Headache / Migraines
Learn More About This Condition & Our Approach
What are Migraine Headaches?
Migraines are the most common form of primary headache types and is a well-known condition. Migraines are best explained as severe throbbing and pulsing pain, and usually, takes place on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can impact an individual’s overall quality of life by causing nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Women are usually at a higher risk than men are to experience migraines because these headaches are usually related to the stages of their menstrual cycle.
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches?
Migraines usually have warning symptoms, that occur before a headache, that are known as auras. These warning symptoms include flashes of light, tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg, and blind spots.
The symptoms that occur from a migraine can last anywhere from several hours to several days and include:
- Severe pain from within the skull
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensations of throbbing on one side of the head
- Sensitivity to external sound, light, or smells.
Migraines are considered a primary condition, meaning they do not occur as a symptom of another disorder. However, there are certain migraine symptoms that can be signs of serious neurological events that could indicate the presence of a brain tumor, aneurysm, or meningitis. If you suspect these conditions, immediately contact medical assistance. Symptoms of these severe cases may include:
- Aura symptoms (if it is not normally experienced)
- Sudden onset of severe headache pain (especially if it’s not normal for the person to experience)
- Neurological events such as sudden falls, loss of balance, speech disturbance, confusion, dizziness, or tingling.
- Headache pain so severe that it wakes you from sleep
- Passing or blacking out
- Stiffness of the neck
- Rash or fever accompanied by a headache
Causes of Migraine Headaches
The exact cause of a migraine headache is not precisely defined. It is known that brain tissue itself does not feel pain, but that the pain of most headaches is related to chemical or mechanical damage to the tissues close to the brain. These tissues include nerves, skull, muscles, blood vessels, sinuses, eyes, ears, and various membranes. Risk factors associated with being more prone to having migraines are your family history, sex, age, and hormonal changes. There are triggers that are commonly linked to migraine headaches that increase the risk of an episode, and may include:
- Caffeine intake
- Weather changes
- Sensitivity to chemicals (food preservatives)
- Sleep deprivation or changes to sleep rhythm
- Not eating regularly
Treatments for Migraine Headaches
At Gulf Coast Pain Institute, we offer a variety of treatments for migraine headaches. Because migraines can be difficult to diagnose, a physician distinguish a case of migraine by asking questions about the pain episode onset, prior medical history, family history of migraine, and other symptoms. Once it is clear that the diagnosis is a migraine, there are many therapies to treat the headache that include:
- Botox Injections
- Nerve block injections
- Massage Therapy
- Chiropractic Care