Understanding The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia And Migraines

Migraines and fibromyalgia are two complicated and often debilitating conditions that impact the lives of millions of individuals globally. While they are two completely separate conditions, there is an intriguing connection that exists between them. 

This article serves as a comprehensive guide to share with you the intricate relationship between these chronic pain conditions. You may already understand the daily challenges if you’re living with fibromyalgia, migraines, or perhaps even both. They are known to cause relentless pain and fatigue, and the way they disrupt your daily life can be overwhelming. 

Our goal is to help you understand more about these two disorders. We will discuss how the underlying causes and symptoms of fibromyalgia and migraines may be similar, even overlapping in some cases. 

We’ll also explain that while they share many features, they each have unique characteristics that set them apart. Exploring the similarities and differences is vital to understanding the full scope of their relationship with one another.

We’ll also share the various interventions that can provide relief for individuals dealing with these debilitating conditions, including both conventional and non-pharmaceutical approaches. 

Gaining a greater understanding of the available treatments may provide you with further clarity and direction to choose an appropriate health management approach tailored to your specific circumstances.

We hope to empower you with knowledge and insights that can guide you on your journey to managing these conditions. By understanding the relationship between fibromyalgia and migraines, you can make informed decisions about your health, potentially improving your quality of life.


What You Need To Know About These Two Conditions

Before we explore the similarities between fibromyalgia and migraines, let’s first gain a better understanding of each condition individually.


What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex and often misunderstood chronic health condition. It is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue, and it affects millions of people worldwide as one of the most prevalent chronic pain disorders of clinical medicine. 

While the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains uncertain, it is widely recognized that fibromyalgia can be a life-altering condition. It is currently believed that fibromyalgia involves abnormalities in the brain’s ability to appropriately process pain signals. Several genetic and immune-inflammatory variables are also thought to contribute to its development.

In addition to generalized pain and fatigue, individuals with fibromyalgia may experience stiffness, muscle spasms, and reduced muscle endurance. An individual’s symptoms can fluctuate in intensity and are often accompanied by sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.

Sadly, there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia. However, a multidisciplinary approach to management that incorporates medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications can greatly assist individuals in addressing their symptoms and enhancing their overall well-being.


What Are Migraines?

There are many different types of migraines, and they all fall under the category of headache disorders. Compared to your average headache, migraines are much more complicated. They are intense, recurrent headaches that can cause severe pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Migraines are also regarded as an extremely painful and debilitating condition. You might be surprised to learn that at least one in every seven adults worldwide deals with migraines

There are also numerous variations in the symptoms experienced by migraine sufferers, which might include sensory sensitivities such as sensitivity to light and odors or temporarily impaired vision. 

While some people can have distinct triggers for their migraines, the precise cause is often unclear. This can make finding an appropriate treatment strategy for adequate relief particularly challenging. Prescription medications, at-home remedies, and lifestyle modifications are among the current migraine treatment options. 

These methods may give some relief in the short term, but for people who experience migraines on a regular basis, the therapeutic alternatives can seem dismal.

We’ve uncovered the complexity of these two conditions and how they affect many people. In the next section, let’s move on to gain a deeper understanding of their shared symptoms, so we might assist in identifying their connections.


Do They Have Shared Symptoms?

It is important to explore the similarities and differences between fibromyalgia and 

migraines, particularly if you have noticed that any symptoms you are experiencing are becoming worse or more complicated. 

For instance, did you know that individuals with fibromyalgia frequently report having migraines? In 2019, a study conducted by Penn, I-Wen et al suggested that fibromyalgia may affect the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes in those who suffer from chronic migraines.

In the list below, we discuss some of the symptoms that can be shared between the two chronic conditions.

  • Pain: Debilitating pain is a common feature of both fibromyalgia and migraines, while the specific type of pain may differ.
  • Debilitating fatigue: Fatigue is commonly experienced among individuals with both fibromyalgia and migraines. Although there may be differences in the exact nature of the fatigue, it is a shared experience among many managing these conditions.
  • Digestive issues: Both migraines and fibromyalgia may be accompanied by gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and acid reflux.
  • Sensitivity to light and smell: It is also common that both conditions cause increased sensitivity to light and strong odors, which can trigger or exacerbate symptoms.
  • Difficulty sleeping: Sleep disturbances are prevalent in fibromyalgia and are often reported in individuals with migraines. Pain, chronic inflammation, and hormonal shifts are a few factors that can lead to sleep disturbances. 
  • Difficulty concentrating and brain fog: Individuals with these conditions often report cognitive problems, such as brain fog and difficulty concentrating.
  • Mood disorder: Fibromyalgia and migraines have a major emotional impact, with anxiety and depression being typical co-occurring issues.
  • Muscle tension and stiffness: All-over muscle tension and stiffness are commonly experienced in fibromyalgia, while migraines can also lead to tension throughout the neck and shoulder regions.


Along with their common symptoms, there is a possible overlap in the many associated factors and causes of these two conditions, which we will explore in the coming section.


Causes And Contributors Of Fibromyalgia And Migraine

Recent research has indicated it is not unusual for both fibromyalgia and migraines to coexist. In fact, the same study by Penn, I-Wen, et al also revealed that people with migraines were at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia and vice versa. 

Additionally, a similar study uncovered that over 30% of participants who reported migraine symptoms also had fibromyalgia, especially in those experiencing chronic migraine episodes. 

So, these conditions might share more connections than initially realized. Let’s take a closer look at the list below to better understand the common causes and risk factors that could contribute to the development of both fibromyalgia and migraines.

  • Sleep disturbances: Both conditions are seen to be related to restless sleep or insomnia. Inadequate sleep can exacerbate the nervous system’s pain and discomfort signals, leading to a vicious cycle of hormone imbalances.
  • Diet and nutrition: The fuel you provide your body matters more than you might realize. Dietary choices can play a pivotal role in the body’s inflammatory response, onset, and severity of these conditions. While one night of junk food won’t necessarily cause these conditions, your long-term nutrition is an important factor to consider.
  • Genetics: Your immediate family’s health history is an important associating factor to your overall health. Both fibromyalgia and migraines have strong hereditary components, so knowing your genetic predisposition may help you identify your individual risk factors.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, including monthly fluctuations and those during menopause, can trigger or worsen symptoms of both conditions. This is also relevant for individuals with pre-existing hormonal imbalances or thyroid conditions. 
  • Environmental factors: While it cannot always be controlled, your surroundings can be a silent contributor to developing a chronic illness. Environmental factors, such as toxin exposure or certain infections, can influence the frequency and intensity of symptoms for both conditions.
  • Physical trauma and injury: Injuries or trauma can have a long-lasting impact, potentially leading to the development of chronic conditions or exacerbating existing symptoms. The onset of chronic migraines can sometimes be linked to trauma of the head, neck, or back. Similarly, trauma, whether from accidents, surgeries, or emotional experiences, has been observed in those who develop fibromyalgia.
  • Emotional factors: Leading on from trauma, emotional well-being and stress levels are also closely linked to both fibromyalgia and migraines. Emotional factors have been seen to either trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of these conditions. 
  • Overuse of medications: In rare cases, overusing certain medications can sometimes lead to what’s known as “medication-overuse headaches,” which can present similarly to migraines. Additionally, other medication side effects that impact the nervous system could contribute to the development or worsening of fibromyalgia symptoms. When taking prescription medications, it is essential to communicate closely with your doctor to find a safe balance that works for you. 


