Recognizing the Difference Between a Migraine and Stroke

Clinical Link between migraine and stroke

Migraines are very common with about 12% of adults experiencing them. Some symptoms can overlap between a common migraine and a stroke (which calls for emergency medical attention). How can you tell the difference quickly enough to get the help a person needs? What you read here may save a life.

Identifying the Symptoms of Migraines and Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood flow is blocked to part of the brain. If oxygen is not restored quickly, these brain cells can die. Since you need to react FAST to a stroke, it makes the ideal acronym. Here are the three things to look for and the response.

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech slurred
  • Time to dial 9-1-1

Remember too that while a migraine may gradually present with a severe headache, blurred vision, and balance problems, the symptoms will strike quickly when a stroke happens. Migraines tend to ramp up gradually over the course of hours, not seconds.

Migraine symptoms also include:

  • Pulsing or throbbing headache
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or vertigo

Some migraines can also cause muscle weakness, disorientation, and difficulty speaking, but symptoms tend to come on gradually.

Finding Natural Help for Migraines

While not an emergency situation like stroke, migraines are still something that needs to be taken care of so that the condition does not become chronic. Upper cervical chiropractors are helping many to find relief. How does this specific form of chiropractic help?

An upper cervical chiropractor focuses on the top two bones of the spine. These vertebrae protect the sensitive area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. A misalignment can affect cerebrospinal fluid drainage, blood flow to the brain, and brainstem function. These are all related to migraines.

When the specific misalignment is corrected with a precise and gentle adjustment, many patients find that this helps with the frequency and severity of migraines. Some even find complete relief.


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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.