During pregnancy, between 30-40% of women experience an intensification of their migraine headaches, likely due to hormonal changes.
It's understandable that women may be wary of relying too heavily on drugs to manage their migraine pain during pregnancy. While some migraine medications like triptans are generally considered safe in pregnancy, they can come with unwanted side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, muscle aches, and nausea. Additionally the FDA recently issued a warning against drugs containing valproate (an anticonvulsant) for pregnant women. These drugs are frequently used to control migraines, but have been tied to lower I.Q. scores among children whose mothers used the medications in pregnancy. It is always best to consult with your doctor first before stopping any medications.
For women hoping to avoid the potential risks and side effects of drugs completely, there are drug-free, natural options for managing migraine. In one study, regular exercise was shown to prevent migraine as effectively as the medication topiramate. Other research has demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic care for reducing migraine frequency.
At our Aloha clinic, we frequently see pregnant women searching for natural relief headache. A recent case study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice demonstrates the kind of success we often see in our Aloha/Beaverton patients.
The case study involved a 24-year old woman whose migraine headaches worsened with pregnancy. After trying a number of medical and alternative treatments to no avail, she finally went to a chiropractic clinic, at 32-weeks pregnant.
Chiropractors treated the women with a multimodal treatment similar to what we offer our patients in Aloha, OR. The treatment included chiropractic adjustments, trigger point therapy, massage, and lifestyle changes. Within one week of treatment, the woman reported her symptoms dramatically improved. Her headaches were significantly less frequent and severe, and she reduced her intake of pain medication.
This is simply one example of how chiropractic care can benefit women in pregnancy. Our Beaverton/Aloha chiropractors can also safely ease back pain and sacroiliac joint dysfunction in pregnant women. For natural headache and pain relief during pregnancy, call First Choice Chiropractic and Rehabilitation today.
Alcantara, J and Cossette, M. Intractable migraine headaches during pregnancy under chiropractic care. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2009; 15: 192-7. Varkey E, et al. Exercise as migraine prophylaxis: A randomized study using relaxation and topiramate as controls. Cephalalgia 2011; 31 (14):1428-1438.