There may be 39 million migraineurs in the US alone, but they don’t experience all of the same symptoms. We’re going to take a closer look at the symptoms of five of the many different categories of migraines. Then we will consider a natural therapy that has been proven effective in dozens of case studies.
#1 Migraine without Aura
These used to be referred to as common migraines, but since that downplayed how debilitating migraines are, the term was changed to migraine without aura. What are its symptoms? Here are some of the more common ones:
- Headache – This is the most popular symptom. Headaches that are a symptom of a migraine should meet at least two of the following conditions: pulsing or throbbing pain, grow worse with exertion, one-sided, moderate to severe pain.
- Sensory sensitivities
- Cognitive symptoms
- Nausea and possibly vomiting
- Extreme fatigue
- Neck pain – This is actually one of the more common symptoms with 75% of migraineurs experiencing neck pain either before or during an attack.
Episodes generally last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and may repeat anywhere from a few times a year to daily (see chronic migraines). The frequency with which headache medicine is taken may result in rebound headaches (also called medication overuse headaches). It is the most basic form of this neurological condition.
#2 Migraines with Aura
They used to call this a complicated migraine, but they just changed the description to migraines with aura. While aura is the primary difference, there are some other connected issues that are worse with this type of migraine.
- Aura – Aura occurs about 20-60 minutes before the headache phase (assuming there is a headache phase, which occurs for about 85-90% of migraines). Many of the symptoms are visual including seeing flashing lights or bright zig-zag lines. Other aura symptoms include a tingling sensation in the hands and face, and speech difficulties.
- Depression – Depression is common among migraineurs and particularly among patients who have aura.
- Suicide – Suicide rate is higher among migraineurs in general and then even more so for those who experience migraine with aura.
#3 Silent Migraines
This is the common name for migraines that don’t have a headache phase. One of the many things that separate migraines from headaches is that a headache is merely one symptom of a migraine. They are a neurological condition with many symptoms, one of which is usually a headache.
Since symptoms vary from person to person and attack to attack, a headache doesn’t have to occur with every episode. It is the most common symptom, but that just makes things more confusing. As a result, sometimes people who get silent migraines are misdiagnosed or suffer additional stigma on top of what is already attached to being a migraineur. Symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Visual disturbances
- Extreme exhaustion
- Mood changes
- Speech difficulties
- Unexplained pain in various parts of the body
- Sensory sensitives
- Neck pain
These are just some of the more common symptoms. There are many more possibilities, making these headache-free type just as debilitating as a classic migraine.
#4 Retinal Migraines
While this is a rare type and can be classified as a silent migraine, it is worth mentioning because it can be rather disturbing if you are not sure what is happening. A retinal migraine involves temporary vision loss in just one eye. Other visual disturbances are also possible. The onset of the problems begins gradually and clear up within an hour. Sudden vision loss in one eye, on the other hand, can be the sign of a medical emergency.
#5 Chronic Migraines
Chronic migraines can involve any of the types noted above or others that we do not have room to discuss here. The main determining factor in considering episodes as chronic is that symptoms exist 15 or more days per month. So a person may be suffering from daily episodes, or they may be experiencing a couple of headaches per week but with prodrome and postdrome symptoms that cover at least 50% of their days. Either way, you can understand how debilitating chronic migraines may be. For some of the millions who have chronic migraines, it makes ordinary activities, like holding down a job, impossible.
Finding Natural, Genuine Relief
If you are suffering from migraines, the frequency with which neck pain is a symptom may be a factor in finding genuine relief. Even if you don’t personally suffer from neck pain at this time, a small misalignment in the C1 (atlas) vertebra could still be at work. What may this type of subluxation result in?
- Reduced blood flow to the brain
- Inhibited cerebrospinal fluid drainage
- Reduced brainstem functionality
All of these can be factors in the onset and recurrence of migraines. So it makes sense to see a chiropractic subspecialist called an upper cervical chiropractor.
Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in detecting and gently correcting even the slightest of atlas misalignments. This can restore proper blood flow to the head and help to improve central nervous system function. As a result, some patients with neurological conditions experience stunning results.
If you would like to learn if upper cervical chiropractic care is the right way for you to find natural relief from migraines, contact a practitioner in your area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.