Migrane: Headache Pain With or Without the Migrane Aura

There are a variety of ways in which these specific types of headaches are spelled.  In this case, we’re using the migrane spelling.  Other times, you’ll see the term migraine or migrain.  These are all synonyms and the spelling differences are based upon dialect and regional use, not some specific type of migrane headache.

Without any further discussion about how they’re spelled, let’s discuss these types of headaches and what you can do about them.  If you’re unfamiliar or you’re just searching online for migraine symptoms to see if this is what you may be suffering from, then you’re not alone.  In 2003, The World Health Organization estimated that over 300 million people suffered migraines worldwide.

Symptoms of Migrane Headache

The primary symptoms that distinguish a migrane from other types of headaches are:    visual disturbances, light and sound sensitivities, feelings of nausea and an aura.  The other symptoms, like one sided head pain or pain that is worth with bending forward or with certain foods can be similar with other headaches.  The migrane aura is one of those distinguishing features.  Pain when bending forward and sensitivity to touch on the face are classic sinus headache symptoms, so this needs to be considered if you’re just getting over or are experiencing a bad cold.

The aura refers to the set of symptoms that happen before the migrane hits.  There is another term, prodrome, that is used that can also describe this time period.  However, the prodrome is more like a sense or feeling that a migrane headache is eminent.  People that have these describe them almost like a premonition or ‘gut feeling’.  This phase can be hours or days before an actual migrane hits.  Likewise, the aura can be hours before a headache and can last for some time, too.

There are also triggers that can lead to a migrane headache.  These are things of various categories:  physical, dietary, chemical and emotional.  In the physical sense, light, sound, exercise, trauma or other sensation can trigger these attacks.  Similarly, stressful events can also bring them on or exacerbate their intensity.  Then, there are dietary and chemical triggers, like chocolate, alcohol, smoking, cleaning products, artificial food products and even medicines that can provoke and attack.

If you have headaches everyday, then you will quickly agree that they can drain your energy and enthusiasm for life.  It is hard enough to want to get out of bed, let alone go to work or care for a family.  The demands of life can quickly overwhelm you.  Headache relief is possible, but you must know that even the most specialized doctor in your area probably would tell you that the exact cause of all migranes is not well understood.

Migrane Treatments

Some doctors believe that these headaches are a type of epileptic attack of sorts, some style of electrical firestorm in your brain.  This fierce electrical storm of activity causes nerve cells to fire erratically and can lead to pain signals or altered vascular supplies.  This is why you’ll also hear the term vascular migraine bantered about.  This is also why some doctors utilize anti-epileptics for migraine medications; there seems to be some correlation or shared benefit.  More pharmaceutical companies are coming out with their own migraine medicine that is specifically tailored to the headache itself.

Of course, there are other theories as well.  You may also simply not be interested in taking medicine for your headaches or getting shots of different drug cocktails stuck in your neck or head.  The reason that you may have these injections suggested to you is because the joints of the neck and upper back, along with the muscles of these areas, are often implicated.  Chiropractors see this all the time, as do massage therapists, acupuncturists and naturopaths.  In fact, there are also herbal and nutritional supplements and products available by prescription from your naturopath to deal with migraines.  If your back and neck muscles are often tight, spasms present or you just want to rule this out as a possible source of your migranes, your local chiropractor Gilbert AZ can help.  Our office has been helping people just like you since 1998 find relief from their neck, back and migrane pain.  Contact us today.


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