Have you ever felt a pulsing sensation in your head? While it could be a headache, that pain might hint at a migraine, a more prevalent condition, especially among adults.
Most migraines are genetic or hormonal in nature. In fact, in the United States, 3 out of 4 adults suffering from this condition are women out of 15 percent of adults. But what is most concerning is that people suffer from this condition without getting properly diagnosed.
Read on to find out the different types of migraines and symptoms to watch out for. This article will also discuss how chiropractic care can help ease your tension headaches.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a neurological disorder that sends out nerve signals causing inflammation and pain in your head. In addition, your body releases chemicals such as serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptides (CGRP), which are responsible for your brain swelling.
The following are the risk factors for migraines:
- Age: Migraine headaches can occur between ages 10 to 40 years old.
- Family history: People who have relatives with migraines are most likely to acquire the same condition. There’s a 75% chance of occurrence if both your parents have it.
- Health complications: Those with mental health disorders like depression are prone to suffer from migraines.
Here’s why you might be experiencing throbbing pain in your head:
- Stress: Your brain triggers your blood vessels which can cause migraines.
- Hormonal changes: Pregnant women and those on their menstrual period are more likely to experience tension headaches.
- Alcohol and junk food consumption: Eating food high in monosodium glutamate (MSG) can negatively contribute to your health condition.
- Caffeine: Drinking too much coffee can trigger migraine attacks.
- Appetite changes: Headaches are likely to occur when you skip meals.
- Sensitivity to the surroundings: Bright lights, strong smells, and loud noises can cause a migraine attack.
- Sleep routine: Lack of sleep or having too much of it can set off headaches.
Common Types of Migraines
The following are the different types of migraines, which vary depending on your symptoms.
Migraines With Aura
Once the headache begins, other symptoms will start setting in after 30 minutes or so when you have a migraine with aura. You may feel visual disturbances such as wavy lines and flashing lights. It can also make you experience speech loss and numbness or a tingling sensation. Migraines with aura are more common in older people.
Migraines Without Aura
Unlike migraines with aura, this type is usually characterized by a moderate to severe pulsating headache. Also called episodic migraine, a migraine without aura is triggered after engaging in strenuous activities and commonly leads to nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
Hormonal changes are one of the triggering factors of a migraine. Menstrual migraines happen among women during ovulation. It continues two days before their period starts and three days after. The headache intensity varies but usually disappears a week after menstruation.
Unlike the other types of migraine, the abdominal type often happens among children. It causes stomach pain and dizziness that may lead to vomiting.
People with a history of motion sickness are more prone to getting a vestibular migraine. With or without a headache, you can feel nausea and vomiting.
Hemiplegia or temporary paralysis happens on one side of your body. It comes with other symptoms, such as vision changes and numbness.
This type of migraine causes pain around your eye, possibly due to an aneurysm. Similar to hemiplegic, your eyelids may droop and block your vision.
Also known as retinal migraine, the ocular type causes temporary or total loss of vision in one eye. You will start to feel a mild ache behind your eye before it spreads to your head.
This is a severe type of migraine wherein the pain and nausea can last up to 72 hours. Skipping meals and lack of sleep are the common causes of status migrainosus.
Signs and Symptoms of Migraines
More than just headaches, migraine attacks can present multiple symptoms simultaneously. Below are the common signs and symptoms of a migraine:
- Nausea or lightheadedness
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell
- Lack of appetite
- Severe thirst
- Mood changes
- Bloating and constipation
Migraine symptoms vary and may develop over time depending on the underlying cause or condition. Many people experience it in four different stages such as:
Subtle warnings such as neck stiffness, nausea, and mood changes may happen hours or days before a headache.
Other symptoms like ringing in the ears, light flashes, and numbness may start to occur over a 5 to 20-minute period.
The throbbing pain worsens during physical activity and continues to affect the rest of your head. This symptom can last from 4 hours to 3 days for more severe types.
After the headache, there may still be lingering symptoms such as fatigue, muscle soreness, and lack of appetite.
How to Treat Migraines
Maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are the easiest ways to recover from a migraine. If you have constant episodes, make sure you know you’re aware of your triggers and try to avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine. You can also put a cold compress on your head for temporary relief.
Does Chiropractic Treatment Help Heal Migraines?
A licensed chiropractor can help relieve your tension headaches through these chiropractic treatments for migraines:
- Soft tissue therapy applies gentle force to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Spinal manipulation helps align the spine to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines.
When to See a Doctor
We recommend consulting a medical professional if your headaches become severe and can’t be treated at home. A doctor may prescribe medications or order imaging for further evaluation.
Seek Chiropractic Care for Your Headaches
If you want a personalized migraine treatment plan, let our team of chiropractors at LifeClinic help you. Ease your pain and fight against tension headaches when you sign up for our chiropractic migraine treatments. You may also visit our website to check out our services and locations.