If you do not personally suffer from migraines, then you probably know someone who does have a migraine from time to time. This disabling health condition is more common than ever, with 39 million Americans suffering and 1 billion coping with migraines worldwide. This includes men, women, and children, with women being impacted three times more often than men. Around 10 percent of school-age children have migraines.
When a migraine occurss, often all you are able to do is lie down in a cool, dark room until it goes away. For some, this can be just a few hours. For others, it can be up to 72 hours, causing them to miss days of work at a time and to miss out on family and social events. When you add in the cost of medications and trips to your family doctor or the emergency room, the cost of migraines can be overwhelming. Take a look at some statistics about the financial burden of migraines.
- Migraines cost as much as $36 billion in healthcare and lost productivity in the US
- Healthcare costs are 70 percent higher for a family who has someone with migraines than for those that do not
- $13 billion is lost each year for American employers as a result of 113 million lost days of work because of migraines
- In the year 2015, chronic migraines cost $5.4 billion to care for medically, and in addition, $41 billion was spent to care for the entire range of conditions
- Migraines increase the risk of other physical and psychiatric conditions that add more costs to care for
- As with other chronic illnesses, migraine sufferers have to combine the high cost of medical services with the fact that they are not getting enough support and are limited in their choices of quality healthcare
- Migraine sufferers in the United States spend as much as $1 billion on brain scans every year
One Woman’s Story of Migraines and Associated Costs
One woman who began suffering from migraines when she was in her 20’s has tried a variety of different ways to cope with her migraines over the years. She made a list of how much the various options cost her. It is quite staggering when you consider that these were her out of pocket costs, not including what her insurance covered.
- $750.00 – acupuncture out of pocket cost
- $90.00 – a mask that flashes red light in certain patterns
- $125.00 – MRI costs after insurance
- $2500.00 – three ER visits due to high deductibles
- $500.00 – various supplements
- $25.00 – $35.00 – per chiropractor visit, total unknown
- $1250.00 – Botox
- $350.00 – a headband that delivers electrical impulses to the forehead
- $25.00 – electrodes to go with the above headband
This totals more than $5,600.00! She goes on to mention that she has also tried special diets, nasal pepper spray, assorted remedies, and almost anything and everything to relieve her migraines to no avail. After all of this, she still suffers. However, the article does not mention whether she has tried upper cervical chiropractic care. If she has, she may have found the answer she is looking and paying for. But, more on that later. First, let’s take a look at how you can mitigate some of the costs associated with migraines.
Cutting Back on the Cost of Migraines
Some people, such as Sarah Hackley from Austin, Texas, suffer from migraines that are so severe they are unable to keep working at their regular jobs. She has attacks at least twice a week, sometimes daily. Two times during her life, she has had migraines that have lasted for 2 whole years! Being unable to work causes you to lose out on insurance benefits, vacation time, and the ability to advance your career. Here are some things you can do to help with the financial blow of migraines:
- Do not suffer in silence: Try to find effective care for migraines as soon as possible. The longer you let them continue, the more intense they may become. Do your best to avoid possible triggers by getting sufficient sleep, eating regularly, avoiding alcohol, and keeping yourself on a regular, mild exercise routine.
- Protect yourself ahead of time: Your employers may view you as a risk or someone who cannot be counted on if you continuously miss assignments and promotions. Therefore, a letter from your doctor explaining the nature of your migraines should be filed with the human resources department. In this way, you cannot get penalized for having migraines. It gives you some degree of protection.
Finding Relief for Migraines
Here at Dr. Corinne Weaver’s office in Indian Trail, North Carolina, we have seen a connection between migraines and a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, specifically the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If these bones become misaligned, they put pressure on the delicate brainstem, causing it to be stressed and send improper signals to the brain. This can lead to migraines and other serious health complications. The misalignment can also act as a hindrance to blood and cerebrospinal fluid leaving and entering the brain, another reason migraines may occur.
We use a gentle method to help realign the bones of the upper neck without the use of force. We do not have to pop or crack the neck to get positive results. Rather, the technique used is based on scientific measurements and mild, natural realignment of the bones. Many patients see a huge improvement in migraines after only a few adjustments. Case studies prove this type of chiropractic care is indeed successful.