migraine-symptoms-and-finding-natural-help-to-alleviate-themA migraine is neurological in nature with a strong genetic element. It is not the same as a common headache. Out of the 100 million people in the USA who suffer from general headaches, 39 million have migraines. A migraine is referred to a primary headache because it does not have another underlying cause such as a tumor. Some people experience one-sided head pain, while about a third of those who are suffering have pain on both sides. The pain experienced is usually moderate to severe and can cause you to be unable to participate in your normal daily tasks. Most migraine sufferers seek a cool, dark, and quiet room when an attack hits.

A migraine generally lasts for anywhere from four hours to a few days. The head pain may subside, but still leave the person feeling weak and lethargic for many days.

Migraine Types

A migraine is ranked as the sixth most disabling illness worldwide. It is the third most prevalent illness in the world. Women suffer three times more often than men. There are several different types of migraines, and they are diagnosed according to the symptoms experienced. The International Headache Society has developed one of the most well-known classification systems for migraines and headaches, called the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD). The following migraines are recognized by this system:

  • A migraine without aura
  • A migraine with aura
  • A migraine with typical aura
  • A migraine with brainstem aura
  • A hemiplegic migraine
  • A retinal migraine
  • A chronic migraine
  • Complications of a migraine
    • A status migraine
    • Persistent aura without infarction
    • Migrainous infarction
    • A migraine aura-triggered seizure
  • A probable migraine
    • A probable migraine without aura
    • A probable migraine with aura
  • Episodic syndromes possibly associated with a migraine
  • The following terms are not recognized by the ICHD as individual migraine types, but some physicians still might use them in practice:
    • A silent or an acephalgic migraine
    • An ocular migraine
    • Cyclic migraine syndrome
    • Gastric stasis migraine
    • A tension migraine
    • A stress migraine
    • A sinus migraine
    • Seasonal migraines

The above types of migraines are diagnosed based on your symptoms. This makes it really important for you to take note of each attack that you undergo using a migraine journal. You should include what you were doing before a migraine hit (even as far back as a day or two prior), what you were eating, what you were drinking, physical activity levels, weather conditions, etc. You also should jot down what the symptoms were, how intense they were, and how long they lasted. This can help your doctor determine which migraine type you have and how to care for it.

Migraine Symptoms

As you can see from the above information, there are many different types of migraines. Not everyone that suffers from a migraine will have the same exact symptoms because of this. Several migraine symptoms can be directly connected to another disorder or disease. Therefore, these should be evaluated by your primary care doctor. If your migraine is the worst pain you have ever had or something you have never experienced before, it is a good idea to seek care right away. It may indicate a serious underlying condition.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms and how often they are experienced:

  • 85 percent of people have throbbing or pounding head pain
  • 80 percent have a sensitivity to light
  • 76 percent experience sensitivity to sound
  • 73 percent feel nauseated
  • 59 percent have pain only on one side of the head
  • 44 percent have blurry vision or visual changes
  • 36 percent experience an aura before their headache
  • 29 percent vomit

Other symptoms you might experience with a migraine include:

  • Sensitivity to smell
  • Weakness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Vertigo
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Problems concentrating
  • Moodiness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Food cravings

Common Migraine Triggers

Certain things may actually cause a migraine to come on. Triggers are different for everyone. While there are no universal triggers, here is a list of the more common ones:

  • Environmental triggers: Strong smells, bright or flickering lights, air pressure (air travel), motion sickness, smoke or pollution
  • Weather-related triggers: Both high and low humidity, bright sunlight, changes in barometric pressure, sudden changes in air temperature
  • Medication triggers: oral contraceptives, medication side effects, and overusing pain medication to care for headaches can actually cause worse headaches
  • Lifestyle triggers: Abnormal sleep patterns, skipping meals, fasting, stress, dehydration, alcohol, over-exertion, exercise
  • Hormonal triggers: Changes in hormone levels, menstruation, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy

Finding Natural Migraine Relief

Medical doctors struggle to find relief for migraine patients. However, upper cervical chiropractors have been having great success in caring for their migraine patients. Here at River City Chiropractic in Post Falls, Idaho, we focus on making sure the top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae, are in proper alignment. It has been seen if these bones are misaligned, they can be the underlying cause of migraines. This is because they put pressure on the brainstem. In turn, it begins sending improper signals to the brain. A misalignment here can also block oxygen-rich blood and cerebrospinal fluid from getting to or leaving the brain in the right amounts.

We use a gentle method that encourages the neck bones to move back into place without the need for cracking or popping the neck or back. Rather, the bones naturally realign themselves when our method is used, leading to a longer-lasting solution. This means fewer office visits for you down the road! The body can begin to heal itself from the damage done, and many people see their migraines improve or even disappear in just a few adjustments.