A study published last week in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PLOS One showed that people who suffered spinal cord injuries are much more likely to develop migraines than the general population. Although there’s no mechanism offered, this finding shows again that migraine headaches are not just brain-related, but are often triggered by stimuli from the rest of the nervous system.
A Large Population-Based Study
For this study, researchers looked at a large database of more than 61,000 individuals in the Canadian Community Health Survey. They looked at the incidence of migraines among people who had suffered a spinal cord injury and the general population. After adjusting for age and sex, they found that those who had a spinal cord injury were 4.82 times more likely to have migraines than those that hadn’t suffered a spinal cord injury.
The study showed that nearly 30% of people with spinal cord injury had migraines, compared to less than 10% for those who had suffered no injury. The study also confirmed that women are 2-3 times as likely to develop migraines than men, both with and without spinal cord injuries. It also showed that migraines were slightly more common among people who had had a stroke and smokers.
Migraines Linked to Peripheral Nerve Stimuli
Although the pain from migraines occurs mostly in the brain, the source of the migraine may not be elsewhere. The source of migraine pain can come from disordered inputs from other parts of the nervous system, leading to irregular brain functions that cause migraines. This study links inputs from the spinal cord as potential migraine triggers, and we have already identified the role of the trigeminal nerve as a source of migraines.
If you are suffering migraines and are looking for a treatment, remember that your treatment might work best if it targets something other than your brain, like your temporomandibular joint. To learn whether TMJ treatment can improve or eliminate your migraines, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.