Do you feel it coming? That pounding, blinding pain that puts you in a dark room for a day or more? A migraine is a neurological condition that can run in your family and affect any family member of any age. Migraines come with plenty of warning signs and debilitating symptoms to match.
Migraines usually appear in childhood and can last well into adulthood. They’re also genetic and typically affect women more than men. Here at Grey Matters of Carmel, treating migraines is one of our specialties, and we see migraine sufferers quite often. If you’re unsure of the signs and symptoms of migraines, here is how you can recognize one is coming.
What are Migraine Symptoms?
One common misconception about migraines is that they always come on suddenly and are intense. While, yes, they are intense, symptoms of migraines can appear a day or two ahead of the actual headache itself. This is what doctors refer to as the prodrome stage, during which people experience:
- Intense food cravings
- Fatigue or low energy
- Frequent yawning
- A stiff neck
We categorize the common types of migraines into two categories: those without aura and those with aura. In a migraine with aura, you may experience vision problems, sensation, movement, and speech issues. These usually occur after the prodrome stage. Migraines without aura may not bring on these additional symptoms, but that doesn’t mean the attack stage won’t be intense or painful.
During the attack stage of a migraine, intense, sharp, shooting pain can last anywhere from a few hours to days. For some people, the attack phase can overlap the aura, making it difficult to function normally. While the attack symptoms can vary from person to person, here is what most experience:
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Pain on one side of the head
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
Following the attack stage, migraine sufferers experience the postdrome phase, where they can actually feel changes in their mood and feelings. People in this stage can feel everything from elation to apathy and fatigue. A dull, mild headache may persist for a few days.
What’s the Difference Between Migraines and Headaches?
Migraines are a subclass of headaches and often mimic the same symptoms as a tension headache. However, knowing the difference between the two (and all types of headaches) can make treatment and getting relief easier. For most people, a classic tension headache or cluster headache is brought on by stress, muscle strain, or anxiety. While the pain associated with other headache types can range from mild to moderate, pain associated with a migraine is severe.
What’s the Treatment for Migraines?
Treatment for migraines can vary and depends heavily on your family history, medical history, and current physical health. While your doctor can help you manage migraines or put you on medications to help ease their severity, there’s no clear cut-and-dry solution for curing chronic migraines. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate symptoms or do everything you can to lessen their severity.
In many cases, people find that their diet, stress management, and lifestyle play a vital role in the development and severity of each episode. Additionally, in 2010, doctors started using Botox as a solution for some migraine sufferers. Still, this type of treatment isn’t recommended for people who get fewer than eight migraines a month or experience other types of headaches.
Other options for treatment and care include meditation, acupuncture, and, yes, neurofeedback training.
Grey Matters of Carmel is Your Answer!
Like anything else brain-related, migraines can be debilitating and make getting through the day a struggle. Depending on their frequency, you may miss work, miss family time, or struggle to maintain your social life. Grey Matters of Carmel wants you to know that this doesn’t have to be your life! With neurofeedback training, we can target those brainwaves responsible for your migraine symptoms.
We rely on the information from your brain to tell us what’s causing the migraines. This information could indicate everything from lingering concussion effects to emotional instability, anxiety, and depression. No matter what it is, if it lives in your brain, we can help! We know the signs and symptoms of migraines all too well and are here to help you mitigate them so you can get back to a happy, healthier life. To schedule your brain map and to get started with neurofeedback training, call us at (317) 215-7208.