In our office we take a completely different approach in the treatment and prevention of Migraines and Headaches. We first take a look at the nervous system as a whole. Often times when evaluating a patient we will find a weaking or damage to areas within the nervous system. This might include the brain, brainstem, spinal cord or a combination of the above.
Quite often a patient with chronic migraines will exhibit an overfiring of what is called the Mesencephalon. This is an area of the brain located in the upper brain stem. They also might exhibit a weakness in the back part of the brain called the cerebellum. See below for symptoms that might be present with a weakened cerebellum and overfiring mesencephalon.
Possible symptoms that might occur:
Migraines & Headaches
Inability to get to or stay asleep (insomnia)
Increased heart beat
Neck or back pain (weakened cerebellum allows this to happen)
There are three parts to the brain stem: top, middle, and lower. The mesencephalon is the top part of the brain stem. A high output of the mesencephalon will cause an increased firing and ultimately over stimulate the neurons in the brain. This will contribute to a migraine headache.
Along with a high mesenphalic output, the migraine patient may have a decreased output of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the back part of the brain, and it controls all of the involuntary spinal musculature. This is why they might have chronic muscle or tension in the neck area.
Sometimes we also find compression to the nerve roots and spinal cord from a damaged disc causing the migraine headache.
No matter what the condition, it is imperative that the doctor perform a thorough and comprehensive exam to determine the exact nature of the patient’s condition.
Why Does the Nervous System malfunction or get damaged?
The main cause is stress! There a 3 causes of stress:
- Mental stressors: (i.e. divorce, jobs, loss of loved one, and etc.)
- Physical Stressors: (i.e. car accidents, falls, abuse, posture, etc.)
- Chemical stressors: (pesticides in our food, medications, illegal drug use, alcohol, etc.)
Overtime these stressors cause the nervous system to become imbalanced or damaged.
How does Brain Based Therapy Help patients with Migraines?
After a full evaluation is done, the Doctor will determine what treatments will be performed depending on what the patient will need. An example of some of the treatments are:
- Vibration Therapy- This helps stimulate nerve endings that send messages to the spinal cord that in turn stimulate the cerebellum to increase its frequency of firing. This can help suppress the overfiring of the mesencephalon.
- Decompression Therapy- This helps remove pressure to nerve roots if an impingement or compression is found.
- Upper Body Excercise-This stimulates the cord tracts to strenghten the brain areas.
- Electrical Stimulation- This helps stimulate various parts of the nervous system. (note: This is different that a T.E.N.s unit.)
- Nutritional/Metabolic Therapy- This helps normalize any imbalances in the metabolic side of the patient.
- Increase Oxygen Flow- We often find patients with Migraines have a decreased oxygen flow to their bodies. This hampers the nervous system.
These are just a sampling of what we do depending on the patients needs.
Does Brain Based Therapy Have any Research Behind it?
Absolutely yes! Brain Based Therapy was developed by Dr. Ted Carrick, DC, PhD.. Dr. Carrick is the Distinguished PostGraduate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic, near St. Louis, MO. He is the author of Neurophysiological Implications in Learning, and for 21 years he has had a specialty practice limited to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.
Dr. Carrick is an active brain researcher, teacher and clinician who attends patients throughout the world. You can view the Carrick Institue at www.carrickinstitute.org.
Low Oxygen Flow can cause Migraines
Along with the problem of the output of the midbrain, the most common problem we see in our migraine headache patients is decreased oxygen levels of the brain cells.
As we age our ability to use oxygen decreases. Since the brain is the most oxygen dependent structure in the body, we supplement our patients with oxygen (condensed air) to ensure proper oxygen levels for the brain. Click HERE to learn more about Oxygen Therapy.
If you would like to see if we might help you or a loved one pleasae call us at 402-397-1800 to schedule an appointment