Each year, thousands of hours of productive time are lost to the severe headache known as a migraine. Over 37 million people experience migraine headaches during each year, according to Migraine Statistics.
Dozens of symptoms can strike all at once, leaving the patient unable to walk, communicate clearly, or drive. This nervous system disorder is not yet fully understood, but we do have the treatments necessary to help you deal with these attacks. We also encourage you to review our resources site for Headache and Migraine support and information resources.
What Are Migraine Headaches?
While a migraine does involve a headache, it is far more complex than a general headache. The basic headache only involves aching or pain in the head itself, with possible irritation behind the eyes or sinuses. Migraine headaches are far more severe and can last days or even weeks. You can seek treatment at our New Haven clinic to deal with a current migraine or see us occasionally to help prevent them from developing in the first place.
Migraine Headaches Symptoms
There is an entire collection of symptoms that indicate you are dealing with migraine headaches rather than just basic pain. Our patients all experience one or more symptoms that include:
- Depression and irritability one to two days before the migraine starts.
- Yawning that is uncontrollable
- Stiffness of the neck
- Loss of vision and phenomenon like flashing lights
- Throbbing or regional head pain
- Indigestion and vomiting
- Fainting or feelings of lightheadedness
- Difficulty with spoken or written communication
Cause of Migraine Headaches
Research has just begun into the intricacies of the nervous system and how a migraine affects it. However, there are some common triggers and potential causes that patients and doctors alike have identified. Your migraines may be the result of:
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Interrupted or unusual sleeping patterns
- Hormonal imbalances and changes
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or the compound known as tyramine
- A wide range of food allergies
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Brain chemical imbalances
- Dehydration and electrolyte issue
Migraine Headaches Risks
All of the causes and triggers of migraines are not fully understood yet, but there are some clear trends in the patients reporting them. There seem to be risk factors for migraine headaches like:
- Gender – Female patients are more likely to experience this condition than males
- Diet – Eating lots of aged cheeses, processed meats, and red wine
- Medications – Many antidepressants or vasodilators can affect the brain
Migraine Headaches Treatment Options
Many patients resort to damaging and overwhelming pain killing medications when their symptoms set in. Avoid the side effects of these drugs with safer care in the form of:
- Lifestyle recommendations to help you avoid common triggers
- Testing for food allergies and environmental sensitivities
- Tissue manipulation and trigger point therapy to relax tight spots that could be causing the reaction
- Spinal care that could relieve nerve pressure
- Testing for acute damage to the nerves throughout the neck and spine
Migraines May Strike Unexpectedly, So Be Ready
Waiting until your next migraine headaches to find help is a mistake. Call Spinal Healthcare & Physical Medicine today if you are concerned that the pain and dizziness could strike while you are trying to drive or cook dinner. With some diagnostic testing and a little preemptive care, you might be able to spend months or even years free from an outburst of migraine headaches and the neck pain that accompanies them.