Migraine is a chronic and episodic disorder, characterized by headache attacks

  • Recurrent headaches lasting 4-72 hours
  • One-sided, pulsating, moderate-to-severe pain
  • Decreased ability to function in everyday situations

Associated Symptoms, often two of these three key associated symptoms are also present during an attack:

  • Nausea (73% of patients) and/or vomiting (29% of patients)
  • Sensitivity to light (called photophobia, 80% of patients)
  • Sensitivity to sound (called phonophobia, 76% of patients)

Other symptoms may include sweating or cold hands, diarrhea, pale skin color, and scalp tenderness or pain from touch or pressure (such as a necklace touching the skin, hair brushing, or shaving). This kind of pain is called allodynia.

Migraine Is Very Common – You Are Not Alone

Migraine affects nearly 30 million people in the US.

  • 12% of people 12 years and older
  • More common in women (17% vs 6% in men)
  • Nearly 25% of migraine sufferers frequently lose time at work, home, or in social settings due to migraine
  • More than 50% of sufferers have difficulty functioning or require bed rest during a headache attack

In addition, 63% of patients have allodynia with their migraine attacks, and 80% of patients with migraine have a slow passage of stomach contents through the gut (delayed gastric emptying), which may affect the absorption of oral medications taken for migraine.
People who experience nausea and vomiting during a migraine attack may choose to delay or skip taking oral medications — which delays relief and makes the attack much harder to treat successfully.

What Can You Do to Help Yourself?

  • Track your symptoms with a headache diary
  • Discuss your symptoms and headache diary with your healthcare professional

What are the available options for Treatment?

  • Treat at the first sign of an attack — don’t wait!
  • Keep medications with you when you go out or travel.
  • Consider preventive therapy if you have frequent or severe attacks.

Preventative therapy can include Physical Therapy as well as Physical Self Regulation, which is something at Freedom Physical Therapy Services, we can help with. We will look at your posture, your Temporomandibular joints, any neck and facial muscles that can be a trigger for your migraines, provide appropriate exercise, help promote better sleep, discuss nutritional supplements, and assess your ergonomic set up at home and work. Most importantly we want to collaborate with the other professionals on your team and help provide you the tools to help yourself and to help reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.

Michael Karegeannes
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