Migraines are becoming more and more common. It is reported that about 39 million people in the United States suffer from the neurological illness. It affects everyone – men, women and even children. Although a common condition, very few funds are set aside for studies to explore the disorder and help people restore health. In 2013, the reported budget allotted for migraine research was only 50 cents per migraine patient!
The Realities of Migraines in Children
Migraines materialize a little differently in adults, but they are just as debilitating for children. Before you take the first steps to finding relief for your child, here are some facts you must know about migraines and their impact on the lives of kids.
- About 10% of school-aged children get migraines.
- Children who have migraines are missing school twice as much as children without.
- For many people, the onset of migraines happens before the age of 12.
- Babies as young as 18 months have experienced symptoms of migraines.
- Infant colic has been linked to migraines. Studies say it is possibly an early form of a migraine.
- Women are more likely to have migraines than men. Although, before puberty, boys often have more migraines than girls.
- By age 17, as many as 23% of girls and 8% of boys have already had a migraine.
- Migraines can be genetic. If one or both parents have a history of migraines, a child is 50% to 75% more likely to get migraines as well.
Symptoms of Migraines
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pounding or throbbing head pain
- Sensitivity to light, touch, sound, and certain odors
- Mood swings
- Abdominal pain
Migraine symptoms vary depending on the age of the child. Here’s how migraines present for every age range.
- Infants or babies may sometimes bang their head.
- Preschool children may look ill and feel abdominal pain, accompanied with vomiting and excessive need to sleep. They may also show changes in behavior like being irritable suddenly, crying or rocking, and staying in a dark place to rest.
- Children age 5 to 10 years may suffer from head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, edema, excessive thirst, sensitivity to light and sound, sleepiness, tearing, swollen nasal passages, sweating, increased urination, and diarrhea.
- Older children and teens may have extended and chronic headaches, a pulsing feeling, and one-sided head pain.
Overall, children have fewer and shorter migraines than adults, but their experience can be just as challenging and can have a huge impact on a child’s quality of life. Migraines can cause kids to acquire anticipatory anxiety, the constant worry about when the next migraine will strike and interrupt their life. Children suffering from migraines often miss school and are unable to join in social activities.
Some children and teens experience chronic migraines. This means they have more than 15 migraine episodes per month, with each one lasting for at least 4 hours. To be diagnosed, this should occur for 3 months consecutively or more. There are teens who report daily head pain, cognitive issues, dizziness, sleep troubles, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. These symptoms are difficult to cope with and can be an obstruction on one’s life and day-to-day activities.
What Parents Can Do for Their Children with Migraines
When your child is living with migraines, make sure they are having enough rest, avoiding migraine triggers, and not exposing themselves to stressful situations. Zehr Chiropractic in Norton Shores, Michigan shares these tips to educate families about migraines in children:
- Consult with a family doctor or a Norton Shores migraine chiropractor to learn what migraines are and how it affects you and your child.
- Explain to your child the significance of regular bed times and routine mealtimes. Do not overload your child’s schedule with unnecessary activities.
- Figure out what triggers your child’s migraines and then work to have them avoid those triggers.
- Encourage your child to keep a migraine diary to figure out his or her personal triggers.
Some more tips to help take care of your child’s migraines when they occur:
- Lie down the child in a cool, dark room to rest or sleep
- Put an ice pack or pressure on the child’s neck or head
- Use techniques that help the child to relax
A Natural Cure for Child Migraines
Instead of relying on medications that only temporarily treat migraines, parents should address the underlying problem of their child’s migraines. It has been revealed that migraines can be linked to a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, specifically the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A misalignment is very likely in this area of the body as the mobility of the upper cervical spine makes the moving of the head in many directions possible. Due to its mobility, it’s also susceptible to misaligning.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae also protect the brainstem. If these bones misalign, the brainstem can be under pressure, leading to a malfunction in the nervous system, particularly the blood flow and sending of signals to and from the brain.
Here at Zehr Chiropractic, we do upper cervical chiropractic care that uses a natural and gentle method to help your kid’s bones to move back into place. We know that a child’s bones are more vulnerable and sensitive than adults. We do not pop or crack the spine. Instead we perform painless adjustments of the bones. Our patients, both adults and kids, report restoration of blood flow and nervous system function after one or two adjustments, leading to fewer migraines. Some see their migraines vanish completely and not return. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with us to learn more about how your children can regain their health and enjoy life to the fullest.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.