Migraines in children are more common than you might think. About one in ten school-aged children are migraineurs. In addition, half of all migraineurs will experience their first attack before age 12. No different than adults, migraines in children are not just a horrible headache.
Migraines are a complex neurological condition that has other symptoms. This includes increased sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and mood changes. Children who suffer from migraines can be just as disabled as their adult counterparts. One of the most significant differences, however, is that children may not have the tools or skills to be able to communicate how they’re feeling.
In general, kids will experience fewer episodes than adults, and those episodes may be shorter in duration. A combination of factors is likely to blame, including environmental and genetic components, but migraines tend to run in families. If a child has one parent with migraines, they have a 50% chance of inheriting them. If both parents have migraines, those odds rise to 75%.
How Do I Know if My Child Has a Migraine?
A migraine in a child can sometimes be hard to spot. The pain might be unbearable, but your child may not be able to give you enough clues to let you know that what they’re experiencing is a migraine. Things for parents and/or caregivers to look for include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Asking to lie down in a dark room
- Changes in sleep routine
- Mood swings
While it may be a bit more challenging to identify migraines in young people, it is certainly possible to do so. Identifying migraines as early on as possible can help you to receive the proper care sooner.
Helping Your Child in Key Areas When Migraines Strike
Aside from feeling unwell during a migraine, children living with the condition can experience other consequences when it comes to making friends, attending school, and participating in extra-curricular activities. However, there are ways to prepare kids and their support systems, so that migraine days are less of a challenge.
Encourage them to talk to their friends
Having a health issue that makes them “different” can be isolating for children. However, being open with their friends about migraines is often a helpful step in surrounding themselves with people who will help them through their difficult days. Since migraines are not all that uncommon, your child may even begin to find friends with others who cope with similar symptoms.
Set them up for success at school
Missing classes or not being able to concentrate on studies due to migraines can be a big issue for kids. Part of the solution can include making sure teachers, nurses, and other school staff are aware of your child’s migraines. This can help raise awareness about the prevalence of migraines in children while also making sure that your child can succeed academically. Educating teachers on what signs and symptoms to look for can help get your child and possibly others the care they need in a timely manner.
Sports participation shouldn’t be mandatory
Some young people with migraines may not want to participate in sports or gym class because it can worsen their symptoms. If your child’s migraines are severe or happen frequently, it is alright to limit sports participation and encourage other ways for them to feel healthy and engaged. As your child gets older, they will gain a better understanding of their migraine triggers and will develop a better ability to gauge if their participation in physical activities is a factor.
Natural, Safe Migraine Care for Children
We understand how difficult it can be to see your child hurting and how important getting the right care is. If you have a child who suffers from migraines, we’d like to introduce you to a natural, safe, and incredibly effective way to start getting them feeling better and back to being a kid again. Upper cervical chiropractic care takes a detailed look at the alignment of the head and neck, as this can play a significant role in the development (and in the resolution) of migraines.
A misalignment of the uppermost vertebra in the spine, the atlas, can occur as a result of an injury or accident. In the case of kids, it can be due to something as banal as a fall on the playground or an injury during soccer practice. When the atlas misaligns, it can impair normal neurological function, blood flow between the head and neck, and the proper drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Any of these factors can be contributing to migraine-causing conditions for your child.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is ideally suited for kids because it is exceptionally gentle. After precise measurements are taken, the perfect atlas adjustment is crafted. No two kids need the same adjustment because no two kids have the exact same bone structure. This high degree of specificity allows for an extremely low-force adjustment that is quick. Moreover, it can hold in place for long. If you’re concerned about your child’s migraines, put your mind at ease. Schedule a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. They will take the time to explain the possible underlying cause of the problem to help your child get back to feeling great.