Headaches are common, and almost everyone suffers from them at some time or another. For some, this lasts very briefly, and some people have headaches almost all the time. Not every headache is the same, as there are many different types of headaches. Although headaches can be very annoying, their cause is rarely serious. In this blog, we will elaborate on migraines.
What is a migraine?
Migraine occurs in about 15% of people and decreases with age. With migraine, a distinction is made between migraine without aura, and migraine with aura.
A migraine headache is characterized by being on one side of the head. It is sometimes possible for the pain to switch sides between or during an attack, or for the headache to be felt on both sides of the head. The headache is usually pulsating in nature and increases with physical activity, where the intensity of the headache can range from moderate to severe, where it is not possible to perform everyday activities. A migraine attack often lasts between 4 and 72 hours, during which there is also nausea/vomiting and/or intolerance to light and/or sound and, in some cases, to odors.
When a migraine with an aura occurs, an aura occurs prior to the headache phase. In this, one experiences, for example, glare/light patterns, a person smells typical odors or, in some cases, there may even be symptoms of failure.
What is the cause of migraine?
The exact cause of migraines is not completely clear. However, it does seem that migraine is a neurovascular disorder, and a phenomenon called “sensitization” could possibly be involved. In addition, other possible factors that could be involved in causing migraines are a hormonal cause (explaining why it occurs more in women than men), stress, certain foods such as red wine, cheese, chocolate or citrus fruits, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
Treatment of migraine
Migraine can only be diagnosed by a neurologist, and therefore its treatment is often with medication. In many cases, if diagnosed correctly, this is also very effective.
However, in practice, we see that different headache forms can often be intertwined. Headache symptoms may in fact be accompanied by neck pain. Neck pain can in some cases radiate to the head through a phenomenon called “referred pain,” so a person can also experience headaches.
So it always pays to make an appointment with us in case of headache complaints accompanied by neck pain. We can then rule out the possibility that the headache is caused by neck pain. Or if this is the case, we can start the treatment of the neck pain, to also do something about the headache.
Therefore, for targeted and effective treatment, make an appointment at Orthomedix. We will then work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
Please feel free to contact us via the contact form or call one of our practices.
ICHD-3, 2018; ihs-headache.org; NHG Standard Headache; Johnston et al, 2013;