Do Migraines Without Headaches Exist?

migraines, silent migraine

When people hear about migraines, they immediately picture someone experiencing intense throbbing or pulsating headaches. That's why, many people are left puzzled or astounded when they encounter someone with a silent migraine. Doctors and other healthcare professionals refer to silent migraines in different ways. Other names for this condition include acephalgic migraines and migraine aura without headache.

Now, it may seem confusing because "migraine" and "without headache" are just words that don't make sense in one sentence. Well, that is what we're here for. This article will help you understand this condition better and the best ways to address and manage it!


Acephalgic Migraines Facts

Acephalgic migraines are pretty rare; in fact, only about 3 to 5 percent experience it in their lifetime. Essentially, the symptom causes sensory disturbances or visual phenomena such as auras, including scintillating scotoma (flickering blind spots) or fortification spectrum (visual hallucinations). A patient may experience visual disturbances without head pain (migraine aura without headache) or head pain without visual disturbances.



Acephalgic migraines can be difficult to diagnose because they look like other types of headaches at first glance. It's important to talk with a doctor about what you're experiencing so that they can help figure out if it's actually an acephalgic migraine or not!

The silent migraine type is most often found in children and adolescents. In this form of migraine, you will experience other symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Phonophobia (sound sensitivity)

You might also experience additional health concerns such as:

  • Motor weakness
  • Paresthesia (numbness)
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Numb face
  • Tingling around mouth
  • Visual disturbances such as flashing lights
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech and printed words


Characteristics of Acephalgic Migraines

#1. Acephalgic migraines are not dangerous

However, they can be disabling because they affect one's ability to live a normal life. They make it difficult to complete tasks due to severe nausea, vomiting, and other non-headache-related symptoms associated with the condition.

#2. Acephalgic migraines are uncommon

According to the National Headache Foundation, the rate of occurrence for acephalic migraine is very similar in males and females at about 0.5% of total population. The condition can occur at any age, but symptoms tend to begin in early adulthood (20s). However, there are some cases where it starts as early as childhood or much later on in life.

#3. Silent migraine sufferers share two common problems

Two commonalities are known among all sufferers; a family history of migraine sufferers and motion sickness that lasts beyond childhood.

migraines, silent migraine

Relief Forms for Silent Migraine

There are many ways to relieve symptoms of acephalgic migraines.


Acephalgic migraine medications can provide relief from your symptoms and allow you to function at home and work without interruption. Your doctor may prescribe a triptan drug or preventative medication, such as topiramate (Topamax), gabapentin (Neurontin), or valproic acid (Depakote). In addition, tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes prescribed for acephalgic migraines because they also block serotonin receptors that cause pain.


This is another possible treatment for acephalgic migraines because it releases endorphins in the body and can help ease anxiety that could be contributing to this type of migraine headache.

Massage therapy

This approach may reduce neck muscle tension, which helps prevent muscle spasms associated with some types of headaches—including those caused by an acephalgic migraine.


As a meditation and breathing regulation activity, yoga can help relax tense muscles and ease anxiety in people who have this type of headache condition. However, if you're taking blood thinners such as aspirin, Motrin (ibuprofen), or naproxen sodium (Aleve), talk to your doctor to avoid complications that might further compromise you heart.

Chiropractic adjustments

Upper cervical chiropractic may help relieve tension in the neck and back, which can trigger or worsen a migraine. This approach for migraines is safe and effective and can help you recover from the pain of a migraine. The gentle adjustments will help to reduce neck muscle tension and allow the vertebrae to move back into place. Once these vertebrae move correctly and no longer press on nerve tissue, patients typically experience less frequent or severe headaches.

Of all these silent migraine relief forms, the most recommended is chiropractic adjustments. That is because it can easily be combined with the other approaches without any adverse side effects and helps improve your migraine pain and overall health.


Manage Your Migraines with Chiropractic Care

Upper cervical chiropractic care focuses on correcting this misalignment by adjusting specific vertebrae in tiny increments to restore normal function. This can help with headaches, including migraines, as well as neck pain, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing ears). If you're tired of dealing with migraines but want to avoid medications or invasive procedures like surgery, then this may be right for you!

In addition, when you work with a chiropractor as your regular healthcare provider, they can help you prevent migraine pains and get back to your normal life!


Get Yourself a Credible Chiropractor Near You!

As mentioned previously, you can make the most of this migraine relief approach if you make regular adjustments, especially in the beginning. This will allow your chiropractor to help you correct all existing misalignments and underlying problems that you already have. Afterward, you can just do maintenance sessions to correct light misalignments that are common and bound to happen as we go about our daily activities.

For best results, get yourself a credible chiropractor that is already in your area so your visits won't be too much of a stretch on your schedule and plans. You can find one in the Upper Cervical Awareness Doctors Directory! So what are you waiting for? Choose the one for you now!


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.