We can now see that there’s a considerable overlap between these conditions, underscoring the importance of grasping their connection and finding ways to manage them effectively. However, it is still important these two conditions are understood and treated as two separate conditions. In the next section, we will discuss their differentiating features.


Differentiating The Two Conditions

In contrast to their many shared symptoms, fibromyalgia and migraines also have distinct characteristics that make them each unique. This might seem a bit puzzling, but don’t worry – we’ll break it down in the sections below. 

These headings will help you understand what differentiates these conditions, giving you a more complete picture of both.


Fibromyalgia Symptoms And Diagnosis

Unfortunately, individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia may experience a wide range of symptoms, but the key defining feature is the presence of widespread and persistent pain. 

This can be accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive issues (often referred to as “fibro fog”), and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These are also defining symptoms that assist doctors in the diagnosis process. 

The diagnosis process of fibromyalgia is not an easy task and is historically delayed. For example, according to one survey in 2010, for an individual to be formally diagnosed, it can take an average of two years. 

If fibromyalgia is suspected, medical professionals will search for particular diagnostic criteria, such as the widespread pain that has lasted at least three months, combined with tenderness throughout specific body points.


Migraine Symptoms And Diagnostic Criteria

Migraines, on the other hand, are very specifically characterized by severe episodic headaches that come and go. They can also be accompanied by symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound (auras). While fibromyalgia can indeed cause headaches and migraines, it’s more characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that persists. 

To diagnose migraines, healthcare providers consider several things, such as how often they occur, how long they last, and the intensity of each episode. A vital part of this diagnosis is also noting the periods when you’re symptom-free, as that helps differentiate migraines from other conditions, such as fibromyalgia.

Understanding the distinct symptoms and separate diagnostic criteria for both migraines and fibromyalgia allows you to distinguish the two disorders, even if their symptoms overlap. Continuing on with their differences, in the next section, we will compare and discuss how the nature of their painful symptoms might differ.


Comparing The Nature Of Pain

It’s become clear that fibromyalgia and migraines are very prevalent chronic pain conditions that significantly impact millions worldwide. We understand that pain is deeply personal and everyone’s experience is unique. And it is crucial to recognize that pain is the common thread that people with these conditions share. 

So, let’s compare the nature of pain throughout these conditions because you’ll notice some important variations when you take a closer look.

Fibromyalgia pain is known to blanket the body in persistent, generalized discomfort. However, the pain isn’t always evenly distributed; certain points on the body, known as “tender points,” may be more sensitive and painful. Some patients with fibromyalgia will mention that there are some good and bad days, where symptoms may appear but not persist throughout the day, meaning some symptoms may fluctuate in severity. 

Migraines, on the other hand, express a harsh and localized intense pain that targets the head, typically on one side. While migraines can also bring about discomfort in the neck and shoulders or sensitivity to light and sound, the focal point remains the head. Because migraines occur in episodes rather than continuously, they can be quite unpredictable, but the pain and discomfort will subside once the episode ceases. 

So, while both conditions involve pain, there are key differences in the nature and distribution of that pain. So, even though they may share similar symptoms, the nature of that pain will differ between the two conditions. Understanding these differences can help guide both an accurate diagnosis as well as appropriate, individualized treatment, as we’ll explore in the headings below. 


Interventions That May Improve Fibromyalgia And Migraine

Treatments for both fibromyalgia and migraines revolve around improving symptoms, enhancing quality of life, and preventing further progression of the conditions. There are a number of choices available to individuals, and their chosen management method will depend on their particular symptoms. 

The headings below focus on the many conventional therapies available, ranging from physical therapy to pharmaceutical options.


Pain Relievers

Pain relievers may be recommended to help reduce the widespread discomfort of fibromyalgia, whereas for migraines, they can target intense head pain. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are some over-the-counter medications that may be beneficial. Usually, more intense medications such as opioids are not utilized due to their potential for side effects and dependence. 


Antidepressants And Anticonvulsants

While antidepressant medications such as amitriptyline are typically prescribed to help manage depression, they have a versatile role in managing the symptoms of both fibromyalgia and migraines. They greatly assist with pain control and mood management in fibromyalgia, while for migraines, they aim to help regulate pain perception.

In some cases of fibromyalgia, anticonvulsant medications, such as pregabalin, are prescribed. This medication aims to reduce the sensations of pain caused by overstimulated or damaged nerve signals. Valproate is a separate kind of anticonvulsant that is frequently used to treat migraines and is utilized to reduce both their frequency and intensity. 



While the idea of acupuncture may sound unusual, it has been shown to offer some much-needed relief for fibromyalgia and migraine sufferers. Acupuncture is a helpful remedy that stimulates the release of your body’s endorphins, helping to temporarily alleviate pain and improve overall well-being.


Physical Therapy

Physical therapy exercises can address the physical aspects of both fibromyalgia and migraines. They can assist in improving an individual’s mobility and overall physical function by strengthening muscles and reducing muscular tension and stiffness. However, it is important to keep in mind that physical therapy cannot tackle the root causes of these conditions. 

While these conventional options can provide temporary relief, you can make more informed health decisions by considering advanced alternative techniques. Now let’s shift our focus to explore the non-invasive and medication-free therapies of Neurofunctional Pain Management.


Non-Invasive, Medication-Free Pain Management For Fibromyalgia And Migraine

For individuals struggling with the chronic pains of fibromyalgia and migraines, discovering enduring relief and finding an improvement in quality of life are big priorities. 

At Neuragenex, we are dedicated to offering pain management solutions that go beyond pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures, using the fundamentals of Neurofunctional Pain Management (NFPM). Our protocol encompasses a whole-person-centered approach that utilizes the following fundamental modalities of NFPM:



Electroanalgesia is a non-invasive therapy that involves high-pulse electrical stimulation, targeting the intricate connections between pain, the nervous system, and the brain. Pain signals are intercepted at the nerve’s source, targeting cellular-level pain relief. 

Electroanalgesia aims to break the loop of inflammation that leads to pain by reducing pain-stimulating messages and lowering the body’s levels of inflammation. Most importantly, long-term relief is possible because this unique therapy promotes general comfort and healing by stimulating the production of natural endorphins and neuropeptides. 


IV Therapy

Specialized hydration intravenous therapy (IV therapy) is another essential component of our approach. This therapy targets restoring essential nutrients and electrolytes directly through the bloodstream. 

This direct approach can create a supportive environment for the body to heal, promoting optimal organ function and the reduction of systemic inflammation. Additionally, our IV therapies are tailored to your individual needs, addressing your specific deficiencies that can reduce symptoms associated with chronic pain.


Lifestyle Counseling

At Neuragenex, we foster an approach to pain management that encompasses the whole person. We understand that dealing with chronic pain often goes beyond the physical sensations, where it also impacts your mental health and overall sense of well-being. 

Our comprehensive lifestyle counseling is a program that helps educate and support patients to make informed decisions that enhance their quality of life. We can have you embracing lifestyle changes that lead to sustained improvements in your comfort and reduction of uncomfortable symptoms. 

The Neuragenex protocol combines all of the fantastic elements from electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling as an innovative approach to help patients find relief from chronic pain and restore their overall health. Our goal is to improve your overall quality of life, providing you with enduring relief from the challenges and discomforts that come with conditions such as fibromyalgia and migraines. 


Relieve The Pain Symptoms Related To Fibromyalgia And Migraine

Despite being two very distinct conditions, fibromyalgia and migraines share similar symptoms, and it’s important they’re not overlooked. With the insights provided in this article, you can now better understand the links and distinctions between these conditions, guiding you toward an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment strategy.

