High Neurological Threshold and Low Metabolic Migraine Trigger Load = You Not Having a Migraine
Much of the current research on migraine headaches points to what is known as autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The autonomic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that controls all of your internal organ and gland function but most importantly and related to migraine is its control of your brain’s blood flow.
The location of the control center for the autonomic nervous system lies in the brain stem and also an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Blood vessels in the brain and its coverings are wired up to an area in the brain stem known as the trigeminal nucleus. The trigeminal nucleus stretches from the brain stem down into your neck and it receives pain sensations from the vessels in the brain. When this trigeminal area and its neighbors in the brain stem are not functioning optimally they can become unstable gradually drifting closer to threshold making the pain pathways more sensitive.
This will lower your brain’s threshold to migraine triggers (foods, inflammation, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, dehydration to name a few) making you more susceptible to migraine. As this area becomes more unstable pain neurons begin to fire more easily. This is called central sensitization. Signals from the brain stem and upper neck nerves affect blood vessels in your head, face and neck causing them to become swollen and inflamed causing pain. The trigeminal nucleus also will fire in a wave-like pattern to higher brain centers causing throbbing pain.
Higher brain centers have an ability to reduce or inhibit this cascade of events but when those areas are not working well this function is lost lowering your threshold to migraine.
The good news is there are Specific Functional Neurological Based stimulations or therapies that can be done to improve and stabilize the long term function of higher brain centers as well as the brain stem and autonomic nervous system to help your migraine headaches.
Our specific neurological exam will pinpoint areas of your brain that may not be functioning optimally. We also look at each specific brain region that may be causing a person’s migraine in addition to the individual’s specific functional capabilities and metabolic health as well. This is different from just prescribing medications to mask the symptoms and not looking at each individual patient from a functional model.
The neurological therapies or brain stimulations we use are specific and unique for each individual. These therapies are determined by the neurological consultation, the neurological examination and advanced neurological computerized testing. These therapies help restore impaired function by using the concepts of neuroplasticity and the brain’s inherent ability to repair itself. The therapies target affected areas with specific activities to rebuild neural pathways. These stimulations are aimed at stabilizing brain stem nuclei and the autonomic nervous system to increase a person’s threshold and break the vicious cycle of migraine.
Therapy regimens may include:
- Oxygen Therapy
- Specific eye exercises: to affect and improve brain areas associated with a migraine.
- SSEP: somatosensory evoked potential to the tongue as well as face: to increase the stability of brain stem networks
- Insufflation therapy- gentle stimulation of the inner ear to stimulate brain stem nuclei
- Vibration Therapy- to stimulate the cerebellum
- Proprioceptive stimulation- Joint stimulation to affect the brain.
- Vestibular stimulation- inner ear stimulation
- Balance Therapy
- Advanced muscle retraining
- Interactive metronome
- HemiStim Programs
- Corrective Chiropractic Care
- Spinal Decompression Therapy