Each September, The Migraine Trust dedicate a week to raise general awareness of migraine as a serious public health issue and to reduce stigma.
Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of one in seven people. Despite being recognised as one of the most disabling lifetime conditions, awareness and understanding is low.
This year, Migraine Awareness Week is focusing on the impact of migraine in the workplace.
Being mindful of migraines means that employers should try:
- to be aware of the high numbers of people who get migraine, that it is very common and that there is a strong possibility that someone they employ might get migraine.
- to have an understanding that it is a complex neurological condition and that people can experience migraine very differently.
- to make reasonable adjustments once they become aware that they have an employee who gets migraine, such as considering flexible working practices and looking at how their physical environment can be adjusted to help prevent the triggering of a migraine.
Workplaces being mindful of migraine won’t mean that people with migraine never struggle at work again or that they won’t encounter issues at work because of migraine, but we believe it is an important step in helping people work with migraine.
How Physiotherapy can help people with migraine
Headaches and migraines can have many different causes. You can read more about some of the common types on a previous blog.
Physiotherapy techniques can be very effective at successfully relieving and preventing headaches and migraines. One such technique we use at goPhysio is acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture works as preventative method for treating headaches and migraines – it works to resolve the cause of the issue by addressing imbalances and then continues to maintain that equilibrium to prevent any further re-occurrence of migraines.
Migraines often have a systemic cause involving reduced or compromised blood supply to the brain – TCM Acupuncture aims to improve the blood supply and circulation to help reduce the symptoms of a migraine.
It can also help with the following:
- Pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in the surrounding muscles, neuro-chemicals are released that alter how the brain processes pain signals.
- Reducing inflammation – by promoting the release of vascular and immune system altering factors.
- Regulating extra- and intra-cranial blood flow.
- Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression, which is an electrical wave in the brain common in migraines.
- Affecting the serotonin levels within the brain, which can halt an acute migraine attack
At goPhysio, we will use an integrated approach to help you manage your migraines. We will look at all the factors involved and tend to use acupuncture as a part of your treatment programme, which may also include:
- Exercises to address muscle strength, flexibility and stability around the neck and back areas if this is contributing to your migraines
- Education and advice to address any lifestyle factors or habits
- Addressing any other areas that may be contributing to your problems, commonly neck, thoracic spine or shoulder regions