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Migraines 101


Have you had a migraine? Have you had a migraine with aura, like the one in the picture?

Watch this video to learn about headaches and migraines, so you can understand more deeply what’s going on and what you can do to positively influence them when they arise. Headaches and migraine are very common ailments, but not a lot of people are fully informed about them. So what is a headache? A headache is classified as any pain in the face, head or upper neck area.

The World Health Organization estimates 50-75% of adults 18-65 years old have had a headache in the past year and a headache that lasts 15 or more days every month affects 1.7-4% of the world’s population. 30% of these headaches are reported as migraines and migraines are the 5th most common cause for disability in adults under 50.


First let’s talk about the differences in various types of headaches.


Primary VS Secondary Headache


Primary Headache

  • Headaches that have no underlying cause

  • Migraines

  • Tension-Type Headache (TTH)

  • Trigeminal Autonomic Encephalalgia

  • Other primary HA

Secondary Headache

  • Result of another condition causing traction on or inflammation of pain-sensitive structures

  • Medication Overuse Headache (most common)


Migraines

  • Chronic and episodic neurovascular pain syndrome

  • Altered nervous system processing

  • Clinical picture is four phases:

  • Prodrome - This is when you have the sense that a migraine is coming

  • Aura - Altered visual field while experiencing a migraine

  • Headache Phase

  • Postdrome - This is the last stage of a migraine, often called a “migraine hangover"

  • Symptoms last 4-72 hours on average

  • Second most common primary HA

Migraine WITH Aura

  • This is a spreading of pain across the brain

  • Aura consists of fully reversible symptoms that precede or accompany HA

  • Commonly described as changes in visual field

  • Visual images fade typically as the HA begins

  • HA is intense, throbbing and usually on the opposite side of the visual field changes

Migraine WITHOUT Aura

  • Most common type of migraine seen in clinical practice

  • Usually unilateral and periorbital

  • Vomiting may occasionally terminate the headache

  • Various combinations of symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Neck stiffness

  • Blurred vision

  • Yawning

  • Pallor - Fading in color

Headaches are REMARKABLY complex and can be REMARKABLY debilitating. It can be very frustrating trying to discover what can be done to help ease your headaches. In the following video we are going to focus on things you can do proactively to decrease the frequency and intensity of your headaches.


Please feel free to reach out to us if you struggle with headaches and/or migraines, to find out how we can be a resource to you.


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