In the United States alone, about 39 million people get migraines. That’s a staggering figure, and it represents 6% of adult males and 18% of adult females, plus 10% of kids. However, migraines are virtually a unique experience for each person who has them because symptoms, triggers, and what works for finding relief can vary from person to person.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at a list of symptoms that may indicate a migraine is on the way. Then we will discuss a means of finding natural relief that takes care of a very specific potential underlying cause of migraines.
Aura occurs for 20-25% of migraine patients. This telltale sign that a migraine is about to occur will generally happen within 60 minutes of the headache phase. Of course, not all migraines have a headache phase, and you can still have aura without a headache.
If you are not familiar with the term aura, it refers to visual symptoms such as seeing flickering lights or bright lines or spots in one’s vision.
#2 Mood Changes
In the day preceding a migraine, many patients will experience fluctuations in mood. While this can often mean the sudden onset of a gloomy depression or suddenly becoming easily irritable, mood swings can also include being very excitable. It is important to note that migraines and depression do seem to be linked, so don’t dismiss lingering feelings of depression even if they seem to be more severe only when a migraine is about to occur.
#3 Sleep Disturbances
Insomnia is common for migraine patients. This is a truly unfortunate symptom because lack of proper sleep can also trigger a migraine, thereby creating a cycle that leads to chronic migraine issues. Another common issue for migraineurs is waking up from sleep not feeling refreshed. This lack of restorative sleep can also be a burden during the daytime when a person needs to be alert.
#4 Sinus Symptoms
Migraines are often confused with sinus headaches because they can have similar symptoms. For example, a migraine may present with a runny nose or even with watery eyes. Before you write off a headache as being due to sinuses or allergies, see if you are experiencing some of the other symptoms on this list. Sinus headaches usually only have a stuffy nose, watery eyes, face pain, and a headache as symptoms. Additional symptoms likely indicate something more severe like a migraine.
#5 Food Cravings
This is another insidious migraine symptoms that has led some to give up a favorite food or beverage in an effort to keep them from “triggering” migraines. For example, one of the most common cravings prior to a migraine is chocolate. Unfortunately, this has led many people to believe that chocolate is a migraine trigger, whereas for most people the food craving is the signal that the migraine is on the way whether a person gives in to the craving or not.
#6 Neck Pain
While few people acknowledge this as a migraine symptom, it is actually one of the most common. A survey was taken by the National Headache Foundation that revealed 38% of migraine sufferers always have neck pain as a symptom and another 31% experience this symptom frequently. That is nearly 70% of responders right there. Another study found that about 75% of migraine patients experience neck pain either before or during the headache phase. So don’t assume the neck pain and head pain are unrelated.
#7 Frequent Urination
This may seem to be completely unrelated to migraines, but according to researchers, a person may experience a need to urinate more frequently up to two days before a migraine begins, or sometimes just an hour before a headache starts.
This symptom is getting a lot of attention from researchers lately. We still don’t really understand why people yawn in the first place. So what is the connection to migraines? It’s tough to say. However, it is important to note that this is different from an occasional yawn when you are tired. This would involve excessive yawning, perhaps every few minutes. In more than a third of migraine patients, this reveals a headache is about to strike.
#9 Sensory Sensitivities
Next to a throbbing headache, this is the most common migraine symptom. It is no wonder that a migraine sufferer will usually seek a dark and quiet room for some alone time. Every little sound can feel like nails on a chalkboard. Lights are almost blinding. And even ordinary smells can be overpowering. Not only are sensory sensitivities a common symptom but sensory overload is a common trigger so bright lights, loud sounds, and strong smells can bring the next migraine on.
Finding Natural Relief from Migraines
It makes sense that neck pain is common for migraine sufferers. In fact, the neck may be the genesis of the problem for many migraineurs. A misalignment of the C1 (atlas) can cause the right conditions for migraines to occur. For example, a misalignment of this bone that is located at the base of the skull can lead to increased intracranial pressure, inhibited brainstem function, or even reduced blood flow to the brain.
To learn more, contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area. This subspecialty of chiropractic is helping many patients with migraines and other chronic health ailments. An examination can reveal if you have an atlas misalignment. If so, a gentle adjustment may be just what you need to get on the pathway to better health.