Headaches, Uncategorized

Finding Natural Migraine Relief: A Comprehensive Approach

By Dr. Joseph Tanti

By Dr. Joseph Tanti

November 21, 2023

Imagine you are busy at work trying to finish a project. With the deadline looming, just a few hours away you know you've got this! 

But all of a sudden you feel this tingle in the back of your head. It's coming! That "stop you dead in your tracks" pulsating pain. It pounds harder and harder  in your head.  And before you know it, its to late. You can't focus. You can't look at the computer screen. You can't do anything but curl up in a ball in the corner with a blanket over your head covering the lights and sounds. 

The migraine headache is here.

Sure, you might have heard of it or even experienced this relentless torment yourself. But do you know what causes these migraine attacks?

Navigating the mazy realm of migraines is a perplexing and unpredictable mission, with unexpected turns at every juncture. Achieving true migraine relief goes beyond taking medication; it requires knowledge of its neurological origins, hormonal influences, lifestyle aspects, and more.

My goal is simple. I want to equip you with an understanding about migraines, and show you a natural way to ease the pain. Also I want to clarify that not all headaches are signs of brain tumors (even though many people have told me this is their biggest concern!).

If you need more personalized and guided direction, consider requesting your RECOVERY BLUEPRINT Call. This is a Free, no-obligation, 15-minute call with Dr. Joseph Tanti, where you will have a clear BLUEPRINT of your options to improve your health and wellbeing.

Table Of Contents:

Understanding Migraines: A Neurological Perspective

Migraines, a common form of primary headache, affect more than 1 in 6 people worldwide. Migraines are not not your run-of-the-mill headache. They are a complex neurological disorder with unique characteristics.

The Role of the Trigeminal System in Migraine

To comprehend migraines better, we need to understand the role played by our trigeminal system - an integral part of our nervous structure. It's like considering how car engines work when you're learning about cars; they're that important.

The trigeminal system has sensory nerve fibers extending throughout the face and scalp. When it gets overexcited or hypersensitive due to triggers like stress or certain foods, it can cause severe pain signals which are then trigger the migraine attack.

This kind of sensitivity isn't found in other types of headaches which makes managing migraine more challenging yet intriguing from a scientific standpoint. Think about it this way – if all headaches were villains trying to steal away your peace, then migraines would be their leader. They don’t play fair and are tough to beat.

Differentiating Migraine From Other Headaches

While tension-type headaches have been reported as affecting up to 38% population globally and cervicogenic ones around 4%, understanding what sets apart these head pains from migraines is crucial for effective treatment.

Migraines often come bundled with symptoms such as nausea, light sensitivity and sometimes visual disturbances called 'aura'. Imagine walking into sunlight after being in darkness for hours - that’s how bright normal light feels during a migraine attack.

If you think you have a migraine, take the quiz below!

A Word on Hormones And Their Influence on Migraine Relief

Hormonal changes have significant sway over migraine attacks particularly among women. It’s almost like these hormones throw a party and the uninvited guest, migraine, decides to crash it.

On a serious note though, tracking your hormonal changes can help in identifying patterns leading to an attack and thereby provide clues for effective management strategies. It isn't uncommon for woman to experience a migraine once a month. This might be before, during, or after their menstrual cycle. 

Migraine Management: Exercise As A Natural Pain Relief Strategy

Ever thought about exercise strategies? IHere is a quick video that a reveals some exercises that have been shown to help women have less frequent, and less intense headaches. 

Key Takeaway: 

Migraines are more than just headaches. They are complex neurological disorders influenced by our trigeminal system and hormones. Differentiating them from other headaches is key to effective treatment. Remember - like unruly villains, they're tough to beat but understanding what YOUR triggers are can help you manage them better.

The Prevalence and Types of Headaches

Headaches, as common as they are complex, affect a significant chunk of the global population. We're talking about different types here - tension-type headaches, migraines, cluster headaches to name just a few.

Tension-type headache takes the lead when it comes to prevalence; 38% of us have experienced this discomfort at some point. That's more than one in three people. Picture being in a room with ten friends – statistically speaking, almost four out them would be all too familiar with these nagging pains.

Differentiating Migraines from Cervicogenic Headaches

Moving onto another major player: migraines. This type affects around 10% of folks worldwide—that’s nearly twice the number who get regular hiccups each year.

A migraine is not just any old headache though—it has its own distinct features that set it apart. For starters, migraines usually bring on severe throbbing pain or pulsing sensations—mostly on one side of your head—and often are associataed with nausea and / or light sensitivity.

