The Chiropractic Care That Helped Relieve This Photographer’s Chronic Migraines

From the time she was a child, Dana Lee Williamowsky remembers experiencing chronic migraines. When the migraine symptoms would come on, she would be confined to a dark room while her head throbbed and she lost vision from the pain. She was desperate for anything that would bring migraine relief.
At age 13, she saw a specialist who put her on migraine medication. According to Dana, the meds were the only thing that would stop the migraine symptoms — but it was pretty powerful stuff. The migraine medication was on over-the-counter drug from England that contained codeine, and though it provided migraine relief, she had her doubts about being on it indefinitely.
She began to seek ways to go off of the meds, including acupuncture and allergy elimination therapy. But still, every time that she tried to stop taking the drugs, she’d immediately feel migraine symptoms coming on. She ended up remaining on the migraine medication until age 32.
When Dana began researching the medication and saw all of its side effects, she got serious about finding a way to be drug-free. “I literally almost had a heart attack thinking that I had been on this medication since I was 13 years old,” she remembers.
That’s when she began seeing a Gonstead chiropractor. (Gonstead is a chiropractic technique that uses X-rays, mechanical instruments, and precise adjustment standards and criteria. Gonstead chiropractors are really focused on correcting nerve dysfunction in order to relieve pain.) As a woman, Dana wasn’t alone in suffering from debilitating migraine symptoms: according to the Migraine Research Foundation, of the more than 38 million American sufferers, 28 million are women. Migraine is one of the leading serious health problems affecting women, likely because more severe and more frequent migraine attacks often result from changes in estrogen levels. Research has connected hormones to migraine, but not all migraines are hormonal. New research has shown just how estrogen affects nerves in the head that drive these migraines.
Hormonally caused or not, Dana new she needed to find migraine relief, and put her faith in the Gonstead technique. With the help of her chiropractor, Dana set a dual goal of getting rid of the headaches and getting off the migraine medication.
After an initial hiccup — an awful detox after she tried to go off the meds on her own landed her in urgent care — she got back to work with her chiropractor and stuck to the plan. Once she started working with her chiropractor on getting off the medication in a tapered, deliberate way, she was able to stop taking the migraine medication within six weeks. Even better, the migraine symptoms were nowhere to be found.
“I’m drug-free right now,” Dana says, “and so thankful for the chiropractor that got me off of the drugs as well as migraine-free.”
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