While conventional treatments may provide relief, some individuals prefer non-pharmaceutical options. Most importantly, there are alternative therapies to medications that can address the pain and inflammation associated with both conditions, such as neurofunctional pain management offered by Neuragenex.

By addressing symptoms promptly and seeking professional guidance, you can find solutions that better manage the discomforts associated with fibromyalgia and migraines. By choosing Neurofunctional Pain Management at Neuragenex, we hope to help you find long-lasting relief and improve your overall quality of life. 

Remember, the path to lasting relief begins with early awareness, understanding your condition, and taking proactive steps. Neuragenex is here to support you every step of the way. By providing comprehensive insights, we aim to empower individuals dealing with chronic conditions to seek suitable treatment and adopt effective strategies for managing their symptoms.

Why Do I Keep Getting Migraines? Understanding The Causes And Triggers

Experiencing a headache every once in a while isn’t something to worry about. Most people suffer from pain in the face and neck due to factors such as occasional stress and lack of sleep. 

However, when your headaches become recurring or chronic, there is no time to lose. Understanding what’s causing them and finding the right line of treatment are essential steps toward regaining control over your life. 

Pinpointing the root causes of chronic migraines isn’t straightforward, especially as this condition often arises from a range of factors. Nonetheless, you should not surrender to enduring ineffective therapies and the side effects of pain medications.

The innovative treatment protocol pioneered by Neuragenex – Neurofunctional Pain Management – can help you tackle the systemic inflammation that is at the root of your headaches. Ultimately, this approach can help you restore your health and put a stop to the pain without medications or surgery. Discover how in the guide below. 


Recurring Migraines

Migraines are a type of headache that affects one side of the head, with painful sensations usually affecting the forehead and the areas around the eye. The pain can spread through the head and the scalp, and it can be accompanied by a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to stimuli such as light, odors, and sounds. 

Migraines can be either episodic or chronic:

  • Episodic migraine: 0-14 days of headache per month
  • Chronic migraine: 15 or more headache days per month

The frequency and intensity of migraine attacks can vary over time. You may be diagnosed with episodic migraine at first, but your condition can develop into chronic headaches over time. Conversely, chronic migraines can reverse back into episodic headaches due to health events or aging. 

In the sections below, we’ll look at the symptoms, nature, and impact of migraine. 

Common Symptoms

Each migraine is unique in terms of symptom intensity and nature. These headaches tend to develop in four distinct phases:

  • Prodrome. This “pre-headache” phase occurs between three days and 24 hours before a migraine attack. Prodrome symptoms include food cravings, neck stiffness, abnormal sensations, hyperactivity, fatigue, and excessive yawning. Being able to recognize these symptoms as soon as they occur can help you intervene to reduce the intensity or duration of a migraine attack. You can do so by avoiding triggers, resting, and reducing tension. 
  • Aura. The aura phase indicates that a migraine attack is around the corner. Aura symptoms tend to occur within 24 hours before the headache and intensify 10 – 60 minutes before the attack. These symptoms vary from one person to another and include visual disturbances (e.g. flashes of lights, tunnel vision, vision loss, and even hallucinations), sensor and motor disturbances, and speech issues, such as slurred speech. 
  • Migraine attack. This phase is characterized by headache as well as nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to light and sound. We’ll look at these symptoms in more detail below. The headache phase of a migraine attack can last between four and 72 hours. 
  • Postdrome. Postdrome, also known as “migraine hangover,” occurs in the 24 – 48 hours after a migraine attack has subsided. In this phase, you may experience fatigue, muscle or joint soreness, brain fog, and lack of focus. 

While only around a third of people with migraines have premonitory symptoms such as prodrome or aura before a headache, most symptoms of a migraine attack are similar among patients with this condition. 

These symptoms include:

While these symptoms should start to subside within a few hours of the beginning of the attack, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms last longer than two days or if they are accompanied by numbness, nosebleeds, vision loss, high fever, chest pain, or shortness of breath. These symptoms may indicate a medical emergency, such as a stroke. 


Differentiating Migraines From Regular Headaches

When looking at the official classification of headache disorders, migraines are considered to be primary headaches. Primary headaches are the ones that don’t have another underlying cause. In other words, the pain itself is the condition. 

However, new research has highlighted how migraines are, in fact, a neurological disorder that occurs due to changes in the sensory pathways, blood flow, and chemical reactions in the brain. These changes cause abnormal waves of activity among groups of excitable cells.

anatomical changes during a migraine involving the peripheral neuron, Central neuron, and blood vessels. They dilate

This peculiarity is what causes people with migraines to experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and reduced cognitive capabilities. There are also other signs and symptoms that will set a migraine apart from a normal headache (i.e. tension headache):

  • The presence of premonitory signs, such as prodrome or aura syndromes
  • Sensory, motor, and speech changes
  • Inflammation, which leads to an upset gut, as well as sensitivity to light, odors, or sounds

If you are unsure about the type of headache you are experiencing, obtaining an accurate diagnosis is the first step to finding the best line of treatment for your needs. 


Prevalence Of Migraines And Their Impact On Daily Life

Occasional headaches affect over half of the world’s population, while nearly a billion people worldwide (39 million in the US) suffer from migraines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 25% of adults aged between 18 and 44 suffer at least one severe headache or migraine every three months. 

In terms of the impact that migraines have on a person’s life, this condition can bring on a whole host of complications. For example, patients with migraines tend to miss, on average, 4.4 days of work a year due to pain, and they live with a further 11 days of reduced productivity annually. When looking at the financial burden of migraine, patients with this condition report facing annual medical costs as high as $9,500 to manage their chronic pain. 

Other complications, which we will examine in more detail below, include sleep disturbances, a higher risk of mental health conditions, and cognitive disorders such as dementia. 

It has been seen that around a quarter of chronic migraine cases will go into remission and become episodic, which makes them far easier to manage. Nonetheless, you should not have to endure years of pain and life-limiting symptoms. Finding an adequate treatment plan can help you regain control over your life and support the earlier remission of migraines. 


Why Do People Get Migraines?

If you have been diagnosed with a migraine disorder, headache attacks can develop after exposure to certain triggers. The most common triggers include:

  • Hormonal changes (specifically the fluctuations of estrogen that occur during events such as pregnancy and menstruation)
  • Certain medications
  • Drinking alcohol 
  • High-stress levels
  • Skipping meals
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Caffeine 
  • Environmental factors such as certain foods, flashing lights, and strong odors

It is important to understand that these triggers may start a migraine attack, but they are not the root cause of migraine disorders. To this day, the real causes of migraine aren’t well understood. However, research has shown that a role is played by genetic factors, neurological aspects, medical conditions, and environmental and lifestyle influences. 

In the sections below, we’ll look at these aspects in more detail. 


Role Of Genetics

Genetics have been seen to be a critical factor in 34-64% of migraine cases. However, understanding how genetics influence the risk of developing a migraine disorder isn’t always straightforward. 

According to studies, patients with a first-degree relative with migraine (such as a parent or sibling) are twice as likely to develop this disorder. The reason for this is that genes influence how sensitive people are to changes in the environment and known migraine triggers. 

What’s more, a 2023 review shows that hereditary small-vessel disorders can increase the risk of developing migraines. The same study also reports that there are shared genetic factors between migraines and conditions such as depression and high blood pressure. This means that a patient at risk of migraine disorders is also at greater risk of developing these comorbidities. 


Impact Of Hormones On Migraines

Women are two to three times more likely than men to develop migraines. One of the main reasons for this is that females experience significant fluctuations in estrogen levels during their lifetimes. 

