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How Long Do Migraines Last and Can A Chiropractor Help It?

How Long Do Migraines Last and Can A Chiropractor Help It?

Migraines are a serious health condition affecting around 10% of the population worldwide. According to the reports, this condition is found more commonly in individuals aged 20 to 50. In addition, this health complication is more common in women than men. If we consider the National Institute of Health reports, around 12% of Americans are affected by migraine headaches. So this means around 40 million individuals in the US suffer from this condition yearly.

Also, if we talk about headaches in general, approximately 40% of the American population faces them regularly. Since this is a common health problem adults face, doctors recommend various prescribed and over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms. However, in most cases, these medicines only provide temporary relief from symptoms. Furthermore, you can suffer side effects like liver damage and more risk of GI bleeding.

So, suppose you want to avoid taking medicines or the ones you take are not working. In that case, your best alternative is taking a chiropractor’s help. But can a chiropractor really help with migraines? And if yes, how exactly does chiropractor for migraines work? Here you’ll get answers to how long migraines last and how exactly chiropractic can help in this.

Understanding What Migraines Are

Migraines are a neurological condition characterized by different phases of moderate-to-severe headaches, increased sensitivity to certain sounds or smells, and light sensitivity. During a migraine, the pain you’ll experience is generally limited to one side of the head. In addition, many individuals experience a pulsing sensation and throbbing pain while suffering from it.

The timeframe for migraine attacks is a few hours to even days. And the pain you’ll experience during this time can severely affect your day-to-day activities. A migraine attack usually develops in four phases, which we’ll discuss later in this post. So, now you know what a migraine is. Let’s now jump to the causes of migraines.

What Are The Common Causes And Triggers For Migraines?

The primary triggers and causes of migraines are changes in genetic or environmental factors. There is still no research that can answer what exactly causes this health complication. However, there are many triggers that are said to trigger migraine headaches. This includes:


Reports suggest that 70% of individuals with migraines trigger their symptoms due to high-stress levels.

Poor Sleep 

A patient with migraine must manage their sleeping schedule. Not having enough sleep, sleeping too much, or sleeping during irregular intervals are all responsible for triggering the symptoms.

Hormonal Changes

As mentioned, migraines are more common in females than males. The primary reason behind this is the hormonal changes that women go through during their menstrual cycle. According to some reports, 75% of women with migraines claim that they experience symptoms before and during menstrual.

Dietary Habits

What you eat can also trigger your symptoms. Some individuals may experience migraine symptoms after having salty foods, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners.


Powerful smells of chemicals, gasoline, or perfumes are known to trigger the symptoms.

Alcohol Use

Drinking alcohol might also be responsible for triggering your symptoms. Some individuals report experiencing these symptoms after drinking alcohol, especially red wine.


There are a few cases where migraine symptoms may worsen due to differences in barometric pressure, too much heat, and severe storms. 

Now, you are familiar with the potential triggers of migraine symptoms. However, as we mentioned, migraines have four phases, each of which has varying timeframes. So, let’s try to understand how long each stage of migraines can last in the next section. 

How Long Do Migraines Last In Different Phases?

On average, a migraine attack lasts around 4 hours to 72 hours but can even last longer in some cases. How long a migraine episode lasts can vary from person to person and is pretty hard to predict.

We can divide these migraine episodes into four stages or phases. However, remember that not everyone experiences all these stages during their migraine periods. So, keeping that in mind, here are the four phases of a migraine:


If the prodrome phase occurs, it can last about a few hours or even a few days. While going through this phase, you can experience various symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating, food cravings, nausea, etc.


The aura phase only occurs in 15 to 20 percent of migraine patients. During this phase, you can face multiple symptoms such as numbness, temporary vision loss, ringing in the ears, tingling, and blind spots in the vision. A few individuals even report seeing wavy lines or flashing lights while in the aura phase. This phase usually lasts around 5 minutes to 1 hour.


The primary symptom of migraine is headache. While in this phase, you’ll experience pain on one side of your head. With time, this pain travels to the other sides of your head. Generally, migraine headaches last around 72 hours.


This phase is also called a migraine hangover, as it takes about a day or two to recover from the aftereffects of a migraine. During this migraine phase, you’ll experience various things, such as depressed or fatigued feelings and difficulty concentrating. A few patients report feeling euphoric after this phase gets over.          

Now, after knowing the different phases or stages of a migraine attack, you would want to know how to get rid of this condition permanently. Well, there are no cures for migraines, but there are surely treatments that can help you ease the symptoms. You can take medications to treat these symptoms and get relief from these stages. However, as mentioned, there are several side effects to these medicines. Furthermore, you might start experiencing the symptoms again when these medicine effects vanish.