Cervicogenic headaches are often mistaken for migraines because they share similar symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness but don't be fooled—they stem from different sources altogether. True cervicogenic headache is actually quite rare—only 4% experience this particular torment. Studies show that unlike migraines which originate in the brain itself (the neurological headquarters), cervicogenic headaches arise due to issues within our cervical spine—the uppermost part of our backbone located near the base of our skull. Cervicogenic headaches are more common after an injury, such as a whiplash injury from a car collision.


So remember next time you're nursing what feels like a migraine, it might just be your neck playing tricks on you. Knowing the type of headache you have can empowering. Helping you make better decisions about treatment options and help you manage your pain more effectively. Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding and dealing with headaches.

Key Takeaway: 

Cervicogenic headaches can seem a lot like migraines. But they actually come from issues in the cervical spine. They might fool you with their migraine-like symptoms, but don't be tricked. These headaches have a different root cause- often from a whiplash injury from a vehicle collision for example.

The Influence of Hormones on Migraines

Migraines and hormones share a complex relationship. For many, especially women, hormonal fluctuations can trigger debilitating migraine attacks.

Hormonal Triggers for Migraine Attacks

One common culprit is estrogen. This hormone fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle and its drop just before menstruation often sparks migraines. This pattern is so prevalent that it's earned its own term: menstrual migraines.

But what makes estrogen such a headache? Literally. Estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect pain sensation. So when levels fall too quickly, hello migraine.

Besides periods, other stages of life bring their own hormonal shifts and potential migraines along with them - think pregnancy or menopause.

  • Pregnancy typically starts off rocky but gets better as it progresses because estrogen levels rise steadily instead of bouncing around like during regular cycles.
  • Menopause brings about an overall decrease in estrogen which might make you sigh in relief... But remember those sudden drops? They still happen during perimenopause (the transition phase) causing guess what - more migrains.

A surprising twist though - not all hormone-related headaches are due to dips in estrogen. Higher than normal levels also pose problems as they can cause inflammation leading to – yep you guessed right again – more head-splitting episodes.

Tackling Hormone-Induced Migraine Headaches

If you suspect your hormones are behind your frequent bouts with migraine headaches, fear not; there’s hope. The first step involves confirming your suspicion. Try keeping a headache diary to track headache patterns and identify any hormonal triggers.

Once confirmed, treatment options can include hormone therapy or lifestyle changes that aim to balance hormone levels. Remember, every individual is unique - one person's solution may not work for another. Always talk to a medical professional before starting any new treatments.

Key Takeaway: 

Hormones and Migraines: The relationship between hormones, especially estrogen, and migraines is complex. Both low and high levels of this hormone can trigger migraines due to their effects on brain chemicals related to pain sensation. Life stages like menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause with hormonal fluctuations often bring along these painful episodes. If you suspect your migraines are linked to hormonal changes, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance.

The Role of Exercise in Managing Migraines

When it comes to migraines, we often overlook the potential benefits that exercise can offer. Yet, there's compelling evidence suggesting that regular physical activity could help reduce both the frequency and severity of these headaches.

Exercise For Natural Migraine Relief 

Migraine sufferers are all too familiar with painkillers - but what if you had a natural alternative? Regular workouts have been shown to act as natural pain relievers, releasing endorphins which can decrease your sensitivity to migraine triggers.

This doesn't mean you need to become an athlete overnight. Something as simple as a brisk walk or bike ride might be enough for some people. Remember: The key is consistency over intensity when starting out.

Regular exercise also improves sleep quality – another important factor for managing migraines effectively. Lack of restful sleep has been linked directly with increased migraine occurrences; so getting moving during the day helps ensure more peaceful nights ahead.

Balancing Exercise Intensity and Migraine Triggers

We know now how beneficial exercising regularly can be, but don't forget: pushing yourself too hard might just do more harm than good. Overexertion itself may trigger an attack in certain individuals who suffer from exertional headaches – quite counterproductive when our goal is migraine relief.

To avoid this issue, consider taking on low-impact activities like yoga or swimming initially. Gradually you can increase your workout intensity over time. See how you resspond to your exercise routine. If you have a particularly strenuous workout, you may find that you experience a migraine afterwards. And always make sure you're properly hydrated beforehand since dehydration frequently acts as one significant migraine trigger as well.

A Personalized Approach To Exercising With Migraines

Not every migraine sufferer will respond to exercise in the same way. That's why it’s essential you take a personalized approach when incorporating physical activity into your routine.

Always start out with care. Notice how your body responds and make modifications to your routine as needed. Take caution not to strain yourself, and adjust your routine accordingly.

