Dr. Douglass Toth
1223 College Ave, Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA

Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines are two different conditions that share the common symptom of cephalgia or pain in the head region.  Headaches can throb,  ache, clench, stab sharply or burn depending on the type of headache.  Headaches can be  in the forehead, in the ocular (eye) region, in the temples, in the occipital region (back of the head) or migrate into different areas at different times.   Migraines tend to be associated with nausea or vomiting as well as sensitivity to light or sound.

Headache Treatment

Headaches and Migraines come in many forms:

  • Sinus headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Traumatic headache
  • cluster headaches
  • migraines
  • ocular migraines
  • migraine with aura
  • migraine without aura


Headaches can be from hormones, neck and back tension, sinus congestion, stress, poor diet, exposure to toxins, environmental allergies,  food allergies, concussion and other trauma, high blood pressure, eye strain, dehydration, and even side effects of medications.  Things that mimic a headache might be Bells Palsy or  stroke.


Because the nervous system and vascular system tends to play a large role with  headaches and migraines it can be effective to get chiropractic adjustments.  Chiropractic adjustments regulate the nervous system and vascular system by balancing the structural alignment of the spine which has an impact on headaches.  Also tension and misalignment from the neck and upper back can trigger tension headaches either because of referred pain or because of compensation.  Consult with your chiropractor about how your body’s alignment might be involved in your condition.

For more information on headache treatment through chiropractic services, contact the office of Dr. Douglass Toth and schedule an appointment today.


What Are the Different Types of Migraine Headaches?

  • Migraine Without Aura (Common Migraine): Characterized by pulsating pain on one side of the head. Other common symptoms include photophobia (sensitivity to light), nausea, and vomiting.
  • Migraine With Aura (Complicated Migraine): Around 25-30 percent of people with migraine experience additional aura symptoms, including tingling numbness on one side of the body, seeing black dots, or an inability to speak clearly.
  • Hemiplegic Migraine: People with hemiplegic migraine experience weakness or loss of sensation on one side of their body.

What Are Some Common Migraine Symptoms?

One or two days before a migraine attack, patients start experiencing these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings or loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Heightened sensitivity to light

Migraine Aura Symptoms

Around 25-30 percent of people with migraine experience aura beforeor during attacks. They are usually visual. Aura symptoms can last for 20-60 minutes.

Some examples of migraine aura are:

  • Temporary vision loss
  • Tingling or numbness on one side of the body
  • Seeing flashes of lights, bright dots or different shapes
  • Uncontrollable jerking
  • Inability to speak clearly

During a Migraine Attack

During a migraine attack, you may experience:

  • Throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Nausea and headache
  • Sensitivity to light, touch, and smell. Many people throw up during an attack


After an attack, you might feel exhausted and drained. However, some people report feeling immensely relieved while others may experience muscle pain or weakness.

Are Migraine Headaches Dangerous?

Though migraine headaches can hurt a lot, they are rarely life-threatening. Migraine can, however, affect a person’s quality of life. People with migraine are often unable to go about their daily business during an attack and untreated migraines can cause depression and anxiety disorders.

How Can I Avoid an Attack Before it Happens?

  • Avoid foods that can trigger an attack
  • Steer clear of bright noises and lights
  • Avoid stress
  • Avoid fasting or skipping meals

How Can I a Chiropractor Help With Migraines?

Your chiropractor will help alleviate your migraines through spinal and muscular manipulation to help mitigate the impacts of your migraine. They may also talk with you about what your migraine triggers may be and how to best avoid them.