Are These Migraine Triggers Sneaking Up On You?

Are These Migraine Triggers Sneaking Up On You

Migraine can be difficult to figure out as to what may have triggered an episode. It is important to watch for any patterns and avoid common stressors that cause migraines. Some common triggers include:

  • Stress – Physical and/or emotional stress
  • Menstruation – Hormone changes just before and during menstruation
  • Food additives – Artificial sweeteners and preservatives
  • Improper sleep – Too little or too much sleep
  • Certain foods/Meal habits – Excess sodium intake, processed foods, and aged cheeses

Most migraine treatments are aimed at reducing or avoiding pain without truly examining the underlying cause. At our clinic in San Francisco we want you to be able to life your life without worrying about migraine headaches.


Your Migraine Can Be Treated

Many times, migraines come with a tight feeling in the neck and around the temples, also known as tension headaches. ... Chiropractic adjustments are not only great for helping reduce the severity of migraines, but regular chiropractic care can also help reduce the frequency of these migraines as well.

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How is my neck related to my migraines?

Your spine is responsible for protecting your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is responsible for sending messages to and from your brain. When the top bone in your spine (atlas) misaligns, this creates pressure within your spinal cord. This pressure causes the messages going to and from your brain to be distorted. This may lead to migraine symptoms, such as head or facial pain and muscle spasm.

I am trained in upper cervical chiropractic – a gentle, specific approach aimed at correcting the atlas. Upper cervical chiropractic is incredibly precise, and every correction is tailored to each individual patient.  Through realignment of the atlas, there is reduced pressure on the spinal cord. This allows for proper signals to be sent to and from the brain. This may lead to a reduction in migraine symptoms.

Bernard et al. described a case report of a 16 year old girl who presented with chronic migraine headaches. She complained of having migraines of 2-3 hours duration 1-2 times per week. After 16 visits with 5 atlas corrections, her migraine frequency and duration decreased. She reported only having mild migraines 2-4 times per month.


  1. Bernard M, Alcantara J, Pierce S. The Care of a Teenage Girl with Migraine Headaches with the Advanced Orthogonal Procedure: A Case Report. J Upper Cerv Chiro Res [Internet]. 2013 [cited 04 April 2016];2013(January):14-19. Available from:

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Ryan Lawlor

Dr. Lawlor is one of a select few who are specially trained in Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Upper Cervical is a specialty focusing on the neuroanatomy and biomechanics of the upper neck. His focus is on this area because it houses the lower brainstem, which is notably an area of great importance in the body’s regulation of its internal environment (homeostasis), which keeps the body healthy. He specializes in migraine relief as he was a migraine sufferer for many years.