Migraine Glossary: Defining Everything Migraine-Related

Migraine Glossary, silent migraine

Learning about a health problem such as migraine can redefine how you cope and manage your symptoms. That’s why we thought of creating a migraine glossary that will help you understand essential words or phrases used in describing migraines. Find out the meaning behind migraine-related terms like silent migraine, cervical subluxation, and aura below.


Abdominal migraine

Abdominal migraine is a rare type of migraine episode that primarily affects kids. Instead of causing pulsating or throbbing pain in the head, this condition causes stomachaches. It can also trigger additional digestive concerns like vomiting, pallor, and loss of appetite.  


Most people who experience recurring migraines use analgesics like caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen. These work fast and provide short-term migraine relief. 


Some people who experience migraine attacks report vertigo and nausea as their accompanying symptoms. As a result, sometimes doctors recommend taking antiemetics to help patients cope. 

Anti-inflammatory medication

Migraine attacks can sometimes get worse because of inflammation. As a result, doctors suggest tasking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to counter the effects and manage a migraine episode. 


About 25 percent of migraine attacks feature aura symptoms like light (photophobia) or sound sensitivity (phonophobia).  These are harmless but can pose safety risks, especially when moving around. 

Basilar-type migraine

This type of migraine mainly originates from the lower base of the brain or the brainstem. Initially, researchers thought that this migraine gets triggered by basilar arterial spasms. However, recent studies suggest that the basilar-type migraine is similar to migraine with aura.

Biofeedback therapy

This procedure improves migraine symptoms by training the mind to control involuntary functions like blood pressure regulation and digestion. It primarily helps migraineurs improve how they react to their symptoms during an episode. 


Caffeine is most likely one of the recurring terms you would find when looking at a migraine glossary from varying resources. It causes the blood vessels to narrow, causing your blood pressure to spike and increasing your risk for a worse migraine attack. Health and wellness professionals strongly recommend avoiding excessive consumption of caffeinated products, especially if you frequently experience migraines.

Cervical subluxation

Neck bone shifting or cervical subluxation is a leading cause or trigger or worse migraine attacks. The misaligned neck bones interfere with brain signal transmission, which causes an imbalance in your nervous system. It mostly follows a neck injury from a sports-related accident or car collision.

Cervicogenic headache

Neck or cervicogenic headaches can sometimes mimic a migraine episode. However, unlike migraines, this secondary headache mostly happens because of an underlying condition like a previous neck injury or high blood pressure. 

Cluster headaches

Many patients also get confused between migraines and cluster headaches. To distinguish the two, you can check for the location of the pain. In most cases, migraine episodes can happen in varying parts of the head. On the one hand, cluster headaches primarily affect the areas around the eyes and the temples.

Migraine Glossary, silent migraine






CT scan

CT scan or computed tomography scan is among the most common diagnostic procedures used to gauge the severity of a migraine attack. Doctors mostly use it together with an MRI scan to trace the potential root cause of the symptoms. 


Several studies explain that migraines in women mostly happen because of the fluctuating estrogen levels in the bloodstream. A sudden dip in estrogen levelsa common trend you can observe during perimenopause and the second half of the menstrual cycledecreases pain tolerance. As a result, females become more sensitive to the impact of a migraine attack.

Food additives

Food additives like MSG and aspartame are among the leading migraine attack triggers. It’s best to avoid these as much as possible. 

MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan helps rule out the underlying causes of migraine symptoms, including tumors and brainstem irritation because of cervical subluxation. 

Silent migraine

Silent migraine or painless migraine affects about 5 percent of people with migraines. These do not cause headaches but can still take a toll on your body because of symptoms like nausea, difficulty concentrating, disrupted sleeping patterns, depression, and irritability. 


Migraine triggers refer to things or events that can aggravate existing symptoms. These can range from food products like caffeinated drinks to weather changes when a new season begins. 

Upper cervical chiropractic care

Upper cervical chiropractic is also a common term found in a migraine glossary. This popular migraine remedy aims to fix postural distortions in the spinal column, which may be the reason why you experience migraine symptoms.


Get Help for Headaches, Silent Migraines, and Other Problems

Besides familiarizing yourself with the terms listed in the migraine glossary above, it will help to seek professional help. For starters, you can try to find out more about your symptoms by talking to an upper cervical doctor. As mentioned above, upper cervical chiropractic is a leading remedy that migraineurs seek to improve their overall well-being. 

Studies on this chiropractic technique show its promising potential in managing chronic migraine attacks or silent migraine episodes. Its focus on the C1 and C2 alignment can remove undue pressure on the nervous system. It also aims to restore your health to cope better when you experience an attack.

The process is well-calculated and uses light pressure on the upper cervical area where the topmost bones lie. Many patients have tried this unique and promising approach to healing and experienced massive improvements in their migraine attacks. 

Get help for your throbbing headaches, silent migraine, and other migraine-related problems with the help of a nearby upper cervical care practitioner. Find a neck chiropractor to help you today!


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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.