Key Takeaway: 

Exercise can be a natural strategy to manage migraines, by reducing their frequency and severity. Regular workouts release endorphins that lessen sensitivity to migraine triggers. Start with consistency over intensity - even brisk walks or bike rides could help. Exercise also improves sleep quality, another key in managing migraines effectively. But remember not to push yourself too hard because going beyond your limits might trigger a migraine.

Identifying and Reducing Trigger Factors for Migraines

Migraines are not just typical headaches. They are a neurological condition associated with a functionally different and hypersensitive nervous system. Migraines can be debilitating and severely impact the quality of life for those who experience them.

The first step towards managing migraines is identifying their triggers. While these vary from person to person, there are some common factors that often provoke migraine attacks.

Dietary Triggers

Certain foods and drinks have been linked to triggering migraines in many individuals. These include aged cheeses, processed meats, alcohol (especially red wine), caffeinated beverages like coffee or energy drinks, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many fast foods and Chinese cuisine among others.

Hormonal Changes

In women particularly, hormonal changes during menstruation or due to oral contraceptives can trigger migraines. This is because estrogen levels fluctuate significantly during these times leading to increased sensitivity of the nervous system.


High stress levels whether it's related to work pressure or personal issues can lead to tension headaches which may eventually progress into full-blown migraine episodes if not managed properly. Mayo Clinic suggests relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation could help manage stress-induced migraines better. In some individuals, chiropractic treatment can also help.

Sleep Disruptions

Poor sleep hygiene including irregular sleeping patterns or lack of adequate restful sleep has also been identified as a potential trigger for migrainous attacks.

While understanding your triggers is crucial, it's equally important to remember that migraines are a complex neurological condition. Managing them often requires addressing issues with the neck, jaw, and spine function in addition to identifying triggers.

If you're struggling with frequent migraines or other pain-related problems, consider seeking professional help for better management of your symptoms. Visit drjoetanti.com for more information on natural ways to improve your health and well-being.

Neck and Jaw Pain and Tension

An injury, or pain in your neck or jaw can be a trigger for a migraine attack. This is why it is crucial that if you've been hurt in a vehicle collision, or clench your teeth, you solve these problems. They can be the main trigger for many migraine sufferers. 

Lifestyle Modifications for Migraine Management

Your lifestyle choices can significantly impact the frequency and intensity of your migraines. By making some changes here and there, you can help tame those throbbing monsters.

Start by discussing diet. Certain foods like chocolate or aged cheese are known migraine culprits. But don't fret. You don’t have to give up on your favorite treats altogether – just eat them wisely.

The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated when it comes to migraine management. It’s not just about getting enough shut-eye; quality matters too. Try creating a peaceful sleeping environment with no distractions so you wake up feeling refreshed instead of reaching out for painkillers.

No one likes stress but if you're prone to migraines - stress isn't only annoying; it's harmful too. Find healthy ways to cope with stress. It could be anything from deep breathing exercises to listening to calming music or taking a walk outdoors. Maybe consider taking up a martial arts class! I personally find it impossible to be stressed after a gruelling kickboxing class.

Incorporating regular exercise into your routine may seem daunting especially during an attack but trust me - the payoff is worth it.

  • Aerobic exercises release endorphins (natural pain killers) which ease migraine symptoms.
  • It also helps maintain stable blood sugar levels preventing sudden spikes triggering headaches.
  • Lastly, regular exercise helps improve sleep quality - another win for migraine management.

If you're worried about triggering a headache with vigorous activity, start slow. Low-impact exercises like yoga or swimming can be effective too.

The road to managing migraines isn't always easy but remember - small steps often lead to big changes. You got this!

Key Takeaway: 

Getting a grip on migraines means understanding your triggers and adjusting lifestyle habits. This could mean watching what you eat, ensuring quality sleep, managing stress with healthy coping strategies, and incorporating regular exercise—even low-impact ones—into your routine. Remember: small changes can lead to significant migraine relief.

The Association Between Headaches and Brain Tumors

Headaches can be a real pain, but they're usually not caused by something as serious as brain tumors. But what if you're dealing with an unusually persistent headache? Does it mean you have a tumor?

The answer is, not likely. In fact, less than 5% of brain tumor patients experience headaches as their initial symptom according to American Cancer Society. That's like finding one purple skittle in twenty packs. The majority of people who suffer from regular or even severe headaches do not have brain tumors.

Symptoms: More Than Just A Headache

No need to worry if the only symptom is a throbbing headache. It’s when other symptoms start joining the party that things get more complicated.

A headache linked to a brain tumor often comes bundled with additional symptoms such as vomiting without nausea, sudden onset seizures or personality changes which are about as welcome at said party as your least favorite aunt Karen showing up uninvited.

