Diagnosing migraines is based on your clinical history, your reported symptoms, and by ruling out other diseases that might be causing migraine pain. Migraines fall into two common categories: those with and those without an aura. An aura is a visual or other neurological symptom that occurs about an hour before the actual migraine pain hits. It acts as a kind of warning sign.
18 Signs You Are Having a Migraine
There are 18 specific signs to look for to determine whether you are having a migraine. Migraines differ from other headache types. Contrary to popular belief, they are not just really bad headaches. Look for the following:
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- Aura: As mentioned above, an aura is often visual. You may experience flickering lights, lines, sparkles, or spots. You may see a small jagged line that develops cross hatches, and it may move in a curved direction
- Feeling depressed, excited, or irritable: This differs with each person and sometimes with each migraine in the same person. You may feel down for no reason or you may feel very happy.
- Not getting enough sleep: People with migraines often have trouble falling asleep or waking up feeling unrefreshed. Studies have shown there is a link between lack of restorative sleep and how frequent and how severe migraines are.
- Watering eyes or a runny, stuffy nose: Sinus symptoms are common in those with migraines. You may have clear nasal drainage, tearing, drooping eyelids, or a stuffy nose. In fact, 90 percent of people who think they are having a sinus headache are actually having a migraine.
- Cravings: Certain foods, such as chocolate, are often craved before the onset of migraines.
- Throbbing pain affecting one or both sides of the head: Pulsating pain is a major sign of migraines. In an online survey by the National Headache Foundation, 59 percent report always having pain on one side of the head, while 34 percent said they often have this. One-third of people feel pain on both sides.
- Eye pain: The pain of migraines often settles behind the eye. This causes some people to blame the head pain on eye strain and get their eyes checked. However, this is not the reason for migraines.
- Neck pain: Many people complain of a stiff neck occurring before they get a migraine. This can indicate the beginning stages of a migraine. Some people get the pain and stiffness after the head pain goes away. The National Headache Foundation reports that 38 percent of patients always have neck pain and 31 percent frequently have neck pain during migraines.
- Frequent urination: If you have to go to the bathroom a lot more than usual, a migraine could be on the way.
- Yawning: In one study, 36 percent of people reported yawning as a sign of an impending migraine.
- Numbness or tingling: One of the many neurological symptoms, this usually happens on one side of the body from the fingertips through the arm and across the face.
- Nausea and vomiting: As many as 73 percent of people with migraines have nausea, while 29 percent actually vomit.
- Light, odors, and loud noise trigger or worsen head pain: Migraine sufferers usually seek solitude in a dark, quiet place.
- Activity makes the pain worse or can trigger it: Even routine activity, like climbing stairs, can make the pain worse.
- Trouble speaking: Speech difficulty, another neurological symptom, can be a clue a migraine is about to hit.
- Weakness on one side of the body: A limp arm can indicate a migraine is about to hit.
- Vertigo or double vision: This is called a basilar-type migraine and can cause dizziness, double vision, or vision loss.
- Headache hangover: After a migraine goes away, you may feel like you have been hit by a train.
Is Taking Medication the Answer for Migraines?
There are 87 different medications commonly suggested for caring for migraines, which are listed on the WebMD website. Here are some things to be aware of:
- 27 of these are available over-the-counter, and this causes many sufferers to try to treat their migraines without being properly diagnosed. This can lead to medication overuse headaches, making the problem worse.
- 26 are listed as being “off-label,” meaning they are not approved for migraine care but are being prescribed for it anyway.
- Side effects include dizziness, weakness, tiredness, numbness, tingling, nausea, vomiting, and, yes, headaches.
Finding Natural Relief
Migraines have been seen to be connected to a misalignment in the top bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A misalignment of this sort can put stress on the brainstem, causing it to send improper signals to the brain. A misalignment can also impede the proper flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. These are both reasons for migraines to ensue.
Here at Tranquility Spinal Care in Wapakoneta, Ohio, we use a gentle method to realign these bones back into their original position without the need to pop or crack the spine. This allows the damage caused by the misalignment to heal and blood flow to be restored to the proper degree. Many see their migraines improve or even go away after only a few adjustments.
To schedule a consultation, call our Wapakoneta office at (419) 573-0638. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.