What is Migraine?

A migraine is a throbbing headache that results in specific changes in the brain and nervous system. The pain experienced is usually on one side of the head, and is accompanied by sensitivity to sound (phonophobia) and light (photophobia). Symptoms typically last 4 to 72 hours and may be severe.

What Causes It?

Genetics/ Family History

If another family member experiences migraines, then you are more likely to experience them too.

Genetics/ Family History

If another family member experiences migraines, then you are more likely to experience them too.

Genetics/ Family History

If another family member experiences migraines, then you are more likely to experience them too.

Some of the common factors that can trigger migraines include:

Stress Hormonal changes Certain foods like meat, alcohol or coffee
Strong stimuli like noises Weather changes Sleep deprivation
Routine physical activity Environmental factors Some medications

Some of the common factors and symptoms that can trigger migraines include:

  • Pain on one side of your head
  • Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing and is moderate or severe in intensity
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision, which can last up to one hour Light-headedness, sometimes followed by fainting Stiffness and pain in the neck

Some sufferers have also described symptoms such as reduced balance, coordination, postural control, motor planning and reduced mood. Numbness can also be felt along the side of the head/face and in rare cases, some may experience speech disturbances.

Interesting facts

Migraine Headaches Are The Second Most Common Type Of Headaches. Approximately 12% Of People Experience Migraines At Some Point In Their Lives. Young Adults Are The Most Affected.

Treatment

Proper use of medication is vital to manage migraines. Some of the medications used to help with acute migraine headaches include:

  • Simple Analgesics e.g. Acetaminophen
  • Naproxen
  • Triptans: E.g Almotriptan.
  • Dihydroergotamine can also be administered through the nose via a nasal spray
  • Diclofenac is also an oral treatment that is approved for migraines.
  • Medications to help relieve symptoms of nausea.

If the symptoms of your migraine progress, you may have to alter the medications you are taking, in consultation with your doctor.

Your physiotherapist may also help relieve symptoms of migraine headaches with techniques such as:

  • Core Exercises
  • Joint Manipulation
  • Manual Therapy
  • Posture Correction
  • Remedial Massage
  • Dry Needling
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Heat Therapy

Tips and tricks for managing daily activities

Have a regular schedule for eating and sleeping

Take prophylactic medications as prescribed by your doctor

  • Try and avoid foods/activates that you know may trigger a migraine
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Exercise regularly and include relaxation exercises like meditation and yoga.
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