Most people have had a headache at one time or another in their lives. However, have you ever suffered from migraines? No, they are not just really bad headaches. Rather, a severe pounding and throbbing headache is just one symptom. Migraines are debilitating and cause you to have to lie down in a cool, dark room until they finally go away, which can take anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Loud noise and bright light can irritate migraine sufferers and make the pain much worse. Smells may be bothersome, too. In fact, particular smells can be a trigger for migraines. For example, sitting near someone who has strong perfume or smelling strong chemicals can cause migraines to occur.
There are a variety of migraines all leading back to an underlying cause:
- Ocular migraines
- Silent migraines
- Cluster headaches
- Hemiplegic migraines
- Menstrual migraines
These are just a few. So, how do you know if you really have a migraine if you have never had one before? Here are a few signs that will let you know.
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- Sensory or visual auras: You may experience flashes of light, zigzag lines, or spots with a visual aura. It may last for 5 minutes or as long as an hour. It acts as a warning that a migraine is about to hit. Some peolpe have auras and never do get the head pain after all. With sensory auras, you may have numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling that moves through your fingertips, arms, and face.
- Changes in mood and speech: When a migraine hits without warning, it can affect your mood. You may begin feeling depressed, irritable, or even excited. There seems to be a link between depression and migraines with aura. But the reverse is also true, if you suffer from anxiety and depression, you might have migraines. In fact, moderate or severe depression increases the risk that your migraines may become chronic (occurring more than 15 days out of a month’s time). You may also begin to notice your speech is difficult. You cannot find the right word or have trouble getting words out.
- Problems with sleep: Migraines and sleeplessness seem to go hand-in-hand. You might feel like you just cannot fall asleep or you may wake up tired in the morning. Migraines have been connected to lack of restorative sleep. When you are suffering through a migraine, the pain may keep you from sleeping. This can be moderate to severe and last for many hours. This can have lasting and serious effects on your sleep cycle. And, lack of sleep can be a trigger for migraines, causing a vicious cycle.
- Symptoms similar to allergies: Migraines are hard to figure out. An odd symptom is the appearance of allergy-like symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, droopy eyelids, nasal drainage, and watery eyes. This may cause you to think you have a sinus headache and care for it accordingly. However, it is not a sinus headache, it is a migraine.
- Severe pain: Obviously, we know pain goes along with migraines. However, it may be present in places you do not expect. Some people get neck stiffness before a migraine occurs, and it is one of the most common early stages of migraines. You may also get neck pain after a migraine, such as a throbbing feeling in the back of the neck. Once a migraine has begun, you may begin experiencing other kinds of pain. Head pain with a throbbing or pulsating quality, sensitivity to light, nausea, and generally feeling exhausted can all be pain inducing.
- Eye pain: Have you ever had a headache in your eye? While this may sound strange to some, others know exactly what we are talking about. Migraine pain tends to bury itself deep behind one eye, causing you to be very uncomfortable. You may also experience double vision. This is brought on by a basilar-type migraine, which also causes dizziness and vision loss.
- Nausea and vomiting: The American Migraine Study II reports that out of over 39,000 people who experience migraines, 73 percent of them have nausea and 29 percent vomit. Another study reveals that people who have frequent nausea with their migraines also have more severe head pain.
- Frequent urination: This is an odd and uncommon symptom. If you find yourself having to urinate a lot, you might be hit by a migraine soon after. You may experience this for a day or two before the head pain begins.
- Frequent yawning: No, yawning does not just mean you are tired. It can be a sign of a migraine. As many as 36 percent of people with migraines report yawning as a warning sign.
- Triggers: There are some things that, while they do not cause migraines, can trigger them to occur. These can include bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, certain foods, weather conditions, extremes in temperature, and a variety of other things.
Finding Relief for Migraines
Upper cervical chiropractors are seeing great success in helping their patients get control of their migraines. We focus on making sure the top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2, are in proper alignment. If not, this may be the root cause of migraines.
In order to correct this problem, we use a method that is gentle and precise. It is based on scientific measurements and encourages the bones to move back into place naturally. We do not have to resort to popping or cracking the neck to get positive results. Many case studies have revealed this type of care really does help alleviate the pain of migraines. Some see them go away and not come back.
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If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.