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What Part Of Your Head Hurts During A Migraine

Preventative Medication And Therapies

What Happens In Your Body During Migraine | WebMD

If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.

It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.

You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:

Beta blocking drugs

These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.

Topiramate

This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.

Amitriptyline

Acupuncture

Botulinum toxin type A

When To Get Medical Advice

You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.

Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be effective for migraine.

Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.

You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicines, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.

You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:

  • paralysis or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
  • slurred or garbled speech
  • a sudden agonising headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
  • headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash

These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a stroke or meningitis, and should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

Community Experiences Of Migraine And Head Pain

While head pain on one side of the head is common, Migraine.com advocates write about their experiences on coping with all kinds of pain from various migraine symptoms. There is also an emphasis on explaining to others that migraine is way more than head pain. Since migraine is often considered an invisible disease, pain awareness and the invisibility of pain is a popular topic for people to commiserate over. Our advocates’ articles on managing chronic pain can be found here.

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Are Migraines Hereditary

Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.

What Is An Aura

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An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.

Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:

  • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
  • Blind spots in your vision.
  • Numb or tingling skin.

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Pain Points: The Anatomy Of Headaches And Migraines

June 6, 2018General

Nearly everyone has experienced a headache in their lifetime. The problem may be caused by something as simple as staying up too late or being overly stressed. However, headaches may be signaling to you that something more serious is at hand. How does a headache happen in your body, what type of headaches do you have, and when do you need to contact your doctor?

What Commonly Triggers A Migraine

People who get migraines may be able to identify triggers that seem to kick off the symptoms. Some possible triggers include the following:

  • Stress and other emotions
  • Biological and environmental conditions, such as hormonal shifts or exposure to light or smells
  • Fatigue and changes in one’s sleep pattern
  • Glaring or flickering lights

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Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

In some women, birth control pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

Your Headache Hurts More On One Side And/or Has These Other Characteristics

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Pain thats more concentrated on one side of the head is one of four key factors doctors use when determining whether someone has migraine. The other three are: Your headache throbs or pulsates, is moderate to severe in intensity, and gets worse with activity. You actually just need to have two of those symptoms to meet diagnostic criteria for migraine, which is part of why migraine is very under-recognized, Halker Singh explains. People might have a particular image in their minds about what migraine looks like, but theres actually a lot of variety to how people experience this condition.

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Headache Locations And What They Mean

A splitting pain in your forehead. A pounding pulse in your temples. A stabbing sensation behind your eyes. Headaches can hit you from all sides. But have you ever wondered what your headache location means, and what it can tell you about your health?

Video of the Day

Where your head pain is located can offer some clues about what’s causing it and the best way to treat it. Here, Teshamae Monteith, MD, associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and member of the American Neurological Association, helps us decipher what different headache locations mean and how to address them.

Warning

While most headaches arent dangerous, some may signal a more serious health condition. Seek immediate medical care if you experience head pain along with fever, weight loss, loss of vision, confusion, fainting, loss of consciousness, weakness, imbalances or speech impairment, Dr. Monteith says.

Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain

In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.

“Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”

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When People With Migraine Experience Pain In Areas Other Than Their Head Is It Cause For Concern

Pain in other locations besides the head and neck, while not dangerous, does raise the possibility of other causes, and a healthcare provider should think differently about treatments to try.

This article was edited by Angie Glaser and Elizabeth DeStefano, based on an interview with Rebecca Brook NP. Paula K. Dumas also contributed to the content, reviewed by Drs. Starling and Charles.

The Migraine Hangover Can Cause Lingering Symptoms After Head Pain Subsides

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Many people know about the auras that can precede migraines, and the pain during a migraine, but fewer know about the postdrome that can come after the pain ends. Postdrome also called the migraine hangover, comes after the pain of a migraine attack has subsided. Symptoms can last hours or even several days. While not everyone with migraine suffers from postdrome, those who do report it can be as debilitating as the migraine pain itself. Common postdrome symptoms include fatigue, nausea, sensitivity to light, dizziness, body aches, and difficulty concentrating. One postdrome sufferer described the day after a migraine headache as feeling like a mental fog, one so heavy that even routine tasks take on an otherworldly quality.

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Neck Pain And Migraine Headache

Migraine headache, or migraine is a common disabling episodic headache characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head. More than half of the migraine population experience neck pain before and/or during a migraine attack.12 While in most cases neck pain in migraine is limited to the upper neck region, sometimes the pain may radiate to the lower neck and/or shoulder.

A migraine is a recurring headache that causes moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea and sensitivity to light and/or sound.

Migraine is believed to be caused due to genetically modified hypersensitive neurons in the brain. These neurons are triggered by environmental changes , hormones, food, or smell and in turn trigger adjacent neurons to induce pain pathways and cause migraine symptoms.

What Kind Of Pain Is It

The symptoms of a headache, Finkelstein says, are straight forward. They are not debilitating, but they can cause enough discomfort that will slow people down. Usually, however, people are able to carry on with their days and dont lose their ability to function.

Specifically, a headaches symptoms typically include dull, aching head pain and a sensation of tightness or pressure across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head. People may also experience tenderness of the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles, the Mayo Clinic outlines.

Headaches are classified into two categories: episodic and chronic.

Episodic tension headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. They usually happen less than 15 days a month for at least three months.

Chronic headaches can last for hours and may be continuous. If they occur 15 or more days in a month for at least three months, theyre often considered chronic.

Migraines, however, are far more painful, Finkelstein said.

