Migraines – More Than a Headache

Millions of Americans suffer from migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, at least 39 million Americans live with migraines; however, this number is most likely much higher as many people may not be diagnosed  or receive medical treatment for their migraines [1].

Migraines are more than just a headache. They are a neurological disease that involves nerve pathway and chemicals and are associated with a range of symptoms and possible treatments [1,2]. Migraine attacks have four different phases: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome. It is important to know that some people may not experience all the phases.

Having a better understanding of the phases and some of the symptoms associated with each phase can help one better treat and manage their migraines [1,3].

Migraine Phases & Symptoms

Phase Occurrence Symptoms
Prodrome Several hours or a few days before the migraine attack -Constipation

-Mood changes

-Food cravings

-Increased urination

-Fluid retention

-Extreme tiredness and yawning

-Difficulty focusing

Aura Usually begins right before the headache starts -Changes in vision

-Seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light

-Tingling

-Numbness

-Difficulty speaking

Migraine attack / headache Can last from several hours to 3 days, if untreated. Occurrence varies person to person -Pain on one side or both sides of head

-Sensitivity to light, sound, smell and/or touch

-Pain that throbs or pulses

-Nausea and vomiting

Postdrome Occurs after the migraine attack and is the final phase -Fatigue

-Body aches

-Sensitivity to light

-Difficulty focusing

-Dizziness

 

Migraine Phases Visual [4]

What Causes A Migraine?

After going over the different phases of a migraine, you might be wondering what causes a migraine, and unfortunately, the causes are not very clear or straightforward. Genetics and environment can play a role in triggering a migraine, along with gender and hormonal shifts and allergies [1,2]. Some common triggers include stress, certain foods, skipping meals, alcohol, lack of sleep, hormonal changes in women, changes in weather or pressure, concussions, and traumatic brain injures [1].

How Do You Treat A Migraine?

The best way to be diagnosed for a migraine is to talk to your doctor. Keeping track of your symptoms and how often they occur along with family history and response to treatments can aid in the process [1].

There are acute and preventive treatments for migraines. Acute treatments aim to relieve pain and to stop the migraine from becoming worse. A few common acute treatments are over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, or devices that help reduce the pain. Preventive treatment aims to reduce the frequency, severity, and length of an attack. Preventive treatments can include medication or procedures, devices, trigger avoidance, and behavioral therapy. Additionally, lifestyle changes can also ease the frequency of a migraine attack. Drug-free options to consider are exercising regularly, making dietary changes, improving sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques, like yoga, meditation, and journaling [1,2,4].

Don’t Suffer In Silence

Consequently, each individual has their own experience with and symptoms associated with migraines. Meaning, that a treatment that worked for one person may not work for another. If you or someone you know experiences migraines or potential symptoms of migraines, you do not have to suffer by yourself. Seek medical help and advice from a healthcare provider.

To help alleviate the pain associated with migraines, you should check out Mueller Sports Medicine’s newest product launch EZ Relief™ Migraine Cap. With 2x longer lasting relief, it can be warmed in the microwave or cooled in the refrigerator or freezer. Mueller EZ Relief Migraine Cap

Be Smart. Take care of yourself. And check on your teammates.

Sources:

[1] Logan, A. (2021, January 21). What is migraine? American Migraine Foundation. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/what-is-migraine/

[2] Migraine vs. Headache: How to Tell the Difference. (2022, March 31). Penn Medicine. Retrieved February 1, 2024, from https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/november/migraines-vs-headaches

[3] Migraine – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. (2023, July 7). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201#:~:text=A%20migraine%20is%20a%20headache,sensitivity%20to%20light%20 and%20sound.

[4] Association of Migraine Disorders. (2023, February 24). What is Migraine Disorder? We Take A Different Approach. Association of Migraine Disorders. https://www.migrainedisorders.org/migraine-disorders/

[5] Professional, C. C. M. (n.d.). Migraine headaches. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches