Migraine Statistics That Reveal a Shocking Epidemic


Migraines top the charts when it comes to neurological conditions that are both debilitating and common. While the moderate to severe headaches that accompany the majority of migraines is the symptom that is most well-known, there are many other effects that can leave a person incapacitated for days. Today, we’re going to look at some migraine statistics that may surprise you and that reveal just how widespread this issue has become.

However, we will not leave you without hope. At the conclusion of the article, we will discuss a natural therapy that has provided help for a number of migraine patients in case studies. So let’s look at the migraine statistics and see what we can learn. For these and other migraine statistics, you can also check out the Migraine Research Foundation website. 

Just How Common Are Migraines Anyway? 

Let’s consider a few statistics that reveal just how widespread this debilitating neurological condition really is. 

  • Globally about 1 billion people are living with migraines 
  • In the US about 39 million people have this condition 
  • Migraines impact 1 in 4 US households 
  • 6% of men in the US get migraines 
  • 10% of children in the US get migraines (and it’s more common for boys than girls until puberty)
  • 18% of women in the US get migraines 

These shocking figures reveal the immense impact that migraines have on daily life in the US and across the globe. But the effects are more than just on health alone. Migraines can throw off a person’s daily routine inducing work, home life, and social calendar. 

How Do Migraines Affect Day to Day Life?

Here are some statistics that reveal how much of an impact migraines can have on a family, friendship, work, and other aspects of life. 

  • Nearly half of migraineurs must restrict their activities for one or more days when a migraine occurs.
  • 59% of migraineurs admit that they have missed social or family events due to migraines. 
  • 7 out of 10 migraineurs say that their health condition has caused relationship problems. 
  • More than 90% of migraineurs say that an attack has resulted in taking a sick day from work. 

So clearly, migraines can impact home life, work life, and even relationships. It can be particularly challenging when a loved one doesn’t understand how debilitating a migraine can be. There are some people who still think that migraines are just bad headaches and are no excuse for missing work or even a social event. Education is one key to reducing the stigma and impact of migraines. 

What Financial Impact Is Caused by Migraines? 

Migraines have a tremendous financial impact on the personal life of someone living with this condition as well as for their family. In fact, the entire US economy is affected by migraines. Here are some migraine statistics that focus on the financial impact of this disease. 

  • In one recent calendar year, migraines are estimated to have cost the US $36 billion. This includes doctor and hospital bills, medications and other treatments, missed workdays, and long-term disability. 
  • Families with at least one migraineur spend about 70% more on healthcare than families where no one has this condition. 
  • Patients spend $1 billion per year on brain scans for migraines. Keep in mind that these scans cannot diagnose migraines and are only used to rule out other possible neurological conditions that have similar symptoms. 
  • Each year, Americans miss about 157 million days of work due to migraines. This impacts the finances of both individuals and businesses. 

Are migraines really debilitating enough to cause all of these problems and expenses? Consider some of the more common migraine symptoms. 

Common Symptoms of Migraines 

These statistics help to give a better picture of how migraines can affect the quality of a person’s life.

  • Moderate to severe headache (85-90%) – You may notice that not all migraines present with a headache. This alone should differentiate the two conditions. 
  • Sensory sensitivities (75-85%) – Sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells occur with varying frequency. 
  • Neck pain (approximately 75%) – While this is one of the most common migraine symptoms, it often fails to make the list. 
  • Nausea and vomiting – Nearly one-quarter of migraineurs experience nausea. Fortunately, fewer than a third will ever reach the point of vomiting. 
  • Visual effects (approximately 44%) – Blurred vision, temporary blindness, visual hallucinations, and other visual disturbances may occur, especially for patients who experience aura before the onset of the attack phase of the migraine. 

Finding Natural Help for Migraines 

If migraines are impacting your daily life, these statistics reveal the importance of doing everything you can to get help. Every aspect of your life can be affected by this health condition. However, there is hope. We mentioned that a natural therapy has had benefits in case studies. We would now like to introduce you to this form of care – upper cervical specific chiropractic.  

Upper cervical chiropractic involves precise and gentle adjustments of the top two bones in the spine. The C1 and C2 vertebrae balance the skull, protect the brainstem, and support fluid flow such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid. When these bones are out of alignment, it can create the conditions that lead to migraines. Correcting the misalignments may, therefore, help provide some relief.

If you are living with frequent migraines, especially if you have a history of head or neck injuries, we encourage you to seek out the assistance of an upper cervical chiropractor today. Your first visit may set you on the path to fewer migraines and better overall health.

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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.