, dairy products, and cured meats.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraine, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

Changes in weather

Unfortunately for others, weather changes can prompt a migraine attack. Storms, heat, high humidity, and changes in barometric pressure are common triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. 

Medications overuse 

Taking medication to fight migraine for more than 10days in a month can cause more migraine attacks. If you experience chronic migraine, perhaps it’s time to look for more long-term migraine relief in San Francisco, such as upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.

Sensory overload

Some people can experience migraine attacks due to natural, bright light and fluorescent or flickering bulbs. For some, odors may activate specific nerve receptors in the nasal passages that may trigger a migraine attack or worsen one that has already started. On the one hand, others experience an adverse reaction when hearing loud sounds like the honking of the cars. 


One of the biggest migraine culprits is stress. In fact, studies note that about 50-70% of people associate their daily stress levels with the severity of their migraines. When you add the anxiety caused by constantly thinking about the next attack, you will likely feel trapped in a never-ending and exhausting cycle of pain and discomfort.

Oxidative stress

An imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body leads to migraine. Doctors and headache specialists refer to this as oxidative stress. Let’s look into this specific factor in the following section.


What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress occurs due to an imbalance between the antioxidants and free radicals in the body. For example, when oxygen metabolizes in your body, you form free radicals which lack an electron. Due to the lack of electron, these free radicals look for another molecule with an electron to take its place and tends to damage surrounding cells. 

 To help you visualize the process, think of a metal that rusts due to oxidation. Imagine the human body going through forming rust when more free radicals develop. When more free radicals form, your body will endure more damage. As a result, some people will show signs of aging earlier and experience more concerning health conditions. Oxidative stress contributes to the fast aging process and the development of health conditions. 

Lack of exercise and poor diet will develop more free radicals in your body. Reducing the oxidative stress in your body will help you fight off migraines and other conditions easier. 

What is the connection between oxidative stress and migraine?

People who have migraine are known to have higher oxidative stress levels than those who don’t. Also, some migraine triggers tend to increase the brain’s oxidative stress. This is when the imbalance between the forming of free radicals and your body’s capability to suppress its harmful effects happens. However, oxidative stress doesn’t just prompt a migraine attack; it can also be your body’s way of protecting your brain from oxidative stress.


Migraine pain relief through upper cervical care

Keeping your body in its optimum shape is key to fighting free radicals and oxidative stress. Therefore taking care of all your functioning systems, including your central nervous system, is necessary.

 Having your spine aligned correctly is essential to your overall health. A usual spot where misalignment occurs, causing migraine and other health conditions, is in your upper cervical spine – where you will find the topmost spinal bones (C1 and C2 bones). Due to accidents or other activities that apply force to the neck or head, these bones move out of position. 

When the neck bones misalign, they press on the brainstem and distort signals relayed to the brain and body. The misalignment in the cervical spine also disrupts blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid to and from the brain, further contributing to the onset of worse migraine symptoms. Additionally, your free radicals tend to flow freely in the body when you have an impaired brainstem. This can lead to more health problems down the line.

Thankfully, you can potentially cancel out these problems with the help of upper cervical care – a chiropractic technique that focuses on the C1 and C2 bones.


Reach out to a chiropractic doctor for migraine relief in San Francisco

Recurring headaches and other migraine episodes should never take over your life! We strongly suggest getting your neck bones checked for misalignments if you have these symptoms. This way, you can confirm whether you need to receive upper cervical chiropractic adjustments. 

Dr. Lawlor of Upper Cervical in San Francisco is an experienced chiropractic doctor you can trust to achieve complete migraine relief in San Francisco. He can help ease migraine pain by correcting spinal misalignment of patients by using the Blair procedure, a specific technique that locates misalignments in the upper cervical spine and slowly corrects it.

To book your appointment, you can call his office directly at 415-362-3500, send your request or query online or email


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawlor, call our office at 415-362-3500. You can also click the button below.

If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

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San Francisco, CA 94102

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Dr. Lawlor is a member of the Blair Chiropractic Society