Updated: Jun 1
Migraine symptoms are different for every person that experiences them. Still, there are several common migraine symptoms, including throbbing pain on one or both sides of your head, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and increased frequency of daily headaches.
In addition, many migraine symptoms can be indicators of more serious health conditions. If you have had a headache for more than 12 hours, or it just won't go away, visit a New York pain management professional. This article will discuss some of the facts about migraine to help you better understand what you're experiencing.
Headaches are not all migraine
The word "migraine" is used to describe a variety of different types of headaches, including those caused by muscle tension and hormonal changes, as well as those resulting from inflammation in the brain. Migraine is also used as an umbrella term for other types of recurring headaches with similar symptoms, such as chronic daily headache (CDH) or cluster headache.
Migraine is not just "a bad headache"
They're an intense, disabling brain pain that affects people differently. Most migraine sufferers experience mild or severe, pulsating or throbbing, unilateral or bilateral (on one side of the head). They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms. The intensity varies from person to person; some people experience only one migraine episode per year, while others may have multiple occurrences each week.
There are different types of migraines: classical and common
Classical migraines are typically preceded by an aura — vision disturbances such as seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines — while common migraines don't have an aura but may include nausea and vomiting as well as other symptoms like sensitivity to light and sound that aren't present during a classic migraine attack.
Most migraine attacks last hours — not days
Migraine headaches are mysterious and unpredictable. Some people get them each week, while others experience migraines only once every few months. If you have severe or frequent migraines that last longer than 4 hours or interfere with your daily life, you should talk to a pain specialist about treatment options.
Migraine attacks are not all the same
There are different types of migraines. While some people have auras and numbness, others have visual distortions or other sensory changes. In addition, some people have migraine headaches that are preceded by nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Others do not get these symptoms at all.
Migraine symptoms include:
Aura: Visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines (can be subtle), feeling numb on one side of your body, or even losing your vision temporarily during an attack.
Light sensitivity (photophobia). You may feel uncomfortable or even sick in bright light — like sunlight or fluorescent lights.
Sound sensitivity (phonophobia). Loud noises can intensify your migraine pain or cause an attack.
Nausea and vomiting: Some people experience vomiting during a migraine headache. This is more common with some types of vertigo than others but can occur with any kind of dizziness. Vomiting can also occur when people stand up too quickly after lying down for a long time.
Pain that spreads across the face or head. Pain may start at one side of your head and spread across to the other side or down around your eye socket area. This is called unilateral pain, which means it affects only one side at a time. If you have this symptom, you may want to tell your healthcare provider about it so you can get the right treatment for your condition.
Loss of consciousness. Rarely migraines can cause an episode where you lose consciousness completely for a short period of time (usually less than an hour).
Migraine is a disabling disease for many people
If you suffer from migraine headaches, you know what it's like to have constant pain and how hard it is to function on a daily basis. Headaches are not only painful, but they can also make it difficult to work and enjoy life. If you think you might have migraine headaches, consult with a pain doctor about pain management treatment options that will help reduce painful symptoms.
Migraine headaches can be treated without medication
These include stress reduction, exercise, acupuncture, and massage therapy to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Physical therapy. Physical therapists can help you learn how to relax your neck and head muscles, which may reduce your headaches. They also teach techniques for strengthening weak neck muscles, so you don't get as many headaches in the first place.
Massage therapy. Massage therapists use their hands or feet to apply pressure on specific points on the body. Massage can help relieve stress and muscle tension, which may cause headaches or other types of pain.
There are also minimally invasive procedures for migraine
Migraine headaches can be debilitating and often occur without warning, but there are minimally invasive treatment options to help relieve the symptoms of a migraine.
Botox is one type of minimally invasive treatment option available to people who suffer from migraines. Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating chronic migraines in adults who have already tried at least three different preventive medications without success. Botox is given as an injection into specific muscles of the face that affect muscle contractions responsible for triggering headaches. These injections can help prevent or lessen the frequency of migraines when used regularly.
Botox treatment should only be done by qualified physicians who are trained specifically in administering this type of procedure. If you're interested in finding out more about Botox or other minimally invasive treatments for migraines, speak with a New York pain management specialist about your options today!
Remember that getting rid of your migraines requires a holistic approach. Also, remember that the triggers for migraine headaches vary from person to person, so you may have to experiment a little to find out what works best for you.