Lifting the Fog on Migraines

The chances are that you, or someone you know, has suffered from migraines. I’m sure we can all agree they are overwhelmingly debilitating and impactful. 


Research from The Migraine Trust states that migraines are the third most-common disease in the world with more prevalence than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.¹ They affect three times as many women as men, with this higher rate thought to be driven by hormones²; it's also estimated that the UK population loses 25 million days from work or school each year because of migraines³, costing us £2.25 billion per year. The facts and research speak for themselves. 


So why in 2017 with all the research, funding and technology have we not found a solution? There are a number of factors that can trigger migraines, including diet, alcohol, caffeine, stress, smoking, and hormonal changes, to name just a few. However, in most cases, these are triggers and not the root cause of the pain – which is why many do not find a solution to just “managing” the problem.³



It’s been found that more than 50% of migraine patients are unsatisfied with their current treatment and the majority self-medicate using over the counter medication, without seeking further help.


Over time there has been a wealth of research into how and why people find a solution from Chiropractic care for migraines. A study in Neurology Research International in 2015⁴ demonstrated how Chiropractors have produced amazing results for headache and migraine sufferers. The research looked into how the upper cervical spine affects the cerebral spinal fluid travelling up into the brain.


The researcher stated, “The upper cervical spine can act like a potential ‘choke point’ in the spinal hydrodynamics and play a contributory role in the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as migraines”. 

“Misalignments in the upper-cervical spine compress vertebral veins and affect cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) flow. An increase in CSF flow in the brain can then compress veins and reduce drainage.”⁵


In other words, problems in the upper neck can restrict the supply of blood and essential fluids to the brain.  Assessing the upper-cervical spine alignment and measuring the function of the nervous system is what we specialise in at Atlas Chiropractic. Any misalignment of the upper neck obstructs the communication process between the brain and body, which leads to a wide range of breakdown in the function of the body and central nervous system. 




1. Headache Disorders – All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders. 2010.

2. World Health Organization. Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011.

3. Steiner TJ et al. The prevalence and disability burden of adult migraine in England and their relationships to age, gender and ethnicity. Cephalalgia. 2003;23(7):519-527.

4. Flanagan MF: The Role of the Cranio-cervical Junction in Cranio-spinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions; Neurology Research International; November 30, 2015. (epub)

5. Coban G, Coven I, Cifci BE, Yildirim E, Yazici AC, Horasanli B; The Importance of Craniovertebral and Cerviomedullary Angles in Cervicogenic Headache; Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; March-April 2014; Vol.20; pp 172-177.