Estrogen is a hormone responsible for enabling and regulating the female reproductive system. While the link between changes in estrogen levels and migraines isn’t fully understood, research has shown that there are mechanisms that can lead to migraine headaches:

  • Estrogen can impact the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) that influences mood and pain perception. 
  • Estrogen can cause changes in blood pressure and blood vessels, which have been seen to play a role in migraines. 

Estrogen fluctuations can occur due to a wide range of factors, including:

  • Using birth control (hormonal) medications
  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Hysterectomy
  • Gender-affirming surgeries
  • Pregnancy 
  • Childbirth 

During these health events, estrogen can suddenly spike or drop, which can lead to the development of a migraine disorder. It has been seen that many women experience menstrual migraines in the days leading up to the menstruation, or within three days after the period starts.

Some of the most influential events associated with migraines include pregnancy and perimenopause. 


Migraine headaches are a common type of headache during pregnancy, alongside tension headaches. If you have been diagnosed with a migraine disorder, you are likely to notice an increase in the intensity and frequency of attacks during the first trimester, due to the quickly rising levels of estrogen and the expansion of blood vessels in the brain (due to changes in serotonin levels). 

After the third month of pregnancy, these headaches tend to ease down and become less frequent, but you may experience a new onset aura during the second and third trimesters. 


Perimenopause And Menopause

Perimenopause is a transitioning period leading up to menopause. It usually occurs in the months or years before your last period. During perimenopause, you are likely to experience spiking and dropping estrogen levels, which are accompanied by symptoms such as high-stress levels, anxiety, lack of sleep, hot flashes, and, as a result, tension headaches. 

These symptoms can act as triggers for migraine attacks, making headaches more frequent and intense during this period. Migraines tend to become less frequent or go into remission after menopause. 

During these significant changes, it is important to talk to your doctor to find treatment options that will allow you to manage your symptoms more easily. 


Neurological Factors

As we have seen above, migraine disorders are classified as neurological disorders. So, it isn’t surprising that certain neurological factors can influence how likely you are to get migraines.

In particular, neurological changes that may lead to migraines are:

  • Changes in blood flow to the brain, or conditions that cause the narrowing of blood vessels
  • Altered brain chemistry and pathways
  • Incorrect nerve signaling and neurotransmitter imbalances

Conditions that may lead to these changes include:

  • Suffering from chronic pain, which over time changes how pain signals are processed in the brain
  • Deformities in the shape and size of blood vessels in the brain 
  • Abnormal pressure in the brain 
  • Diseases such as stroke, brain tumors, and meningitis
  • Inflammatory conditions of the brain 
  • Traumatic brain injury 

Developing migraines can also increase the risk of cognitive disorders, such as an early decline of cognitive abilities, problems with memory and concentration, psychiatric conditions, and dementia. 

Cortical Spreading Depression

Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a condition that causes a wave of sustained depolarization, or the inactivation of neurons. This wave travels through brain tissues and can cause a suppression of brain activity which, in turn, causes changes in the neurons and blood vessels in the brain. Although this disorder is highly complex, it has been seen to be associated with conditions such as seizures and brain ischemia. It is also suggested that CSD represents the underlying mechanism of the migraine aura


Serotonin Imbalance

As we explored above, the neurotransmitter serotonin – also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) – may play a critical role in the development of migraine disorders. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that carries messages between the nerve cells in the brain to the nerve cells in the body, and vice-versa. 

Although this neurotransmitter plays several roles in the body, it mainly influences functions such as memory, happiness, learning, sexual behavior, hunger, and body temperature. A lack of serotonin is associated with depression, anxiety, and several other health disorders. Serotonin also plays a role in pain perception and vasoconstriction (the narrowing of blood vessels). 

Studies have highlighted that, among the many neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin is involved with the activation of the trigeminovascular nociceptive pathway, a pain-signaling pathway composed of blood vessels in the brain and the trigeminal nerve (a nerve that runs across the side of the face). The activation of this pathway can trigger or intensify pain perception. 


Effect Of Having Certain Lifestyles

Certain lifestyle factors – as well as drastic lifestyle changes – can lead to the development of migraine disorders. These factors can also become triggers for migraine attacks. 

Learning to recognize what your triggers are can help you mitigate the effects of a migraine attack or even interrupt it altogether. You can do so by avoiding your triggers or seeking rescue medications and actions (e.g. rest, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, etc.) after exposure. 

Below, we’ll look at some of the main lifestyle factors that may be causing you to have regular headaches. 



Stress is a normal part of life. However, if you suffer from chronically high stress levels or you’ve been diagnosed with migraine disorders, this can be a major trigger for recurring headaches. 

Studies have shown that, over time, stressors can alter the brain state and increase the excitability of cortical neurons. This can lead to changes in the pathways in the brain, as well as mood and behavior alterations. These changes can impact how well your body adapts to external stimuli, and even a minor stressor can become a trigger for a migraine attack (something that would not happen to migraine-free people). 


Many kinds of stress can lead to headache attacks, including having a high-pressure job, enduring long commutes, raising kids, or financial stress. Interestingly, a sudden drop in stress levels (e.g., when you are ready to relax after a tough week at work) can also trigger a migraine. 


Dietary Triggers

Some foods can trigger migraine attacks and increase your risk of suffering from recurring migraines. This is due to several factors that may come into play. For example, some foods cause blood vessels to dilate (expand) or restrict, thus changing the blood flow to the brain. 

Ingredients, such as food additives, have also been seen to trigger nausea, vomiting, and headaches in people suffering from migraines. Some of the most commonly reported dietary triggers for migraines include:

  • Fermented foods
  • Pickled foods
  • Salty or spicy foods
  • Cured meats, aged cheeses, and smoked fish
  • Yeast extract
  • Chocolate 
  • Food preservatives that contain nitrites and nitrates
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol (especially beer and red wine)
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Caffeine
  • Some vitamins and herbal supplements 
  • High-sugar drinks 

Other important dietary factors that may trigger headaches include skipping a meal and drastic changes in blood sugar levels. You may notice that some foods can trigger a headache right away, while others cause a delayed effect. Additionally, not all the foods seen above will trigger a migraine attack in every person with migraine. 


Overconsumption Of Caffeine

Having a cup of coffee each morning can be a nice pick-me-up and a staple in your daily morning ritual. However, consuming too much caffeine – more than 100 mg of caffeine – can be a major trigger for migraines. 

Caffeine works by affecting the action of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical readily available in the brain, responsible for controlling brain electrical activity, blood vessel widening, and functions such as sleep and movement. To manage these aspects, adenosine needs to stick to certain receptor molecules located on the surface of brain cells. Caffeine works by inhibiting the action of these receptors, and, in turn, of adenosine. 

This chain of reactions can lead to increased brain activity and the widening of blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to migraines. However, it has been seen that, if you don’t make regular use of caffeine, a strong cup of coffee can also stop a migraine



It is estimated that over three-quarters of American adults are chronically dehydrated. However, this should not be considered a normal or healthy state of the body. Without adequate hydration, your body is unable to support essential functions, including digestion, immunity, and tissue regeneration. Poor hydration can also lead to disorders such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and migraines. 

Although it isn’t entirely clear how dehydration can cause headaches, when your body isn’t getting enough fluids, the brain (as well as other tissues in the body) may begin to shrink and pull away from the skull. This undue pressure can lead to a headache. 


Sleep Patterns

Irregular sleep patterns or suffering from sleep disturbances and disorders (e.g. insomnia), can lead to more frequent migraine attacks. 

For example, waking up often during the night can prevent you from staying for as long as needed in the REM sleep phase. This can increase the levels of certain proteins associated with the development of headaches. 

