Bolingbrook Chiropractor Goes on the record about Migraines and How to get better without drugs.

14 12 2008

Dr Hagmeyer started in New York at the SUNY at Suffolk then Stony Brook as a premed student, going on to the Palmer College of Chiropractic College in Davenport Iowa. The chiropractic college has an intensive four year program, and is know as the Harvard of Chiropractic colleges. Palmer College is named after the founder of Chiropractic DD Palmer. In his final year of Chiropractic, he was expected to do 1000 hours of supervised practice in a clinic. He graduated with Clinical Honors. Finally, he passed a four part National Board and finally Physical therapy exams to get his license. The State requires him to do at least 40 hours of post graduate training each year. He is currently studying the work of Janet Lang and Restorative Endocrinology.

He was anxious to share his experience with chiropractic and headache. I soon found that he wanted to talk not just about chiropractic care, but how it fit into the big picture…

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You’ve seen many patients with headache or migraine. How can a headache sufferer or migraines be helped through chiropractic treatment?

Studies in every major Journal are pointing to something chiropractors have helped people with for over 100 years. We have learned that the majority of Headaches and Migraines are coming from irritated structures in the neck. The joints and nerves in the upper neck, the muscles of the upper shoulder, and the muscles of the TMJ (Jaw) are the three key players to headache pain.

But what I’ve found, as a headache sufferer myself who has been greatly helped by chiropractic, is that there are several factors involved.

One is sleep. I think that the number one cause certainly of tension headaches is that people are just plain overtired. Sometimes sleep patterns have to be consistent. In other words, going to bed and getting up at the same time seems to be really important.

There are other factors, such as Hormonal and dietary considerations. There are people whose migraines are set off by drinking a little red wine, or by eating chocolate or for women when its “That Time Of The Month”

Everything in the human body is mediated by the central nervous system. The spinal cord and nerves are involved in every process. That’s why I think so many conditions show up in the spinal column.

For instance, say you’re eating chocolate – it goes into your mouth, there are chemicals released, and there are sensory nerve endings all down the digestive tract. These relay information to the brain, and in some people those chemicals can set off a cascade of events leading to migraine attacks. So the nervous system is key in every condition, and I think that’s why chiropractic has more success than any other form of treatment for people with migraines and headaches.

It’s important to emphasize that chiropractic is not a treatment of conditions. It’s a way to help the body to function better.

The central nervous system (CNS) — brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves control the function of every organ, tissue and cell in the human body. If there is any interference to the function of the CNS then the body cannot function or respond in a healthy way. Chiropractic adjustments specifically and directly remove (or in some cases reduce) interference to the CNS thereby allowing the body to function properly.

Does that mean that I am saying that chiropractic treatment is “a cure for all diseases?” Absolutely not! What I am saying is that every human being is far better off from a health and function standpoint without nerve interference in their body. Do we chiropractors sometimes see patients get relief and improvement from conditions other than neck and back pain? Unequivoquely , yes! And Every time ! However, the intent of chiropractic is to help the CNS and therefore the entire body, to function more normally not to treat diseases, conditions or even pain for that matter. Do you see the difference? That’s why every man, woman and child should be checked regularly by a Doctor of Chiropractic – so that their body can function in the healthiest manner possible, regardless of the presence of migraines, irritable bowel or even cancer. The condition that the patient has isn’t nearly as important as the person who has the condition!

One thing you have to realize about the nervous system is that it works in pathways. If that pathway has been set off a lot, then over time that pathway gets set off with less and less stimuli. In other words, if there’s a nerve somewhere in the neck that’s been irritated for years, then that nerve is what we call facilitated. In other words, it will get set off with less and less stimuli. The nervous system learns patterns. For a migraine sufferer, it will take less and less for them to get a migraine attack.

So it’s the upper neck joints and nerves, and the muscles of the upper shoulder and jaw. Those are the big three. And every migraine sufferer has some combination of those, without exception.

Could you tell us one success story of a patient that had migraine?

Well, there’s several. I’ve had several patients who have been migraine patients all their lives who do not get migraines at all since they’ve had chiropractic care. I would say that group would probably be 25-30%. The majority of migraine sufferers find if they’re getting regular chiropractic care their migraines are less intense and significantly reduced. And then there’s a small group chiropractic doesn’t seem to make any difference to their migraines. In these cases we work on hormonal rebalancing.

