What is a Migraine?
We have all experienced the occasional headache, and while unpleasant, most of them are usually temporary and fade relatively quickly. Others, however, can be more serious, lasting longer and causing higher rates of pain. These more severe symptoms can be caused by some common forms of headaches or by migraines. Identifying which kind you are experiencing is crucial in seeking the best, more efficient treatment.
Types of Headaches
Headaches are pains that cause pressure and throbbing sensations traditionally around the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and, in most cases, are felt on both sides of the head. While tension headaches are the most common, usually caused by stress and muscle strain, some other types include:
This type of headache is usually accompanied by sinus infection symptoms such as fever, nasal congestion, and coughing. Sinus pain manifests around the eyes, cheeks, and nose.
Thunderclap headaches are headaches that develop under a minute and could be caused by a subarachnoid hemorrhage, aneurysm, or stroke. These conditions require immediate medical attention.
Cluster headaches are a cycle of extremely painful intermittent headaches that manifest in clusters. Unfortunately, the frequency or duration of the pain is unpredictable and varies from person to person.
These headaches are caused by a congenital disability called Chiari malformation, which causes the misshapen or too small a skull to press against the brain, causing pain.
Migraine Stages & Symptoms
Migraines can last for several hours and symptoms can progress or change with every stage.
Prodrome is the earliest stage of a migraine and can occur hours or even days before a migraine actually manifests. Common symptoms include food cravings or aversions, constipation, fatigue, mood swings, and frequent urination.
A symptom of the nervous system, auras are temporary sensory disturbances that often occur right before or during a migraine. While usually visual, they can also affect other areas. Symptoms can include flashes of light or black dots in vision, pins and needles sensation in the extremities, hearing noises or ringing in ears, total loss of vision, and difficulty speaking.
The attack signals the onset of a migraine, and it varies from person to person. Migraines can cause pain on one or both sides of the head, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In the worst cases, they can occur several times a month.
Many people can feel drained and disoriented after a migraine attack, while some people report feeling ecstatically happy. Symptoms may vary depending on the individual, their sensitivity to certain symptoms, and the severity of the migraine.Request Appointment
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There is no known cure for migraines and severe headaches, but the correct diagnosis and right medications can help stop and prevent them from happening. We recommend consulting a pain management specialist to figure out which treatment is best for your specific condition.
The root cause of migraines is still unknown, although specialists have been able to classify it as a neurological disorder aggravated by genetics and changes in the brain. Other risk factors include sex, age, family history, and other medical conditions. Depending on what triggers them and the subsequent symptoms, most migraines can be classified into the following categories:
- Migraine with aura
- Migraine without aura
- Abdominal migraine
- Ophthalmic migraine
- Hemiplegic migraine
- Vestibular migraine
- Menstrual migraine
If any of the previously mentioned symptoms afflict you, there is no need to suffer in silence. We recommend you contact our team of expert pain management specialists to determine which treatment is best for you.
There are numerous medical breakthroughs over the past 10 years which make treating migraines and headaches very manageable. The correct diagnosis paired with the right medications and interventional treatments can help slow or even prevent them from happening. We recommend consulting a pain management specialist to figure out which treatment is best for your specific condition. Common treatments include:
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Medical Management Prophylaxis
- Ketamine Infusion Therapy
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