Do You Really Have Migraines? How Can You Tell?

How to know if a person is having a migraine

Migraines are a very debilitating neurological condition. As many as 39 million people have migraines in the United States alone. Around the globe, 1 billion have migraines. Migraines seem to impact every corner of your life from finances, to health issues, to social activities, and even productivity at school and work. One study revealed that migraines cause sufferers to be 50 percent less productive at their jobs and during school. You may suspect that the intense head pain you feel now and then is a migraine. But, how can you be sure? Here are 18 signs showing what migraine sufferers go through. If you feel like you can relate to these, then read on. We will discuss an area of care having great success.

18 Symptoms of Migraines

  1. An aura: Not everyone but some people with migraines have an aura. Most of the time, you will see flashing lights, zigzag lines, or spots. Auras are warning signs that a migraine is about to hit. They come on about an hour before the head pain. Some have auras and never get a full-blown migraine.
  2. Feeling irritable, depressed, or overly excited: The American Academy of Neurology in 2010 suggested that moderate to severe depression increases the chance that episodic migraines will become chronic. Some patients all of a sudden begin to feel sad for no reason. Others may feel very highly excitable. There may be a genetic link between depression and migraines.
  3. A stuffy nose or watery eyes: Some people have symptoms of sinus problems -- a stuffy nose, droopy eyelids, watering, or clear nasal drainage. A study revealed that 90 percent of people who thought they were having a sinus headache were actually having a migraine.
  4. Not getting a good night’s rest: Waking up feeling tired or having problems going to sleep are seen in people with migraines. Migraines impact your sleep and can cause insomnia. This becomes a vicious cycle as a lack of sleep also triggers migraines.
  5. Food cravings: Some people crave certain foods just before migraines hit. A common food craving is chocolate.
  6. Pain that is throbbing on one or both sides of the head: Pulsating pain is a typical sign of migraines. Two-thirds of people have this on one side of their head, while the rest experience it on both sides.
  7. Neck pain: Many people report having a stiff neck and then getting a migraine. This is most likely the early stages of a migraine. Some get a sore neck after a migraine or report having a throbbing feeling in the back of their neck. As many as 38 percent always have neck pain and 31 percent say they have it frequently, according to an online survey by the National Headache Foundation.
  8. Eye pain: Migraines often cause pain that burrows behind the eye. People may blame it on their eyes being tired, but resting their eyes does not make it any better.
  9. Yawning: Frequently yawning can be a big clue that a migraine is about to hit. The yawning occurs excessively and every few minutes. Up to 36 percent of patients reported yawning as a sign of an oncoming migraine.
  10. Frequently having to urinate: Going to the bathroom a lot can be an indicator of migraines. This can come as little as an hour before or a day or two before the head pain starts.
  11. Tingling and numbness: This is a sensory aura. You may have a pins-and-needles feeling or lack of any sensation. This usually affects one side of the body and often moves from the fingertips to the arm and across the face.
  12. Bright lights, loud noise, or certain strong odors may trigger or worsen your migraines: When you are suffering from a migraine, you will want to seek comfort in a cool, dark, quiet room so as to avoid lights, noises, and smells that may make your pain much worse. These things can also cause a migraine to come on, so it is important to be cautious.
  13. Nausea and vomiting: More than 73 percent of people with migraines also have nausea. As many as 29 percent experience vomiting. A study by the National Headache Foundation found that people who have nausea and vomiting also tend to have more severe pain and a harder time finding relief.
  14. Activity makes the pain worse: Simple routine activities such as walking or climbing the stairs can make migraines worse. Sometimes physical exertion such as running or weightlifting brings on migraines.
  15. Problems with speech: Trouble finding the right word can be a sign of an impending migraine. However, if this is your first time experiencing this, contact your doctor to rule out another serious problem.
  16. Weakness: Usually affecting only one side of the body, muscle weakness often comes on before migraines. For example, you may notice your arm going limp.
  17. Vertigo or vision problems: There is a particular migraine type called basilar migraines which cause dizziness, double vision, or vision loss. Balance issues may also be a problem for those with migraines.
  18. A headache hangover: After a migraine, you may feel like you have been run over by a truck. You may have trouble concentrating, dizziness, weakness, and loss of energy.

Getting Natural Help for Migraines

If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is a good time to make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor. A misalignment in the top bones of the neck is often to blame for migraines. The good news is that by using a gentle method, we can help these bones to move back into place naturally. This often leads to an improvement in or elimination of migraines.

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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.