Additionally, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can increase self-reported pain and influence the action of serotonin, which may be involved in the development of a migraine attack. There’s a two-way relationship between sleep quality and migraines: suffering from chronic migraines can deteriorate your sleep quality over time, which makes migraines more likely. 


Connection Between Emotions And Frequent Migraines

A study published in 2020 suggests that nearly 80% of people suffering from migraine disorders experience depression at one point in their lives, and they are more likely to suffer from intense anxiety and suicidal tendencies. 

The relationship between emotional health and migraines is highly complex. Firstly, it has been seen that some genetic factors increase the risk of migraines, as well as common comorbidities such as depression and anxiety. On the other hand, the pain, reduced productivity, nausea and vomiting, and the fear of experiencing another attack can take a toll on a person’s mental health. 

Ultimately, addressing the underlying emotional factors leading to migraine attacks may help you manage the intensity and frequency of headache episodes. 


Link Between Gut Health And Long-Term Migraines

To understand how your gut health may cause you to keep getting migraines, it is important to look at the gut-brain axis. This is a bidirectional (two-way) relationship between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system (which is composed of the brain and spinal cord). 

It has been seen that gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome may increase the risk of migraines. However, today, the mechanics of this interaction aren’t entirely clear. 

Hypotheses suggest that the composition of the gut bacteria, as well as inflammation, stress hormones, and nutritional imbalances, may trigger chronic migraine episodes. Additionally, 95% of the serotonin available to the body is produced in the intestine. As we have seen above, this chemical can significantly influence the brain pathways and reactions that lead to migraines.


Poor Sleep Quality

In the sections above, we’ve looked at how irregular sleeping patterns or sleep deprivation can increase your risk of suffering from frequent migraine attacks. This occurs because functions such as sleep, mood, pain perception, and, consequently, headaches are controlled by common chemical brain messengers and regions in the brain. 

What’s more, when you are not getting enough sleep, your pain threshold lowers, thus making you more susceptible to painful stimuli. Because of this, up to 75% of people with chronic migraines also suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia.

To break this vicious cycle, follow some best practices to stabilize your sleep patterns. These include:

  • Aim to sleep 7-9 hours per night.
  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Keep your bedroom clear of devices that emit noise or light.
  • Avoid blue light-emitting devices before bed, as these can influence the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for inducing sleep). 
  • Unwind before bed with relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, or self-care actions such as a warm bath.
  • Treat any underlying disorder that may be causing sleep disturbances, such as obstructive sleep apnea.

It is important to notice that sleeping too much can also trigger migraines. 


Identifying Triggers For Recurring Migraines 

Migraine triggers vary from one person to another, and they can even change throughout your lifetime. However, learning to recognize what’s at the root of your headache episodes can help you in two main ways:

  • It can help you avoid triggers, thus making headaches less intense and less frequent. 
  • It can help you seek contingency treatments after exposure, such as getting enough rest, lowering stress levels, and following rescue therapy. 

No two people will have the same migraine triggers. However, six of the most common triggers you should learn to recognize include:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Changes in your sleep patterns
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Environmental factors
  • Physical triggers, such as allergies or dental problems

If you are unsure how to identify your triggers, consider keeping a journal of your migraine attacks. In your journal, you’ll want to record details of your headache, such as premonitory signs (prodrome or aura), intensity, frequency, duration, and relevant aspects, such as how you felt when the attack happened, what you had for dinner, or notable events that happened before your symptoms started. 

This journal can help you and your healthcare provider find an adequate treatment to manage your migraine attacks. 


Conventional Treatment For Recurring Migraines

Often, the causes and triggers of migraine attacks aren’t well understood. Because of this, patients often resort to conservative lines of treatment that aim to make the symptoms of this disorder more manageable. 

These treatment options may do very little to cure or modify your disease, but they can help you in the short term to manage the most severe symptoms of migraine. Some, such as mind-body activities, may also help you better deal with triggers such as stress, sleep problems, and lifestyle changes. 

Below, we’ll look at the most common treatment options prescribed to individuals with migraines. 



One of the most common lines of treatment for migraines is medications. These can either be preventive or rescue medications, spending on whether they are taken to prevent an attack or reduce the intensity of an ongoing headache. 

  • Preventive treatments include medications to lower blood pressure, anti-seizure drugs, and antidepressants. These work by managing the blood flow to the brain and the chemical reactions involved with pain perception. 
  • Rescue treatments are prescribed during an attack, and they often involve pain medications or drugs that temporarily block the pathways in the brain related to pain (triptans). Some medications to treat individual symptoms (such as anti-nausea drugs) may also be prescribed. 

It is important to keep in mind that these medications should only be used to manage episodic, less frequent headaches. However, if you have chronic migraines, taking these medications regularly to manage your symptoms can expose you to severe side effects, including an increased risk of stroke and heart attack, kidney dysfunction, stomach ulcers, mood and behavior changes, loss of sensitivity, and, ultimately, tolerance and addiction. 


Non-Surgical Options

Non-surgical options are alternative treatments that can help you manage the symptoms of migraine disorders. Although these treatments are not always effective, they can help you better deal with triggers and relieve the intensity of a headache attack. 

These treatment options include:

  • Biofeedback. Biofeedback is a form of therapy that can help you learn to recognize negative patterns and make positive adjustments in your body, such as improving your breathing, relieving muscle tension, and gaining focus. 
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture can help ease stress and tension, and trigger the release of hormones, such as endorphins, that induce feelings of well-being. 
  • Massage therapy. Massages can help you relax and ease muscle tension, thus staying safe from everyday triggers such as high stress levels. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychological therapy that can help you identify your triggers and reduce the intensity of a migraine attack. It has been seen to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches in 30-60% of patients with migraines


Mind-Body Therapies

Certain mind-body therapies have been seen to help reduce stress, relieve tension, increase pain tolerance, and boost self-awareness, which is critical to managing how we react to stress and triggers in everyday life. Some of these therapies, which work by improving the interaction between the body and the mind, include yoga, tai chi, Pilates, meditation, praying or chanting, and guided imagery.

In particular, according to studies, mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques can efficiently improve disability, boost quality of life and self-efficacy, and reduce pain and depression in people with migraines. 


How Neuragenex Helps Manage Pain With Recurring Migraines

Chronic migraines – just like any other chronic pain condition – often stem from systemic inflammation, which has been seen as the root cause of life-limiting disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and metabolic dysfunction. 

If you are battling systemic inflammation, taking medications to ease your symptoms won’t do much to address the real source of the disease. However, chronic drug use can expose you to significant side effects and risks, which can further compromise your health in the long term. 

Nonetheless, there is a way to tackle the systemic inflammation that underlies your chronic pain. Here’s where the new, innovative protocol pioneered by Neuragenex comes in. Through a non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive approach, Neurofunctional Pain Management is designed to ease systemic inflammation, thus reducing pain and life-limiting symptoms. 

Although entirely customizable around your own unique health needs and goals, Neurofunctional Pain Management is based on three critical pillars: Electroanalgesia, IV Therapy, and Lifestyle Counseling. Let’s discover these protocols below. 



Electroanalgesia involves high-pulse electrical stimulation that targets the intricate connections between pain, the nervous system, and the brain. This non-invasive therapy can intercept pain signals at the nerve’s source, providing relief at a cellular level. By regulating the responses of the nervous system, electroanalgesia has the potential to relieve the painful symptoms of osteoporosis-related microfractures.


