Have you ever heard this: The recommended cure for a particular illness makes the problem worse? Well that’s what’s happening with migraines. Apparently the drugs used to combat these headaches are causing more harm than good. Some people are overusing them, and as a result, are developing chronic migraines.

A recent study tracked 8,200 episodic migraine sufferers for one year and found that those who took drugs that contained either narcotics (Percocet) or barbiturates (Fiorinal) had a higher risk of getting worse. The higher the dose, the higher the risk. Bad news for people falling onto a vicious cycle of migraine-medicate.

Estimates have American migraine sufferers at 30 million. Migraines are a type of headache that cause excruciating pain, and in some, visual disturbances, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. The cause of migraines is as of yet unknown. Many theories abound including vascular causes, chemical imbalances, and functional changes at the trigeminal nerve.

Whatever the cause, migraines are hard to treat. And, unfortunately, some people are chronic migraine sufferers (more than 15 days per month with pain). The problem, as uncovered by the study, is that some people who take repeated doses of prescription migraine meds, actually get rebound headaches. And when taken more than a few days a week, the meds can lead to chronic headaches.

Bummer for migraine sufferers. I know from my West Hollywood chiropractic practice that when caught soon enough, migraines can be warded off, either by chiropractic care or meds. In light of this recent study, it seems prudent to practice prevention as much as possible. If you suffer from migraines and haven’t tried chiropractic, then you should. If it works for you, then you can avoid the rebound effect caused by pain medication. Either way, getting at a migraine early on seems to be the best remedy.

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