Not Just Headaches: Explaining the 4 Migraine Stages

July 18, 2021

Migraines are not your ordinary headaches. The intense head pounding, the dizziness, and other symptoms are way beyond what you might experience during “just head pains.” In many cases, a migraine attack will leave you curled somewhere dark, unable to move even a muscle.

Migraines can be a terrifying experience– those who suffer from them will tell you as such. As a result, many patients who seek upper cervical care in Wapakoneta are almost always anxious and stressed when anticipating an oncoming attack.

So, what we usually do to calm their minds is enlighten them about the different phases of migraines. Yes, you heard that right. Migraines often come in phases or stages, whichever way you’d like to call them.

And not surprisingly, becoming aware and familiar with these phases has helped our patients better understand and deal with their migraine attacks. In light of this, we also want to extend that knowledge to you. So, here are brief overviews of the four different migraine stages:

1st Phase: Prodrome

Almost half of all migraine sufferers experience the warning phase a day or two before the onset of an attack. If you experience persistent migraines, there’s a high chance that you are not aware of the warning signs your body is telling you before they strike. We want to help you recognize these signs so that you can prepare before you have to face a migraine episode.

So, here are the indicators of prodrome that you should watch out for:

  • Muscle pain surrounding the neck and shoulders
  • Digestive issues (constipation/diarrhea)
  • Tiredness and yawning
  • Poor concentration or focus
  • Difficulty speaking or remembering
  • Insomnia
  • Sudden mood changes

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

2nd Phase: Aura

While not so many migraineurs experience this phase, it can still immensely impact how these patients go about their days.

Auras are varying disturbances that may manifest as visual distortions, auditory hallucinations, or motor problems. They can make your regular tasks more challenging. Not only that, they often leave the sufferers fearful and anxious– a familiar feat for those who seek upper cervical care in Wapakoneta.

To elaborate on what you might see, hear, or feel during the aura stage, check out these lists:

Visual symptoms

  • Blurred vision or poor eyesight
  • Double vision or seeing distorted images
  • Seeing bright flashing lights
  • Vision blind spots
  • Seeing wavy lines or zigzag rays

Auditory symptoms

  • Tinnitus or ringing sounds
  • Speech disturbances
  • Clicking noises
  • Hearing conversations or whisper sounds
  • Temporary loss of hearing

Motor symptoms

  • Numbness and neck stiffness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Poor muscle control
  • Vertigo or dizziness

3rd Phase: Headache

This attack phase refers to the onset of the migraine. This phase can last a few hours to a couple of days, and by far, the most incapacitating stage of a migraine episode. Almost everyone who has migraines experience a pounding and sharp headache on one side of the head.

Patients who visit our office for upper cervical care in Wapakoneta consider headaches a complex symptom that urges them to shut their eyes and stay indoors for the length of the throbbing attack.

What you should know about migraines and their phases is that every experience is different. With this in mind, we’ve gathered the most prevalent symptoms of the headache phase. These symptoms are:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Hypersensitivity to lights, smells, and sounds
  • Chills or excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Poor cognitive function
  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability
  • Sharp pain in the temples or sinuses
  • Sleeping issues

Phase 4: Postdrome

After the headache stage, most individuals would assume that the worst is over. But, unfortunately, 70% of migraine sufferers still experience the after-effects of the headache phase. Otherwise known as the migraine hangover phase, the recovery stage consists of weakening symptoms that may still leave you feeling under the weather. Think of this stage as the after-shocks of a migraine attack– although the headache disappeared, you can still feel pain.

Some of the symptoms for this stage are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability or rapid mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Stiff muscles around the neck and shoulders
  • Poor cognition
  • Food cravings
  • Extreme thirst

How to Steer Clear of Migraines Naturally

If you’re someone who wants to get rid of migraines without medicines and tedious surgeries, this section might help you out. Here are natural methods you could try to keep your migraines at bay:

Alleviate stress

Stress is a leading provoker of migraines as well as other pain conditions. So, you might want to spend your free time engaging in stress-relieving activities to prevent migraines from occurring.

Here are some of these activities that you should explore:

  • Exercises- you can do some yoga or jog around your neighborhood in the morning.
  • Art- getting your creative juices flowing and making DIY projects can help you release stress.
  • Books- there’s nothing better than immersing yourself in a good book and getting lost in its contents.
  • Cleaning- tidying up your place and organizing your belongings are both productive and therapeutic.
  • Music- sometimes, music makes us feel happier and makes us forget about our problems.
  • Meditation- writing down on a journal, daily manifestations, and breathing exercises can help alleviate unwanted stress.

Eat healthier

Eating better and increasing your daily water intake can do wonders for any ailment you have, including migraines. As much as possible, stick to fresh home cooked foods instead of going out or buying from fast food.

Get Upper Cervical Care in Wapakoneta

More often than not, migraine attacks come from neck misalignments. Little did you know that your neck can be misaligned due to the pain you experience during your migraine attack. If this is your case, you’ll need help from professionals to take care of you– specifically, those who know upper cervical chiropractic care.

Upper cervical care uses highly gentle and exact adjustments to correct neck misalignments.

Here at Tranquility Spinal Care, we understand the importance of being migraine-free for you. Fortunately, our patients who sought upper cervical care in Wapakoneta have recovered from migraines after visiting our office.

If you want to learn more about upper cervical care and its benefits in store for you, call (419) 573-0638 today.

To schedule a consultation, call our Wapakoneta office at 419-738-9888. You can also click the button below.


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