Tumor-Related Headaches Vs Common Migraines

Migraine attacks and tumor-related headaches might seem similar because both make your head feel like it’s auditioning for the lead role in 'Drums of Fury'. However, they’re different beasts entirely.

While migraines come and go (usually lasting between four hours and three days), leaving behind nothing worse than an exhausted body and some regrettable food choices made during the attack; tumor-related headaches tend to be persistent and worsen with activities that increase intracranial pressure such as sneezing or bending over. They're like a house guest who doesn't know when to leave.

Don’t Panic, Seek Help

Having recurring headaches doesn't necessarily mean you have a brain tumor. But it's still crucial to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider, so they can help pinpoint the cause and give you proper treatment.

Key Takeaway: 

While persistent headaches can be concerning, they're usually not a sign of brain tumors. In fact, less than 5% of people with brain tumors experience them as the first symptom. Usually, these come along with unwelcome extras like vomiting without nausea or sudden personality changes. The key difference between migraines and tumor-related headaches is that while migraines come and go in episodes, headaches from a tumor tend to persist and often worsen over time.

Syndromes and Co-morbidities Associated with Migraines

When considering migraines, it's not just the throbbing pain that is recalled. There are also various syndromes and conditions linked with these notorious headaches.

The Bond Between Depression and Migraines

Migraine sufferers often face a greater risk of developing depression. It's like an unwanted duo, where one seems to be more likely if you've got the other. But why does this happen? Well, both conditions might stem from similar changes in brain chemistry.

For those who juggle both migraines and depression, getting treatment for one can help alleviate symptoms of the other too. A silver lining in an otherwise cloudy situation.

Anxiety’s Unwanted Partnership with Migraine

Anxiety disorders have been shown to co-occur frequently in people suffering from migraines. That jittery feeling or constant worry is yet another unwelcome guest at this migraine party.

Finding ways to manage anxiety - such as through mindfulness techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, and with guidance from a therapist – can sometimes reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

Migraine’s Dance with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

If you're grappling with FMS along your migraine journey, know that you're not alone. These two seem drawn together like magnets. I suspect it is becaause of the commonalities between these two separate conditions. A malfunction in the processing centers of your nervous system. There isn't a clear link, but scientists are still trying to figure it all out.

All you need to know is that  it is not uncommon for those with migraine to also suffer with various other pain relted conditions - such as fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, TMJ problems, and others.

Remember, getting a handle on one can help manage the other. So don't lose hope.

FAQs in Relation to Migraine Relief

How do you get rid of a migraine ASAP?

The key is avoiding them all together! When you feel it starting (prodrome), this iss when you need to take action! Unfortunately when it arrives there isnt a aton you can do. Lie down in a dark, quiet room. Apply cold compresses to your forehead or back of the neck. Stay hydrated and avoid any known triggers.Of course, many people experience significant migraine relief with chiropractic care

How do you treat a migraine headache?

Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen can help. Sometimes it's Tylenol.  For severe cases, prescription medications may be needed. Lifestyle changes also play an important role. Chiropractic care can play a large roll in alleviating these migraine attacks as well.

How do you calm down a headache?

Avoid stressors when possible and try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Over-the-counter painkillers might also provide relief.

How long do migraines last for?

Migraines usually last from 4 to 72 hours if untreated or unsuccessfully treated but frequency varies greatly between individuals. I've seen some people experience one that lasted weeks at a time.


Migraines are a complex neurological condition. In other words, they are a beast. Understanding them takes us on an intricate journey through the realms of neurology, hormones, and lifestyle behaviours

From our exploration, it's clear that migraines aren't just 'bad headaches'. They're rooted in our trigeminal system, influenced by hormonal shifts, and have distinct features separating them from other types like cervicogenic or tension-type headaches.

We've explored how exercise may be a potential ally for migraine relief. It can serve as a natural pain relief strategy if done right.

Remember though: knowledge is power only when implemented. Identify your personal triggers to avoid sudden attacks and don’t be afraid to make necessary lifestyle changes for better management of these neurological storms.

And while they may cause fear due to their severity, they are treatable!

If you have found this helpful, but need personalized and guided direction, consider requesting your RECOVERY BLUEPRINT Call. This is a Free, no-obligation, 15-minute call with Dr. Joseph Tanti, where you will have a clear BLUEPRINT of your options to improve your health and wellbeing.

Or if you would like an in person assessment, feel free to schedule an in office appointment. I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Dr. Joseph Tanti

About the author

I am a husband, and father, love dogs AND cats, and I am a chiropractor. I help people recover from pain, and injuries and improve their overall health and well-being, and have fun doing it!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Schedule an appointment today, to feel your best tomorrow