An Inside Look at Migraines
You are busy typing away on your computer when all of a sudden, you get this throbbing ache at the back of your head. This isn’t the first time it has happened, and as always, you take a pill for your headache. While this always works, what you may actually be experiencing is a migraine.
But fret not because we’ve all at some point diagnosed ourselves with a headache when in reality, we had a migraine (probably more than once). If you’ve been doing this mistake, it’s high time you understand what exactly is a migraine. That is why below is a breakdown of the basics of a migraine.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a primary headache disorder affecting over 37 million Americans. As a primary headache disorder, a migraine is not just an ordinary headache, but a serious neurological disorder. It is characterized by a pulsating or, rather, a throbbing ache that seems to worsen with the slightest physical movement. While all headaches are generally painful and uncomfortable, you’re more likely to end up in your doctor’s office due to a migraine.
Depending on the phase, pain from a migraine attacks range from painless to severe as shown below:
During this phase, the individual does not feel any pain. They instead experience neck and shoulder stiffness, unexplainable mood changes, food cravings, increased sensitivity to smell, light and sound, constipation, and frequent yawning. Also known as the prodrome phase, the premonitory phase occurs a few hours or days before the actual migraine occurs.
In the aura phase, the migraine patient will often experience sensory disturbances that affect their vision, speech, and even touch! For instance, if your migraine is in this phase, you might experience arm numbness, blurry vision, and slurry speech. You may also experience a mental fog that makes it difficult for you to comprehend what others say or even communicate clearly.
This is usually the third, and also the most intense phase of a migraine attack. In most instances, it is accompanied by throbbing debilitating pain on either or both sides of the head. It also includes some symptoms of the aura phase, such as light, smell, and sound sensitivity.
This is when the pain from a migraine attack subsides. You may feel exhausted and unwell, and it may last anywhere between hours to days. Although the pain finally subsides, this doesn’t mean the migraine will not recur. It is essential you seek professional help from a well-established facility offering specialized headache and migraine treatments like Maryland Pain and Wellness.
Types of Migraines
The above are just phases of a migraine attack. Here are the types of migraine you may experience:
A migraine without auras is characterized by the typical throbbing ache on one side of the head but isn’t accompanied by the symptoms associated with the auras.
A migraine with auras has both the throbbing pain and is also accompanied by the sensory disturbances of the aura phase.
These are migraines accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. This type of migraine is prevalent among children between 3 and 10 years.
These are very rare and, unfortunately, the worst type of migraines since they cause temporary paralysis. They may also cause vision problems, vertigo, and difficulty swallowing or speaking.
Start Living Your Best Life Again
If you experience any of the above symptoms or think you are in a particular phase of a migraine attack, you should seek medical attention. Trained professionals from Maryland Pain and Wellness will not only help diagnose the exact type of migraine, but also come up with a treatment plan that’ll help alleviate your headaches, and get you back to your best life.