IV Therapy

At Neuragenex, our protocols utilize specialized intravenous therapy (IV therapy) to support your bone health. This is an efficient approach that delivers important vitamins and minerals directly to the circulatory system, boosting their bioavailability and maximizing their impact. IV therapy aims to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation with immune support and to promote bone health by optimizing the body’s bone remodeling process.


Lifestyle Counseling

At Neuragenex, we are aware that painful experiences extend to more than just physical symptoms; they also affect your mental health and feelings of well-being. Our team of experts fosters an approach to pain management that encompasses the whole person. To assist people with osteoporosis in making informed lifestyle decisions, we provide individualized lifestyle counseling. We offer advice that includes addressing the strategies that promote bone health and may decrease the progression of osteoporosis, as well as creating a positive attitude about living with this long-term condition.

Our specialized protocols utilize a combination of these innovative Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques to collaboratively address the pain associated with osteoporosis without relying on invasive treatments or prescription medications. We believe it’s essential to find a pain management strategy that best suits you and your lifestyle.


Prevent The Recurrence Of Your Pain From Happening Again

Being diagnosed with chronic migraine disorder can feel like a life sentence. But there is no reason why you should surrender to chronic pain, life-limiting symptoms, and devastating consequences. 

Thanks to the innovative treatment approach pioneered by Neuragenex – Neurofunctional Pain Management – you can regain control over your health and your life without medications or surgery.

The Four Stages Of Migraine Headaches

Today, it is estimated that over 12% of the population suffers from migraines, and a large percentage is affected by chronic episodes. While migraines aren’t life-threatening per se, they can have a profound impact on your mental health, physical well-being, productivity, and overall quality of life. 

That’s why, whether you are plagued by chronic headaches or looking to help a loved one diagnosed with migraines, it is vital to understand how this condition manifests itself. 

Migraines differ from other forms of pain in the head in the fact that they are classified as a neurological disorder, which derives from changes in the brain’s chemical reactions and pathways. Also, unlike other types of headaches, migraines occur in four distinct stages:

  • Prodrome
  • Aura
  • Migraine attack (headache)
  • Postdrome 

A lot about migraines isn’t yet well understood. However, educating yourself about the types and stages of migraines can help you improve your quality of life and even stop an attack as it begins to develop. Let’s cover these important topics in the sections below. 


1. Prodrome

The prodrome – also known as “pre-headache” – is often the first phase of a migraine. This premonitory phase is characterized by a range of symptoms and signs, which are usually related to visual changes, mood swings, and dysfunction of systems such as digestion. 

The prodrome phase usually develops within hours or days after you are exposed to a trigger. This phase indicates that a full-scale migraine attack is coming. However, there is a lot that you can do to halt the migraine as it develops, especially during this early stage. 

Some key takeaways include:

  • Identify what triggers your migraine attacks and avoid these lifestyle or environmental factors. Common migraine triggers include lack of sleep, skipping meals, high-stress levels, and hormonal changes, as well as certain foods, drinks, smells, or lights. 
  • Know the symptoms of the prodrome phase to act quickly. Prodrome symptoms and timeline can change from one person to another. Nonetheless, learning to recognize the ones that affect you can help you take preventive measures to block or reduce the intensity of the upcoming migraine attack. 
  • Avoid further exposure to triggers by staying hydrated, avoiding skipping meals, and trying stress management techniques. 
  • Take action to stop the upcoming attack. Some good practices include avoiding strong smells, lights, and sounds, taking a nap or resting, and using heating pads and ice packs to reduce tension. Stick to the treatment plan you’ve developed with your doctor. 

You should also learn to recognize the difference between prodrome symptoms and the signs of an aura. While these two experiences can overlap, they have distinct symptoms and durations. Learn more below.



As we have seen, premonitory symptoms can change significantly from one person to another. Common ones include:

  • Food cravings
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, or smells
  • Mood changes, such as feeling depressed or irritable
  • Fatigue and lack of focus
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Digestive problems, such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Excessive yawning 
  • Fluid retention or increased urination



Usually, prodrome symptoms start between three days and 24 hours before a migraine, and the abnormal sensations can last for hours or days at a time. 


2. Aura

No two people suffering from migraines will have exactly the same experience. And premonitory signs can vary, too. 

Usually, migraines are divided into three categories:

  • Migraine with aura. These are headaches that are preceded by premonitory signs.
  • Migraine without aura. These headaches develop suddenly and without warning signs. 
  • Silent migraines. These are defined by experiencing an aura, which is not followed by a headache. 


Around a third of people with migraines will experience at least one premonitory sign. These can be abnormal sensations, impaired speech, unexplained mood changes, or visual and motor disturbances. 

Although the causes of aura are not clear, research links these symptoms to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Below, we’ll look at the distinctive signs and duration of aura.



The aura phase is different from one person to another. However, learning to recognize the symptoms you tend to experience can help you go to a dark room or to rest, which may decrease the intensity of the upcoming headache. 

These symptoms include:

  • Visual disturbances, such as seeing dots, sparks of light, zig-zag lines, or blind spots. You may also have tunnel vision, vision loss, or blurred vision. In some cases, you may also experience hallucinations. 
  • Sensorimotor aura, or motor and sensory disturbances. These symptoms include impaired movement, tingling or numbness in the face and arms, weakness, and changes in smell or taste. 
  • Speech issues, such as impaired or slurred speech, mumbling, trouble writing, communication problems, difficulty understanding what people are saying, and cognitive problems (i.e. problems with your thinking). 

Other symptoms can also develop. For example, some people experience sensations of being touched, ringing in the ears, or feeling like they are looking at objects through water. 



The neurological symptoms of an aura tend to develop in the 24 hours before the headache. In most cases, symptoms intensify shortly before the migraine attack, usually within 10 – 60 minutes. 


3. Headache Or Migraine Attack

The headache is the main phase of a migraine attack. During this stage, you are likely to experience severe throbbing pain, sensitivity to lights and sounds, sleep disturbances, and problems like nausea and vomiting. 

The pain can be so intense that it prevents you from being able to work or concentrate, and it can force you to lie in a dark, quiet room for hours at a time. 

Understanding what symptoms characterize your migraine can help you find a line of treatment that can help ease your symptoms. These are “rescue” treatments that won’t help treat the root cause of migraines but can ease symptoms during flare-ups. 



Each migraine attack varies in intensity and nature. Some of the most common symptoms you may experience include are:


  • Severe throbbing pain. The pain is usually localized to one side of the face, but it can move from one side to the other during an attack. Painful sensations can spread to the neck and shoulders and be so severe to interfere with daily activities and sleep. 

Migraine pain derives from abnormal waves of activity among excitable brain cells. These cells signal chemicals (such as serotonin and estrogen) to narrow blood vessels and nerve endings, which causes throbbing pain. 

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. During a migraine attack, you may be over-sensitive to stimuli, including noise, odors, taste, and light. This symptom develops due to changes in how the brain processes stimuli. Lying in a dark, quiet room can help. 
  • Nausea and vomiting. These symptoms occur in around a third of migraine attacks. Vomiting may represent the last stage of a headache, and it may have a stimulating effect on the vagus nerve, which may help relieve pain. 
  • Fatigue and cognitive difficulties. During a migraine attack, you may feel extremely fatigued, tired, and unable to concentrate. Suffering from chronic migraines can also have a long-lasting impact on your cognitive abilities and increase the risk of dementia and other psychiatric disorders. 

These symptoms are often a consequence of the pain, nausea, sleep deprivation, and hypersensitivity you experience during a migraine. 


