A migraine is an extreme form of headache consisting of four stages. Individuals may experience severe symptoms lasting hours to days at a time.
Symptoms and Stages of a Migraine
The four stages of a migraine are prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.
Symptoms of prodrome:
Mood changes, ranging from depression to euphoria
Symptoms of aura:
Feeling of pins and needles sensations in the arm or leg
Numbness or weakness in the face or one side of the body
Visual phenomena, such as seeing shapes, bright spots, or flashes of light
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Symptoms of attack:
Throbbing or pulsating pain
Pain on one or both sides of the head
Sensitivity to light, sound, and possibly smell and touch
Symptoms of post-drome:
Brief pain triggered by certain movements
Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
Headache after a head injury
New headache pain that emerges after age 50
An abrupt, severe headache that feels like a thunderclap
Headache accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, double vision, numbness, or weakness in part of the body (this could indicate a stroke)
Chronic headache that worsens after coughing, exertion, straining, or sudden movement
Causes of a Migraine
A migraine may be triggered by:
Bright or flashing lights
Changes in sleep patterns
Processed foods and aged cheeses
Intense physical activity
In women, hormonal changes, such as fluctuations in estrogen
Strong smells, such as paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and perfume
Changes in weather
Medications, such as oral contraceptives and vasodilators
Food additives, such as sweeteners and preservatives
The right treatment for migraines will depend on the severity of symptoms and the patient’s unique condition. At Las Vegas Primary Care, patients may be treated with pain management therapy, joint and soft tissue injections, and occupational medicine.
Pain management therapy may include hot and cold therapy, massage, acupuncture, meditation, antidepressants, cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, opioids, tai chi, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and beta-blockers. Joint and soft tissue injections may also help alleviate migraines.
Migraines may interfere with daily life and impair a patient’s ability to perform job duties. In these cases, occupational medicine could help the patient adjust to the demands of the workplace as they recover from their injuries.
Staff at Las Vegas Primary Care are also trained to help employers make adjustments in the workplace to support employees suffering from migraines. Occupational medicine can help both employers and injured employees create a plan to move forward.
Some patients may need advanced treatment. Advanced treatment for migraines, depending on the underlying cause, may include chiropractic adjustment and even surgery. Patients should speak to their physician at Las Vegas Primary Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for migraines.
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