So, in that case, chiropractic care will be the safest and side effects-free treatment. But what is involved during the process, and can these professionals really help with migraine? Let’s get an answer to this question in the next section.

Also Read: Chiropractor For Carpal Tunnel: Everything You Need To Know

Can A Chiropractor Help With Migraines?

The symptoms of migraine headaches can vary from person to person. However, there is one thing common in these migraine patients, which is neck pain. Around 75% of people report experiencing neck pain because of these headaches. This includes neck stiffness, muscle tension, and issues regarding the functioning of the jaw.

Now, your healthcare provider will suggest anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and muscle relaxants to deal with the symptoms of migraines. But, whatever you choose, these treatment options will only temporarily relieve the symptoms. They are not actually treating the underlying cause of these symptoms. However, when it comes to chiropractic care, the chiropractor will not only treat the symptoms but also offer relief to these underlying causes.

Chiropractic care for migraines includes manual therapies such as spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, massage, etc. A professional chiropractor using these techniques can help relieve migraine symptoms as well as other headaches. Other than that, a chiropractor can also help treat carcinogenic headaches and tension headaches.

What treatment your chiropractor provides will depend upon the seriousness of your condition and the symptoms you’re currently experiencing. Based on that, the professional may recommend spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, or lifestyle changes.

Now, soft tissue therapy usually includes taping, massage, or manual resistance procedures that help address problems with the body’s ligaments, muscles, connective tissues, and tendons. On the other hand, spinal manipulation consists of applying controlled force to a person’s spine’s joints. One may experience the same benefits of preventive medications through spinal manipulation as it helps manage the migraine headaches frequencies.

How Exactly Does Chiropractic Care For Migraines Work?

Even though now you know that a chiropractor can help treat migraines, you may still be curious to know how exactly a chiropractor works to help you deal with this pain. Well, as mentioned, chiropractors use spinal manipulation or adjustments to give you relief from these symptoms. If the chiropractor recommended soft tissue therapies, it might include:

  • massage, which consists of kneading of muscles and joints
  • trigger point therapies targeting tense areas within your muscles
  • myofascial release, focusing on the membranes that support and connect muscles

Furthermore, your chiropractor may suggest some lifestyle changes to help deal with the symptoms of migraine headaches. This includes:

  • making changes in diet and consuming B complex vitamins.
  • avoiding too much exercise and encouraging low-level aerobics and walking
  • advice is postures like sitting properly at work

Lifestyle changes are quite an essential part of dealing with migraine headaches effectively. Some changes directly impact migraine triggers, such as reducing alcohol consumption. Chiropractic care works to lower the pain you’re experiencing using various techniques and therapies.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe For Children With Migraines?

Now, it’s true that migraines are more common in adults, especially in adult women. However, this doesn’t mean a child cannot experience the symptoms. Yes, children can have migraines, and the treatments are similar to that of adults. However, if you’re a parent, you may wish to avoid giving your kid medicines as they carry side effects. The primary reason why children suffer these side effects is that the medications for migraines are made for adults.

Well, to answer the question, is chiropractic care safe for children? Yes, a child can get the help of a chiropractor to fight their migraine symptoms. As per one 2010 report by NBCE (National Board of Chiropractic Examiners), 17% of individuals receiving chiropractic care were less than 18 years. However, there isn’t enough evidence that can provide accurate conclusions.

So, before you decide, talk to your kid’s healthcare provider about whether getting chiropractic care for migraine is recommended for them.

Chiropractor For Migraines During Pregnancy   

Some professionals don’t suggest using preventive medications for migraines during pregnancy, as their side effects may adversely affect pregnant women and the fetus. So, looking for a safer alternative to medicines, such as chiropractic, is better.

There isn’t much study regarding how effective chiropractic is for migraine during pregnancy. However, per a 2009 case study, this chiropractic care might be safe and effective for pregnant women.

This study was performed on a 24 years pregnant woman who had been experiencing chronic migraine headaches for the past 12 years. Previously, she had treatments like physical therapy and massage therapy, which were unsuccessful and didn’t give her any relief.

After she underwent spinal manipulation, adjustment, and add-on therapies, she noticed significant improvements in her symptoms. Furthermore, she became free from medication. While more studies are essential to come to any conclusion, this one case study suggests that chiropractic care might be effective and safe for treating migraine during pregnancy.

Realign Spine: The Best Chiropractic For Migraines In Jackson Heights

Migraines can cause some severe health problems if they are not treated at the right time. That’s why getting the right chiropractic help is vital to relieve these symptoms quickly. At Realign Spine, we provide multiple chiropractic treatments to help treat migraine headaches and other types of headaches. Our chiropractor, Dr. Michael Shaub, has 26 years of chiropractic experience and knows the best techniques to offer instant relief from migraines. To make an appointment, contact us at +1-888-269-7246 or

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