Other symptoms that may occur during a migraine attack include:



A migraine attack can last from several hours to a few days. In particular, the most intense symptoms last around four hours. However, if left unaddressed, pain, vomiting, dizziness, and hypersensitivity can last up to 72 hours. 


4. Postdrome

The postdrome phase – also known as “migraine hangover” – occurs after the headache and pain have subsided. During this stage, you’ll experience muscle weakness, feel tired or confused, and suffer pain and discomfort anywhere in the body.

Although this stage signals the end of a migraine attack, it can increase your recovery time or delay your return to work. To reduce the syndrome of postdrome, follow best practices such as:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Practicing mild stretching
  • Reducing stress
  • Keeping safe from migraine triggers (e.g. skipping meals, or bright lights)
  • Using medications as instructed by your doctor



Postdrome symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore body or muscles
  • Unexplained mood changes or sensations, such as feeling euphoric or depressed
  • Brain fog
  • Dehydration 
  • Lack of focus



The timeline and duration of a migraine attack can vary from one person to another. However, studies have shown that postdrome symptoms occur in around 88% of cases and last an average of 24 hours. Some residual symptoms – such as weakness and confusion – can linger for up to 48 hours after the headache.


When To Seek Medical Help For Migraines

While migraines are not necessarily life-threatening, they can profoundly impact your life. Those battling this condition miss an average of 4.4 days of work per year and have a further 11 days of reduced productivity. Increased medical costs, lack of sleep, and excessive stress can also contribute to declining mental and cognitive health. 

To make things worse is the fact that episodic migraines, which occur less than 15 times a month, can become chronic and cause people to deal with over 15 days of headache a month. In this case, seeking adequate treatment can help your condition regress into episodic headaches, which are milder, less disruptive, and easier to manage. 

You should also seek immediate medical care if, at any stage of your migraine episode, you experience symptoms such as numbness, vision loss, shortness of breath, chest pain, nosebleeds, high fever, or slurred speech. These symptoms can indicate another underlying and potentially life-threatening condition, such as a stroke.

The signs that you should see a doctor without delay include: 

  • Several headaches per month that last for hours or days. These indicate a chronic condition that, unless properly managed, can interfere with your daily life. 
  • Headaches that affect daily functions. If you are unable to sleep, go to work, or concentrate on a task due to your headaches, you should find a line of treatment that can help you reduce the frequency and intensity of your attacks. 
  • Nausea, vomiting, or sensory disturbances. These symptoms are common in some people with migraines. But if your migraine attacks don’t usually come with nausea, vomiting and sensory disturbances, and you suddenly experience these symptoms, they may indicate complications such as neurological problems
  • Severe headaches with stiff neck. A headache accompanied by stiffness and pain in the neck can indicate trauma, infections, or pinched nerves, which require a different line of treatment.
  • Pain around the ear or eye. Pain around an eye can indicate a case of ocular or retinal migraine, which is a rare condition that can lead to temporary vision changes or vision loss.
  • Headaches starting without warning. Headaches that strike suddenly and without warning (known as thunderclap headaches) can indicate severe, potentially life-threatening problems such as bleeding in and around the brain. 


Find Relief For Migraine At Any Stage With Neuragenex

Migraines can interfere with your personal and professional lives. To make things worse is also the fact that doctors may recommend treatments that do very little to treat the root cause of your disease, while exposing you to unnecessary side effects. 

Fortunately, there’s another path to regaining your health. The Neurofunctional Pain Management protocol pioneered by Neuragenex can help you tackle the systemic inflammation at the root of most migraine attacks – without medications or surgery. 

Through electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling, you can also better manage your stress levels, improve your sleep quality, and fine-tune your environment to reduce sensitivity to triggers.

How Long Do Migraines Last? Your Questions On Migraines Answered

Are you experiencing recurring headaches or migraines that seem to last longer than you think they should? You’re probably asking yourself, “How long do migraines last? And when should I seek help?”

Understanding the duration of a migraine attack can offer valuable insights into managing and treating this debilitating condition.

In this article, we aim to provide valuable insights into migraines by exploring their different types, the distinct phases that make up a migraine attack, and the average duration of these episodes.

We’ll also discuss the crucial importance of monitoring symptoms, the challenges involved in diagnosing migraines, and when it’s essential to seek medical attention. In addition, we will share practical at-home remedies that may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

We also want to introduce you to Neuragenex’s person-centered approach and specialized therapies, which aim to provide long-lasting and effective relief from migraines, without relying solely on medications.

Migraines can be truly puzzling, as the duration of an attack can vary significantly from person to person. By addressing the unique questions surrounding this condition, we hope to shed light on effective strategies for managing and alleviating its symptoms.

Let’s begin by defining what migraines are and what sets them apart from regular headaches.

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are so much more than just regular headaches. They are a neurological condition that causes recurrent episodes of moderate to severe headaches, which are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.

Migraines can have a profound impact on your daily activities. Moreover, when migraines become chronic, they can be disabling and have a significant effect on your quality of life and overall well-being.

While the exact cause of migraines is still not fully understood, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors.

To get a clear understanding of how migraines can impact you, let’s discuss the different types of migraines and how long they typically last.

Type Of Migraines And Duration of Pain

Did you know that there are up to eight different types of migraines? Each type comes with its own unique set of symptoms and triggers. If you’re interested in learning more about these different types, we have a dedicated page called Understanding The Various Types of Migraines that delves into each one in great detail.

However, the two most common types of migraines are:

  • Migraines without aura: Also known as “common migraines”, these account for about 80% of migraine cases. They are characterized by moderate to severe pulsating headaches that typically occur on one side of the head, along with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • The duration of migraines without aura can range from a few hours to several days.
  • Migraines with aura: In addition to common migraine symptoms, some people experience neurological symptoms known as “aura” before the onset of the headache pain. These aura symptoms can include visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights or zigzag patterns, as well as tingling sensations in the face or hands.
  • The duration of migraines with aura can vary, but the auras typically last for about an hour, followed by the headache phase

If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, you may have noticed a pattern in the way they come and go. That’s because migraines often follow distinguishable phases, similar to a life cycle. In the next section, we will explore these phases in detail.

Phases Of A Migraine Attack

A migraine attack consists of several distinct phases, each with its own characteristics and duration. Understanding these phases can help you to better recognize the progression of your migraines and take appropriate measures to manage the symptoms effectively.

Prodrome Phase

The prodrome (or ‘early symptom’) phase occurs from a few hours to several days before the onset of a migraine headache. During this phase, individuals may experience subtle changes that signal an impending migraine attack.

These changes can include mood swings, fatigue, food cravings, increased thirst, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.

Aura Phase

In individuals who experience migraines with auras, the aura phase typically occurs right before the onset of the headache pain. Aura symptoms can manifest as visual disturbances, sensory changes, or even difficulty speaking. The duration of the aura phase is usually short, lasting around 20 minutes to an hour.

Headache Or Main Attack Stage

The headache phase is the most intense and debilitating part of a migraine attack. It is characterized by throbbing or pulsating headache pain, usually on one side of the head. Other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, are also common during this phase.

The duration of the headache phase can vary widely, ranging from a few hours to several days.

Resolution Phase

After the headache phase, many individuals experience a resolution phase where the pain gradually subsides. During this phase, they may still feel fatigued or have difficulty concentrating. The duration of the resolution phase varies from person to person, but it is generally shorter than the headache phase.

Postdrome Phase

The postdrome phase, also known as the migraine hangover, occurs after the resolution phase. During this phase, individuals may feel exhausted and irritable, and may experience lingering mild headaches. The postdrome phase can last for several hours to a couple of days.

