Reduction in stress can be a migraine trigger

The weekend headache can happen the day after a stressful week. That is truly a slap in the face.

The day you plan to relax can become a day of suffering. Managing things that cause stress is one key. The biggest chiropractic connection is the reversed cervical curve. Make sure to get your neck check if you ever experience a headache. Don’t cover up with medications. –Dr. A

Objective: To test whether level of perceived stress and reductions in levels of perceived stress (i.e., “let-down”) are associated with the onset of migraine attacks in persons with migraine.

Methods: Patients with migraine from a tertiary headache center were invited to participate in a 3-month electronic diary study. Participants entered data daily regarding migraine attack experience, subjective stress ratings, and other data. Stress was assessed using 2 measures: the Perceived Stress Scale and the Self-Reported Stress Scale. Logit-normal, random-effects models were used to estimate the odds ratio for migraine occurrence as a function of level of stress over several time frames.

Results: Of 22 enrolled participants, 17 (median age 43.8 years) completed >30 days of diaries, yielding 2,011 diary entries including 110 eligible migraine attacks (median 5 attacks per person). Level of stress was not generally associated with migraine occurrence. However, decline in stress from one evening diary to the next was associated with increased migraine onset over the subsequent 6, 12, and 18 hours, with odds ratios ranging from 1.5 to 1.9 (all p values < 0.05) for the Perceived Stress Scale. Decline in stress was associated with migraine onset after controlling for level of stress for all time points. Findings were similar using the Self-Reported Stress Scale.

Conclusions: Reduction in stress from one day to the next is associated with migraine onset the next day. Decline in stress may be a marker for an impending migraine attack and may create opportunities for preemptive pharmacologic or behavioral interventions.

Source: Reduction in perceived stress as a migraine trigger

Headaches from the Neck

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Dr. Craig Anderson

Caffeine May Trigger Most Migraines

Linda M. Selwa, MD and colleagues at the University of Michigan Health System report that a dramatic percent of migraine headaches may be triggered by drug-rebound from caffeine.

“Many of my patients have told me stories about needing caffeine when they feel a headache coming on, or having headaches on the weekends when they haven’t had their usual work-day amount of caffeine,”
explains Dr. Selwa.

“In fact, caffeine is a key ingredient in almost all of the over-the-counter migraine medications. That’s because caffeine is useful in stopping a headache once it starts,” she continues. “The unfortunate thing is that, in patients who use caffeine chronically, they’re much more likely to get a migraine as the caffeine begins to
wear off.”

Participants in Dr. Selwa’s study are instructed to discontinue caffeine use for one month.

“In several patients, we’ve been able to get them off their migraine medications as long as they stay away from caffeine,” comments Dr. Selwa.

“Migraines are a significant cause of disability in this country, resulting in an estimated $13 billion dollars in lost work hours each year,” she notes.

University of Michigan – April 4, 2003.

Dr. Craig Anderson