Migraines Range In Severity But Are Never Pleasant

Migraine pain is a seemingly unique form of headache pain. Some describe it as a severa and intense pulsing and throbbing pain. It is often localized to a single part of the head. It is often accompanied by shocking sensitivity to various senses like sound and lights. Others suffer from nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to smells. 

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Migraines can last from hours to days and generally last longer for women than men. Though many different factors may cause migraines, they all have one thing in common: they do not discriminate against anyone. Initially, the individual will begin feeling warning symptoms several minutes to hours before the onset of a full-blown migraine headache. From there, minimization of the symptoms and treating as best as possible is the goal. 

Signs and Symptoms of Migraines

The early stages of the migraine might include feeling a little off, tired, or losing interest in daily tasks. Other common symptoms include: food cravings, mood changes, fatigue, and irritability are also common in these early stages.

  • Before Headache Phase (Aura) - During this stage, the individual will likely be aware that a migraine is about to strike. These warning signs may last anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour before pain begins. The most commonly reported aura symptoms include: seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines, blind spots, and tingling sensations throughout one side of the face or body.
  • Headache Stage (Acute Pain) - Once the headache strikes, it can be severe enough to debilitate an individual for hours or days. Intense throbbing sensations often accompany migraines on one side of the head though they may occur on both sides at times.
  • Nausea and Vomiting - Feelings of nausea and vomiting accompany many migraines. Individuals suffering from this symptom may not be able to keep down their favorite foods or liquids because the mere thought of them coming back up again is too much for them to handle.
  • Post-Acute Headache Phase (Rebound Pain) - After a migraine has subsided, some individuals will sometimes experience what is known as post-acute pain syndrome, which can last anywhere between 12 hours to several days after the actual headache itself has subsided.
  • Fatigue and Disorientation - Migraine sufferers often experience feelings of fatigue and disorientation during the recovery period after their migraine has passed. Many individuals feel as if they have been put through a week's worth of exhausting physical and mental strain in just a few hours resulting in severe exhaustion.

Options for Treating a Migraine

Though there might be no way of actually preventing a migraine from occurring, what's most important is that the symptoms and pain associated with it can be treated. There are many different types of medications available for this purpose, though none work equally well on every individual.

Eliminating potential triggers is a good start. Keeping a migraine journal can help determine how to avoid certain food items that set off migraines more than others or if any other triggering factors outside one's diet may be causing them.

Over the counter medication options include a variety of drugs that can partially relieve the discomfort to those who suffer from migraines. Often, these drugs will take the edge off of the pain and some might help prevent a migraine from occurring entirely.

In some cases, over-the-counter medications are ineffective in reducing the symptoms associated with migraines. In that case, it might be time to visit a physician and discuss other options, such as prescription medication that may be more effective for an individual.

Some people use trigger point massage therapy. There are many benefits to it, including stress relief and improved posture, making this treatment option ideal for migraine sufferers. Massage therapists work to release trigger points using various techniques, including long gentle strokes along the back and shoulders, among other areas. This is all done without any drugs or invasive procedures, so individuals can expect a safe alternative form of relief that can effectively complement other forms of migraine treatments.