Migraines are a common neurological disorder that continues to affect more people by the day. Children are no exception. According to a report, more or less 39 million American men, women, and children alike have migraines.
As adults, it may be difficult to imagine children suffering from migraines. Many parents dismiss their kid’s migraines as another ordinary headache. This actually contributes to why most migraine cases in children are undiagnosed.
Facts About Migraines in Children
Here’s a list of some critical facts about migraines in children. Migraine Research Foundation shared all this information in their blog.
About 10% of school-age children deal with migraines.
Children as young as 18 months showed consistent symptoms of migraines.
Many people get their first migraine attack before the age of 12.
Migraines and infant colic and may have a link. In fact, the latter may be an early form of a migraine.
Approximately 23% of girls and 8% of boys had experienced a migraine by the time they reached 17.
Genes play a role in migraines. A child with a parent with migraines is 50% more likely to get them as well. If both parents get migraines, the risk climbs up to 75%.
Warning Signs of Migraines in Children
Similar to adults, children with migraines may experience some of these symptoms:
Throbbing or pounding headache
Oversensitivity to sound, light, touch, and certain smells
Signs and symptoms of migraines may differ depending on the age of the child. Here’s a quick summary of how different age groups of children display migraine symptoms.
Infants – Occasional banging of the head is present.
Preschool children – They may look sick or become irritable. Often, kids this age have an intense desire to sleep. Vomiting and abdominal pain are their common complaints. They may rock or cry and hide in a dark place.
Children between 5 to 10 years old – Most of them experience severe pain in the front, back, or sides of the head. Some accompanying symptoms they may show are nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, excessive thirst, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, increased urination, and sensitivity to sound and light.
Older children and teenagers – They may complain of more frequent and longer headaches. The headache is often unilateral and feels like a pulsing or throbbing sensation.
The Toll Migraines Take on Children’s Life
Compared to adults, children have shorter and fewer migraine attacks. However, their migraines can be just as debilitating and disruptive for their health and quality of life.
Children who live with migraines frequently miss school and inactive in participating in school activities. Teens with migraines can develop anticipatory anxiety, which occurs due to constant worry about the next possible episode of migraine.
Some children and teens experience chronic migraines, which means they have more than 15 migraine attacks per month. Only those who get migraines for three months or more in a row get a diagnosis of chronic migraines.
Teenagers may experience other symptoms such as daily headaches, sleep problems, cognitive issues, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Tips for Adults on How to Relieve Migraines in Children
If there are children in your life with migraines and you want to help them, the first thing you must do is ask them to take a rest during an attack. Also, encourage them to reduce their stress and avoid migraine triggers.
Doctors often educate families about migraines. Their common recommendations to prevent migraines are as follows:
Parents and the child, through the help of a doctor, should both learn about migraines and their symptoms.
The child should keep a migraine diary to find his or her personal triggers.
Parents should show the importance of regular sleeping and routine meal schedule. There should not be unnecessary activities on a child’s schedule.
Together, both the parents and the child should determine what is triggering the child’s migraines and cautiously avoid them.
Here are some other suggestions to help ease the pain during migraine attacks:
Lie down the child in a dark, cold room and to sleep
Put an ice pack on the child’s head or neck
Try relaxation techniques to the child
Natural Pain Reliever for Migraines
Relying on medications can help ease the pain of migraines for the time being, but focusing on its root cause is the solution for long-term relief.
In a study involving 101 migraine patients, researchers found a connection between migraines and a misalignment in the upper cervical spine. If either the C1 or C2 bone gets misaligned, migraine is a likely result. This can occur in both children and adults.
These two bones are vulnerable to misalignment than any other bones in the spine due to their flexibility to move in many different directions. They hold a crucial job of protecting the brainstem. Therefore, their misalignment can result in damage in the brainstem, leading to abnormal blood flow to and from the brain. Even more, it can affect the other functions of the central nervous system.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a gentle technique to adjust the bones and return them in their proper positions. Their corrections are often the vehicle of the body to start its course of natural restoration. Once successful, the brain and body can communicate properly once again. In addition, the whole nervous system can resume its optimum performance.
Many children and adults experience improvements in their migraines under upper cervical chiropractic care. Some even report complete resolution of their migraine episodes.