Taking Care of Your Migraines: What Works Best


Migraines cause extreme pounding and a throbbing headache. They regularly affect only one side of the head, accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine pain can last for a few hours or even a few days. Migraineurs often describe the pain as debilitating. Some people experience migraines with aura. An aura is a type of warning signal that appears about an hour before the actual migraine attack. It can come in the form of blind spots, flashing lights, or tingling sensation on one side of the face or in the leg or arm.

4 Stages of Migraines and Their Symptoms

Migraines often start during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Migraines regularly progress through four different stages, and each phase usually has various symptoms. Not all migraineurs experience all four of these migraine stages. Some migraine attacks may go through these stages, while some may not. Also, it may be different from person to person. Let’s check out these stages and what their accompanying symptoms are.

#1. Prodrome Stage

This stage happens about a day or a few days before you get hit with migraine pain. You may also notice some odd symptoms, such as:

  • Constipation
  • Food cravings
  • Feeling thirsty and increased urination 
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Moodiness –mood swings from feeling exceedingly happy to being mildly depressed
  • Frequent yawning

#2. Aura Stage

Some migraineurs have migraines with aura, which occurs right before or during a migraine attack. These auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They usually include visual disturbances that appear as wavy, crooked lines or flashes of light. 

An aura usually starts gradually and builds up over several minutes. It may last for as long as 20 to 60 minutes. Here are some examples of what happens during an aura stage:

  • Loss of vision
  • Hearing noises or music that is not there
  • Problems with speech
  • Visual disturbances –seeing shapes, flashes of light, or bright spots
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements
  • Numbness or weakness felt in the face or on only one side of the body
  • A sensation of pins and needles prickling in the arm or leg

#3. Attack Stage

This phase may last for as long as 72 hours. Migraines can be chronic or rare, and also vary in intensity. You may experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to sound, light, and certain odors
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sometimes feeling you are about to faint

#4. Postdrome Stage

This stage occurs right after the head pain subsides. This phase may last for around 24 hours. At this time, you may start feeling drained and tired, or the opposite–being happy or highly energized.  You may also have any of these other symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Migraine Care and Management

There have been some new research and studies that may offer more help for people with migraines. Check out this list, and we hope it can help improve the way you care for your migraines. Here are a few strategies to consider.

  • Rest after being stressed out.

Worry can cause migraines. A recent study reveals that the let-down after stress also triggers migraines. It is probably due to the drop in stress hormones, particularly cortisol. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It regulates your motivation, mood, and fear. 

Therefore, it is crucial to make yourself calm. Calming yourself the proper way includes:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Getting proper nutrition
  • Doing physical activities (chores, daily routine)
  • Regular exercise
  • Practicing relaxation techniques

These are all useful components that can help prevent migraines from occurring. Also, even just closing your eyes for about 30 seconds and breathing correctly and thinking only of positive thoughts can help you calm down and relax.

  • Avoid specific types of food.

Certain types of food can trigger migraines in most people. Check if these foods can trigger your migraine attacks. These would include the following:

  • Red wine
  • Chocolate
  • Aged cheese
  • Caffeine
  • Certain types of food that contain nitrates

It's crucial to remember that it may be due to several compounding factors that may help bring on your migraines. For example, on one particular day, you might have slept less than average, then you were around someone wearing strong perfume, then you ate a huge sandwich with a lot of meats containing nitrates. A combination of triggers or factors can also bring on migraines.

  • Tweet your pain away.

Researchers had an exciting discovery at the University of Michigan. When people suffering from migraine attacks started telling others about their pains, it reduced their migraine pain.

In the age of social media, people have an outlet for their worries and pains. Tweet your pain away. Or if you prefer it the old fashioned way, tell a friend face to face. Start sharing your pain with someone who cares. It works for many people. Would you like to try this technique? What do you have to lose, but pain?

  • Keep testing to a minimum.

Imaging tests and CT scans can help diagnose migraineurs. Before you undergo any of these tests, start improving your health by implementing healthy lifestyle changes. Then see if it can help reduce your migraine attacks. 

A healthy lifestyle would include maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and doing regular daily exercises. Also, a migraine diary can help you write down your observations regarding your possible migraine triggers. As a result, you will know what conditions or types of food and non-food migraine triggers you will have to avoid in the future.

  • Pursue upper cervical chiropractic care.

It has long proved to be a safe, natural, and effective means of care for those with migraines. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on correcting any misalignment in the top bones of the neck. It is relevant because migraines and a misalignment in the upper cervical area share a connection, according to some clinical studies.

Get Rid of Migraine With Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Upper cervical chiropractic is a successful way to care for various types of migraines. The top two bones of the upper cervical spine, the C1 and C2 vertebrae, can be a source of migraines if they accidentally move out of position. Misalignment causes the brainstem to malfunction and endure stress. As a result, improper signals go to the brain. A reduction in cerebrospinal fluid flow and blood flow to the brain also may happen due to misalignment.

A 23-year-old woman who suffered from chronic migraines, low back pain, and neck pain received upper cervical care. She experienced significant improvement in her migraines and other health issues following her adjustments.

Upper cervical chiropractors use a gentle and precise method that helps the bones to realign naturally. This soft method results in the body being able to heal properly from the damage caused by the misalignment. As a result, the proper fluid flow to the brain returns. Many patients have reported seeing significant positive results in the severity and frequency of their migraines, while others see their migraines go away completely.

Search for the nearest upper cervical chiropractor in your region. You can use Upper Cervical Awareness’ search function to help you with this.

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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.