Migraines are severe, painful headaches that occur due to alterations in chemicals and nerve signals in the brain leading to abnormal activity. The cause of migraines are largely unknown, which makes it complicated to properly and effectively treat. Common contributing factors may include: family history, allergies, previous head trauma, eye or ear disorders, irregular sleep or exhaustion, dehydration, hypertension, hormonal changes, and stress. They usually occur on one side of the head, and are characterized by mod to severe throbbing pain, light and/or sound sensitivity, nausea, and decreased function or tolerance to regular activity. These symptoms can last up to 72 hours depending on severity and cause.
Migraines currently remains an important public health problem. According to Medical News Today, about 12% of all Americans ranging from ages 15-55 experience migraines. That’s 36 million Americans! Women are more commonly affected than men, and occur predominantly during their reproductive years, though reasons are unknown. Migraines and headaches are the leading causes of outpatient and ED visits, and according to the National Headache Foundation, fewer than half of all migraine sufferers are properly diagnosed.
Some people can detect the onset of migraines prior to onset. This “warning prodrome” occurs where the person experiences an aura of sensory disturbances such as flashes of lights, blind spots, dizziness or tingling in the arms and legs. People who suffer from migraines can use these warning signs as a way to prevent a full blown attack by taking the necessary actions to minimize its symptoms. Some common treatments include use over-the counter medications, drinking plenty of water, and rest. Some studies also show acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage to be effective in the treatment and prevention of migraines. Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab, our entire team is able to give you help in order to stop your pain. If you have ever experienced the dread of a debilitating migraine, come visit OSR and get some treatment! Call today for an appointment at 488-5555!
Gardener, H. Hypertension and Migraine in the Northern Manhattan Study. Ethn Dis. 2016 Jul 21;26(3):323-30. doi: 10.18865/ed.26.3.323.
Magee, David J. Orthopedic Physical Assessment: Fifth Edition, Pgs. 85-90. Saunders Elsevier. St. Louis, Missouri 2008