Let me tell you one that I would say is more of a realistic example. He is not a person whose migraines have gone completely away. He is physical education teacher 35 years old and has had a previous history of a traumatic brain injury 20 years ago. He has been a patient of mine for probably 7 years. He finds that if he sees me every couple of weeks for a neck adjustment, and we also work on his upper, that he typically can go that amount of time now without a migraine. And as I recall migraines were a part of almost daily life for him for the first 20-some years of her life.

There are other factors with him, and I think this is important to note. We had to work with him on his posture, nutrition and hormonal balance. So I feel like I’m a bit of a coach for him, in asking him how are you doing, are you getting enough rest, how’s your diet, those types of things. With migraine sufferers as with a lot of patients, the chiropractic adjustment is very important because it keeps the nerves more calm, but also there’s trying to encourage the patient in just healthy living. He rarely suffers with migraines now, but he does occasionally if he pushes a bit too hard. Think about that he no longer takes beta blockers, antidepressants or migraine medication. That’s HUGE!

What do you suggest people look for when they’re trying to choose a chiropractor?

Good question. I think one of the challenges for the chiropractor is to communicate what chiropractic is, what the patient’s issue is as seen by the chiropractor, and what the chiropractor is trying to accomplish. I’ve found that sometimes a so-called bad experience is just poor communication by the doctor to the patient.

For the patient, seeing any kind of doctor, the main thing is that the doctor listens to you; are they truly interested in you and are they truly listening to you.

If you can get a personal reference from another patient that a certain chiropractor has really helped, that’s always the best way to find somebody.

Is there any treatment or assessment that you do beyond “Adjustments”?

Yes, I’ve done a lot in the last two years now on x-ray assessment of the skull and the alignment of the skull as it relates to the vertebrae of the neck. I’ve found that this is really important in determining how people respond to chiropractic, what kind of treatment is best and for how long it’s necessary.

There’s supposed to be a normal curve in the neck, and when that curve is lost – and it can be lost through injury and different reasons, often we find that when we can restore that curve we can normalize the nerve flow. I got into this almost three years ago with my own neck, and it’s just a certain technique and use of x-ray that I’ve found with some patients is incredibly powerful. And a lot of times for headache sufferers.

There are lots of good things out there. There are a lot of chiropractors that like to specialize in different things, so I like to specialize in the structure of the spinal column, in the alignment of the spinal column. There’s other chiropractors that I send people to who just do muscle soft tissue, and I’ve sent people there. So I think for me I don’t want to try to be all things, I want to be really good at what I do. Stuctural realignment is what I do best.

What do you enjoy most about being a chiropractor?

dr-h5I honestly enjoy most the ability to affect people’s quality of life. When people come in and say, “I can now hold my children” or “I am a better parent because I am now calm” “I can now golf” “I can now sleep through the night” – that to me is very gratifying.

What other suggestions do you have for people with headache or migraine that are thinking about chiropractic care?

I think it should be the first thing that people do, because of all the modes of treatment that I know, it is the thing that provides the most relief for the largest majority of people and is safer than swallowing pills.

I’ve been a tension headache sufferer, and I have had a couple of migraines in my life and– I don’t think there’s any pain worse than severe head pain. I think it’s the most debilitating pain. It effects your mood, how you treat others, your level of satisfaction in life. I’ve talked to women who’ve delivered babies who’ve said that a full-blown migraine is worse. I think what I’ve learned about the human body and health care is that there’s no blanket solutions. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. But there are some common threads.

I would highly encourage any migraine sufferer to keep a diary, and to record everything in their environment that they encounter. So if they were painting one day, or what they ate, what they were thinking, if they went through stress, somebody yelled at them, everything that happens to them, everything that they do, I had to write an examination, I was at a car accident. Then keep a diary of headaches or other aches and pains or other physical abnormalities. And when a person does this they start to learn and see some common themes for them.

Don’t be closed minded about trying new things, even if you’ve heard from someone else that it didn’t work for them. All of us were created with a unique blue print in life. To find out more about Dr. Hagmeyer orNaural and safe methods of pain relief visit him at www.bolingbrookchiropractor.com

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