Migraines Specialist

David Chen, DC

Chiropractor located in South Pasadena, CA

About 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, and of those, 28 million suffer from migraines. If you experience severe headaches or migraines, upper cervical chiropractic care from Dr. David Chen, DC, may be able to help. Dr. Chen serves South Pasadena, California, and the greater Los Angeles area with gentle, low-force chiropractic care. Upper cervical chiropractic care is a natural option for migraine treatment. Get started today by booking an appointment online or over the phone.

Migraines Q & A

What are migraines?

Migraines are a neurological condition that causes severe headaches, often on one side of the head. Symptoms of migraines include:

  • Severe, one-sided throbbing head pain
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell
  • Pain in the face or jaw
  • Numbness and tingling in the face, arms, or hands
  • Fatigue

In many cases, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and lay down in a quiet, dark room until the migraine passes. Migraines generally last between 4-72 hours.

What causes migraines?

Research suggests that migraines are related to changes in the brainstem or abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. Certain factors have been identified that may trigger migraines, including:

  • Family history of migraines
  • Hormonal fluctuations, including premenstrual syndrome
  • Certain foods, including cheeses, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Changes in your sleep cycle
  • Stress
  • Environmental changes, including fluctuations in barometric pressure
  • Certain medications, including birth control pills and vasodilators

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including getting enough sleep on a regular basis, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and reducing stress, may be able to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

How are migraines diagnosed?

In order to diagnose migraines, Dr. Chen discusses your medical history and symptoms to understand the severity, frequency, and triggers of your headaches. He also completes a physical exam — including specialized orthopedic tests — to assess the joints and soft tissues of your neck and shoulders.

These tests involve a series of movements to assess your flexibility, range of motion, muscle strength, and nerve function. If warranted, Dr. Chen may recommend X-rays or an MRI to rule out other conditions. He may also refer you to a neurologist for advanced testing.

How are migraines treated?

Conservative migraine treatments focus on eliminating or reducing migraine triggers and supporting a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Chen incorporates lifestyle and nutritional counseling with upper cervical chiropractic care to help reduce your migraine symptoms.

With upper cervical chiropractic care, Dr. Chen focuses on misalignments of the first two vertebrae in your neck. These misalignments can contribute to the abnormal pain signals sent by the brainstem during a migraine. Gentle, low-force adjustments can correct the misalignment and thereby reduce irritation in the area. Correcting the alignment can then potentially reduce your migraine symptoms.

To learn about upper cervical chiropractic care for migraines, book a consultation online or by phone with Dr. David Chen, DC, today.