When migrainers develop a headache, its moderate to severe in nature, their function is disabled and they often experience other signs that typical headache patients dont experience like nausea, vomiting, light and sounds sensitivity, Finkelstein explains. Migraines are primary headaches in other words, there is no other underlying reason for the headaches.

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What Is A Migraine

A migraine is a type of primary headache disorder that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. People with migraine may experience recurring symptoms that doctors call episodes or attacks.

Headaches are only one symptom of migraines, and they can range in severity. Migraine can cause intense, throbbing headaches that last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

A migraine headache usually affects one side of the head, but some people experience pain on both sides.

A migraine episode can occur in four distinct phases, though not everyone experiences every phase.

Premonitory phase

Doctors also call the premonitory phase the preheadache or prodrome phase. It includes nonpainful symptoms that occur hours or days before the headache arrives.

Premonitory phase symptoms can include:

  • unexplainable mood changes
  • sensitivity to light, sound, or smells

Aura phase

Auras refer to sensory disturbances that occur before or during a migraine attack. Auras can affect a persons vision, touch, or speech.

Visual auras can cause the following symptoms in one or both eyes:

  • flashing lights
  • blurred vision
  • blind spots that expand over time

Sensory auras cause numbness or tingling that starts in the arm and radiates to the face.

Motor auras affect a persons ability to communicate and think clearly. Motor auras include:

  • slurred or jumbled speech
  • difficulty understanding what others say
  • difficulty writing words or sentences
  • having trouble thinking clearly

Headache phase

Postdrome phase

Hemiplegic Migraine With Numbness And Tingling

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People who experience hemiplegic migraine, where one-sided weakness accompanies migraine, numbness and tingling are common symptoms.3 These can last hours to days, and in rare cases, weeks. Most of the time the symptoms resolve on their own.

Occasionally, the numbness is so severe that the person with migraine feels they cant move that part of the body. The tingling skin sensation may be in only one specific part of the body, such as feeling weak or numb in only one finger, or a small part of the face.

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Common Headache Types By Location

The headaches people usually get are tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches. Cluster headaches don’t happen as often, but men are five times more likely to get them.

Pain location

Back of your head or neck

Tension headache

Arthritis in your upper spine

Occipital neuralgia

Aneurysm or bleeding, called a hemorrhagic stroke

Forehead

Temporomandibular joint disorder

Occipital neuralgia

On one side of your head

Migraine

What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

Read Also: Mayo Clinic Headaches

When To See Your Doctor

Usually, headaches arent serious and you can often treat them yourself. But sometimes, they can signal a more serious problem.

  • The pain feels like the worst headache of your life.
  • Youve had a change in the pattern of your headaches.
  • Headaches wake you up at night.
  • The headache started after a blow to the head.

You should also see your doctor if youre experiencing any of these symptoms alongside your headache:

  • confusion

You can book a primary care doctor in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.

Theories About Migraine Pain

La douleur dans différentes parties du shram.kiev.ua de tête

Older theories about migraines suggested that symptoms were possibly due to fluctuations in blood flow to the brain. Now many headache researchers realize that changes in blood flow and blood vessels don’t initiate the pain, but may contribute to it.

Current thinking regarding migraine pain has moved more toward the source of the problem, as improved technology and research have paved the way for a better understanding. Today, it is widely understood that chemical compounds and hormones, such as serotonin and estrogen, often play a role in pain sensitivity for migraine sufferers.

One aspect of migraine pain theory explains that migraine pain happens due to waves of activity by groups of excitable brain cells. These trigger chemicals, such as serotonin, to narrow blood vessels. Serotonin is a chemical necessary for communication between nerve cells. It can cause narrowing of blood vessels throughout the body.

When serotonin or estrogen levels change, the result for some is a migraine. Serotonin levels may affect both sexes, while fluctuating estrogen levels affect women only.

For women, estrogen levels naturally vary over the life cycle, with increases during fertile years and decreases afterwards. Women of childbearing age also experience monthly changes in estrogen levels. Migraines in women are often associated with these fluctuating hormone levels and may explain why women are more likely to have migraines than men.

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Treating Sinus Headaches With Advent

While sinus headaches may be confused with migraines or tension headaches, they are common if you suffer from sinusitis or have issues within The Breathing Triangle®.

Not to worry, there are many simple in-office solutions for you to solve your chronic sinus headaches. In fact, ADVENT has helped over 30,000 people get to the root of their sinus and sleep issues for good…

When Should I Call The Doctor

If you think your headaches may be migraines, you’ll want to see a doctor to treat them and learn ways to try to avoid getting the headaches in the first place. Sometimes relaxation exercises or changes in diet or sleeping habits are all that’s needed. But if needed, a doctor also can prescribe medicine to help control the headaches.

You’ll also want to see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms as well as a headache:

  • changes in vision, such as blurriness or seeing spots
  • tingling sensations
  • skin rash
  • weakness, dizziness, or difficulty walking or standing
  • neck pain or stiffness
  • fever

If you do see a doctor for headaches, he or she will probably want to do an exam and get your to help figure out what might be causing them.

The doctor may ask you:

  • how severe and frequent your headaches are
  • when they happen
  • about any medicine you take
  • about any allergies you have
  • if you’re feeling stressed
  • about your diet, habits, sleeping patterns, and what seems to help or worsen the headaches

The doctor may also do blood tests or imaging tests, such as a CAT scan or MRI of the brain, to rule out medical problems.

Sometimes doctors will refer people with headaches they think might be migraines or a symptom of a more serious problem to a specialist like a , a doctor who specializes in the brain and nervous system.

It’s very rare that headaches are a sign of something serious. But see a doctor if you get headaches a lot or have a headache that:

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