Migraines can sometimes be misunderstood as just a bad headache but it’s not the case. here’s the truth about migraines. They are a terrible complex neurological condition that can cause a variety of symptoms such as severe pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. At the most basic level, migraine is a type of sensory processing disorder caused by having a hyper-reactive brain. Your genetics make your brain work faster, react faster, and sometimes over-react when it is exposed to too much stimulation, known as a trigger. This over-reaction is then what we know as a migraine attack.
Did you know that June is Migraine Awareness Month? Currently there are approximately 4.9 million Australians living with a migraine, but do we really understand the impact migraines can have? The aim of Migraine Awareness Month is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma that a migraine is ‘just a headache’. Those who suffer migraines know just how debilitating they can be and the significant impact they can have on our daily lives.
Migraine attacks is the name used when migraine symptoms occur in bursts. Most migraine attacks will commonly last between 4-72 hours. These attacks can significantly vary between individuals, some may experience them weekly, and others go years without an attack.
Sometimes it’s thought that a migraine is just a bad headache, but if you suffer them you know the level of disability they cause during an active stage. So what is the difference between them?
As there are a number of different types of headache, by identifying the location and nature of your pain can help determine the cause & type.
Some of the most common types include:
When compared with tension or other headache types like those listed above, migraine pain can be moderate to severe. Migraines attacks may be felt so severely that the sufferer seeks assistance from an emergency department.
Migraine episodes will typically affect only one side of the head. This doesn’t mean migraines cannot occur in both sides of the head simultaneously, or that it can swap side-to-side. However, it’s possible to have a migraine episode that affects both sides of the head. Other differences include the pain’s quality. A migraine attack will cause intense pain that may be throbbing and will make performing daily tasks very difficult.
Some of the most common symptom’s migraine suffers face include:
A migraine trigger is the term used to describe what started the cascade of events that end in a migraine attack. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify your migraine triggers and they may vary between attacks.
Here’s a list of the common migraine triggers identified:
Unfortunately, true migraines can’t be cured however you are able to manage your attacks to try and prevent them happening as often and so severely.
Although a migraine cannot be cured, it can be managed with a range of approaches. Each individual needs to work to find the right combination of lifestyle changes, acute treatment, and preventative treatment (if required) that works for them. Often acute treatment will involve hands on treatment such as osteopath to identify any areas of tension in the body or changes to spinal mechanics that might be contributing. Our skillset encompasses a range of treatment techniques including but not limited to soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, and joint mobilization. By reducing tension in the muscles and tissues, improving circulation and blood flow, and addressing any underlying structural issues, osteopathy can help alleviate migraine symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
Craniosacral osteopathy is another treatment option for migraines. Check that our HERE.
Our osteopaths can also provide assistance in identifying any lifestyle triggers, provide at home advice and strategies and educate our patients on the difference between a headache and a migraine.
Book in today and work on some migraine management!