You may hear the term migraine often and may simply assume when someone is suffering, they are just having a really intense headache. However, this is far from the truth. Migraines are actually a neurological condition. A headache is one of the symptoms and most often the most pronounced. However, you can also have a migraine without having a headache. The other symptoms that may accompany migraines include the following:
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and certain smells
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities or the face
These symptoms may be quite disabling, causing you to have to lie down in a dark room until the they subside. Attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. If you do have head pain with your migraine, it often hits on one side of the head only (a third of suffers have both sides affected) and is usually throbbing or pounding in nature.
Here are some interesting facts about migraines:
- Migraines affect as many as 39 million people in the US and 1 billion worldwide.
- Out of every 4 households, one includes someone who suffers from migraines.
- Migraines are most common in the age range of 25 to 55.
- Around 90 percent of those with migraines have a family member who has them also.
- Women get migraines 3 times more often than men.
- While most people have an attack once or twice a month, there are as many as 4 million people who have chronic daily migraines (more than 15 migraines during a 30-day period).
- As many as 90 percent of sufferers cannot work or perform routine daily tasks during migraines.
- Around 25 percent of sufferers have what is called an aura, a visual disturbance that comes on about an hour before the actual attack.
- Approximately 10 percent of school-age children get migraines.
- Children who suffer from migraines miss two times as much school as those who do not.
Different Types of Migraines
Migraines are different for each individual, and sometimes the attacks vary with the same person. Finding the exact migraine you are suffering from can help you get proper care. As many as 70 percent of those with migraines are improperly diagnosed. According to the International Headache Society’s ICHD-3 classification system, there are 7 migraine types.
Two migraine types are the most common:
- A migraine without aura (previously common migraine): This is the most frequent type of a migraine. It comes along with the following symptoms:
- Moderate to severe pulsating head pain usually on one side of the head
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
- Sensitivity to light, smells, or sound
- Extreme exhaustion
Attacks usually last 4 to 72 hours and repeat a few times a week (as with a chronic migraine) or a few times a year. Movement makes the attacks worse. Migraines of this sort often worsen with repeated use of pain medication.
- Migraine with aura (previously classic or complicated migraine): This kind of migraine is accompanied by visual disturbances and other neurological symptoms which come on about an hour before the head pain hits. You may experience temporary loss of vision. The aura usually comes on without head pain at first. You may also have other symptoms:
- Numbness, muscle weakness, or abnormal sensations on one side of your body
- A tingling sensation in the hands or face
- Problems speaking
- Loss of appetite
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Other migraine types include the following:
- Migraines with brainstem aura (formerly basilar-type migraines): Mainly seen in children and adolescents, this is similar to migraine with aura and originates from the brainstem but does not include motor weakness. It is most often seen in teenage girls and may be connected to their menstrual cycle. Symptoms include those listed below:
- Partial or total vision loss
- Double vision
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Poor muscle coordination
- Slurred speech
- Ringing in the ears
- Head pain that is throbbing, comes on suddenly, and is felt in the back of the head and on both sides
- Migraine without headache: Known for visual problems and other aura symptoms, but no head pain. You may have the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained pain on another part of the body
- Hemiplegic migraines: Migraines of this type cause temporary paralysis, sometimes for many days, on one side of the body prior to or during a headache. Other symptoms include the following:
- A pricking or stabbing sensation
- Trouble with speech, vision, or swallowing
- Retinal migraines: This is a rare migraine type that includes vision loss or disturbances in one eye only.
- Chronic migraines: These migraines occur more than 15 days during a month’s time for more than 3 months.
Finding Relief No Matter What Type of Migraines You Get
One area of natural care is seeing great success in helping patients with migraines. This is upper cervical chiropractic care. We focus on making sure the top bones of the spine are in proper alignment because a misalignment here has been connected to migraines. This type of misaligned bone puts pressure on the brainstem, causing it to send improper signals to the brain. It can also act as a hindrance to the proper amount of blood and cerebrospinal fluid reaching and exiting the brain. All of this can bring on migraines.
We use a method that is gentle and effective. It does not require us to pop or crack the neck or spine to get positive results. After just a few corrections, many people report seeing a big improvement in their migraines and headaches.