The migraine is one of the most startlingly prevalent neurological diseases in the world. It’s estimated that migraines affect over 39 million men, women and children in the U.S. and over 1 billion people worldwide. Those suffering from chronic migraines will often be forced to skip school, work, and important family events because of the symptoms of migraines. These intense headaches can make it incredibly difficult to live a normal life. Many sufferers will seek out a chronic migraine treatment to alleviate those symptoms and help them rebalance their life.
Defining The Migraine
Thanks to advancements in the scientific community, we have a much better understanding of migraines than other neurological disorders. There can be a number of factors that contribute to a migraine, from your genetic makeup to your food choices, but we still don’t know the exact cause of migraines. While there is still no clear reason for the existence of migraines, we know that migraines are usually caused by differences in our brain function. The result is an extremely incapacitating collection of the neurological symptoms of migraines.
We know that migraines create a high-stress state in your brain, which in turn causes your sympathetic response to increase while decreasing your parasympathetic response. These responses lead to a severe imbalance in your brainwave function. When your migraines occur more frequently, your brain has a harder time readjusting and normalizing. The more frequently you experience migraines, the more likely your need cutting-edge chronic migraine treatment.
The Symptoms of Migraines
All migraines involve some type of recurring headaches or head pains, usually localized to a specific area of the brain. Many of the symptoms of migraines may be different depending on the patient, but visual sensations are some of the more common symptoms.
Let’s get one thing very clear: Migraines are not your typical afternoon headache. They’re intense multi-staged attacks with a wide variety of incapacitating symptoms. A typical migraine is made up of 4 separate stages: the prodrome, the aura, the migraine attack, and the postdrome. Each stage comes with its own symptoms.
The prodrome is the beginning stage of the migraine. It will usually begin a few days before the actual migraine starts, but for some this stage can start just a few hours before the attack. The prodrome symptoms of migraines could include:
- Food cravings
- Fatigue/Low energy
- Frequent yawning
- Concentration problems
- Muscle stiffness
Anyone who is familiar with the symptoms of migraines knows exactly how much dread comes with this stage.
In this second stage of the migraine, the severity and intensity of the chronic headache starts to build. The aura can last anywhere between 5 minutes to 1 hour, and at this stage the symptoms start to impact your vision, sensations, movements, and speech. They include:
- Having difficulty speaking clearly
- Experiencing prickling or tingling sensations
- Temporary loss of vision
- Visual disturbances (e.g., seeing shapes, light flashes, etc.)
The Migraine Attack And Postdrome
As the name of the stage implies, the migraine attack is the most severe and debilitating part of a typical migraine. People will experience an intense and incapacitating headache in this stage, usually localized to one region of the head. In some cases, this stage can begin before the aura stage is over. The attack stage lasts anywhere between a few hours to a few days! Of course, the symptoms of migraines vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms of this stage include:
- Throbbing head pain
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, feeling faint
- Drilling, burning, or even stabbing sensations
- Depressed mood
Following the migraine attack, individuals may experience a final postdrome phase. The severity and intensity of the headache slowly fades, but other symptoms remain in this stage. They may experience changes in their mood and feelings, while a mild and dull headache remains. Some may feel euphoric and elated, while others experience a depressed mood and fatigue. This final stage can last 1-2 days.
Typical Chronic Migraine Treatment Methods
You never forget your first migraine. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable experience that will undoubtedly drive you mad. Traditionally, there have been two methods of chronic migraine treatment: acute and preventative. Acute treatments aim to relieve the symptoms of migraines during the attack phase. These treatments are usually over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications.
Preventative treatments, on the other hand, attempt to reduce the likelihood of migraines happening at all. These treatments also rely on prescription medications, like beta blockers or certain types of antidepressants. While this chronic migraine treatment may benefit some patients, the medications can often come with negative side effects and don’t always fully treat the symptoms of migraines.
The Best Drug-Free Alternative For Chronic Migraine Treatment
Currently, there are no medical cures that will fully eliminate migraines. However, McWhorter CNR offers innovative drug-free treatment methods that can help quell the symptoms of migraines before they start.
If you struggle with migraines on a recurring basis, McWhorter CNR has the resources that you need to reduce your headache days significantly. Contact our chronic migraine treatment specialists today to start effectively treating your migraines without the use of drugs.