Now that we have an understanding of the various types of migraines and their characteristic phases, we can start putting together the puzzle of how long a typical migraine lasts.

How Long Does A Migraine Last?

When it comes to the duration of a migraine, there are some general guidelines to consider. According to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF), the painful headache associated with a migraine can last anywhere from four to 72 hours on average. This holds true for both migraines with and without auras.

It’s important to remember, however, that migraine duration can vary significantly from person to person and even from one episode to another. Several factors come into play, including the specific type of migraine, individual triggers, and the effectiveness of treatment.

The AMF also indicates that when taking into account the entire migraine episode, which encompasses the prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome phases, the duration can range from a little over one day to slightly over a week. While it is uncommon for a migraine attack to last for this longer duration, most sufferers’ typical migraines last one to two days.

So, why does the overall duration of migraines matter? And what if you experience migraines that vary in intensity and duration? Understanding your own migraines on a deeper level is crucial, and in the next section, we will explain why this is so important and how it can benefit you.

The Significance of Monitoring Migraine Symptoms

Monitoring the onset and duration of your migraine symptoms is vital for effective management and treatment. By diligently keeping track of your migraines, you can identify patterns, triggers, and warning signs that may help prevent or reduce the frequency and intensity of future attacks.

Gaining insights into your unique migraine patterns empowers you to take better control of your condition and make well-informed decisions regarding your treatment and lifestyle choices.

Additionally, tracking your symptoms will also provide valuable information for healthcare professionals, enabling them to accurately assess your condition and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

This is helpful because the process of diagnosing migraines can present challenges. Let’s dive into the reasons why this process can be a complex task.

Challenges In Diagnosing A Migraine

Diagnosing migraines is often a challenging task because there are currently no specific tests to confirm the condition. Healthcare professionals rely on a detailed medical history, symptom patterns, and ruling out other possible causes to make an accurate diagnosis.

It’s worth noting that several other conditions can cause symptoms similar to migraines, such as tension headaches, cluster headaches, and even sphenoid sinusitis.

Seeking professional help is crucial if you experience chronic headaches or migraines. By doing so, you can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment to effectively manage your symptoms.

Next, we will explore how to recognize the signs indicating that it may be time to seek additional help for your migraines.

When Should You See A Doctor?

While migraines are a common condition, affecting 10% of people worldwide, there are certain red flags that should prompt you to seek medical attention. You should seek advice from a healthcare professional if:

  • Your headaches are significantly impacting your daily life and activities.
  • Your headaches are accompanied by neurological symptoms like confusion, slurred speech, or weakness in one side of the body.
  • You experience sudden and severe headaches unlike any you have had before.
  • Your headaches worsen or become more frequent.
  • You have a history of migraines but notice a change in the pattern or severity of your headaches.

Remember, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can significantly improve your quality of life and help you manage migraines effectively.

Now that we have gained a deep understanding of what migraines are, what to typically expect, and when to seek additional help, let’s shift our focus toward exploring various strategies to prevent and find relief from migraines.

What Can You Do At Home To Mitigate Migraine Attacks?

While medical intervention is the conventional treatment for managing migraines, there are also several lifestyle changes and at-home remedies that may help mitigate the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. Here are a few strategies you can try:

Keep A Migraine Journal

Keeping a detailed record of your migraines in a journal can help you identify triggers and patterns. Note down the date, time, duration, symptoms, potential triggers (such as certain foods, stress, or lack of sleep), and the effectiveness of any treatments or remedies you try.

This information can provide valuable insights for you and your healthcare professional in managing your migraines.

Manage Stress

Stress is a common trigger for migraines, so finding healthy ways to manage stress can be beneficial. Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy and help you unwind.

Prioritizing self-care and taking regular breaks can also help reduce stress levels and potentially prevent migraine attacks.

Check Your Eating Habits

Certain foods and beverages are well known to act as triggers for migraines in some individuals. To manage your migraine attacks, it is essential to identify and avoid any potential dietary triggers. Common culprits include processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, aged cheeses, and foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate).

Maintaining a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and eating regular meals can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of migraines.

Get Enough Sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for overall health and can play a significant role in migraine management. Establish a regular sleep schedule and create a conducive sleep environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

Avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep quality. If you have difficulty sleeping, consult your healthcare professional for guidance and potential treatment options.

We Can Help You With Pounding Migraine Pain At Neuragenex

Migraines, with their variable durations and debilitating symptoms, can pose significant challenges to navigate and can significantly impact your daily life. As mentioned above, the duration of a migraine typically ranges from four to 72 hours, but seeking medical help becomes crucial if attacks worsen or persist.

Through sharing this article’s valuable insights, our aim is to empower individuals to seek suitable treatment and effective strategies for managing migraines and their accompanying symptoms.

While lifestyle changes like stress management, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition can help reduce frequency and intensity, acknowledging the complexity of this condition is important.

At Neuragenex, we specialize in Neurofunctional Pain Management and are dedicated to providing effective relief for migraine sufferers. Our compassionate and dedicated team specializes in developing personalized treatment plans that target the underlying neurological factors, aiming to provide long-term relief and improve well-being for individuals with all types of migraines.

With our expertise, we have assisted numerous patients in finding relief from the painful symptoms of migraines. Take control of your migraines today by reaching out to Neuragenex for personalized care and support. Let us assist you in managing your migraines and enhancing your quality of life.



Understanding Migraine Symptoms

Migraines are much more complicated than your average headache. They are a complex neurological condition that has an impact on millions of people worldwide, and they also have the potential to severely impact your quality of life. 

If you suffer from migraine attacks or have seen someone experience one,  you might understand how intense these recurring headaches can be. But what truly sets migraines apart from regular headaches is the wide range of additional symptoms that can accompany them.

So, why is there such a wide range of migraine symptoms? Firstly, there are many different types of migraines, and each type can have its own distinct set of accompanying symptoms. Secondly,  there are certain individual triggers that can provoke a migraine attack, and how your body responds to these triggers also contributes to what symptoms are experienced.

The fact that migraines are such highly individualized experiences is another reason why migraines are so complex. Symptoms can vary from person to person and even from one migraine attack to another, which makes them more difficult to treat. 

To effectively manage migraines or support someone who suffers from them,  it is helpful to have an understanding of the various types and their typical symptoms. Only you can truly understand your migraines. Our goal is to give you the knowledge on how to distinguish them and find the strategies to reduce their severity to improve your overall well-being. 

By understanding the symptoms and how they differ between the numerous types of migraines, you’ll be better prepared to recognize when you might be suffering a migraine attack, how to manage them, and when it might be time to seek medical help. 

In this article, we explore the causes of migraines and outline in depth the symptoms associated with some of the numerous migraines. We also outline some of the strategies available for managing and alleviating symptoms so you can take control of your migraines for good.

Migraine Causes

Migraines have numerous potential causes, which can be multifactorial and different for each person. Although the exact biological mechanisms behind migraine attacks are not fully understood, there are some well-known factors that play a part in causing them.

One significant factor is your family history, as migraines are seen to have a genetic component. If you have a parent who suffers from migraines, your chances of developing them are increased by 50%.

Another aspect is fluctuations in the blood vessel activity within the brain. Sudden changes to these blood vessels can be triggered by changes in the body’s chemicals, hormones, or even external factors. As the brain’s blood vessels are stimulated to narrow or expand, it can falsely activate certain pain receptors that contribute to migraines.

The brain’s chemistry is a very intricate space, and it requires a delicate balance of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. 

An imbalance of these neurotransmitters can also disrupt the body’s normal pain signals and contribute to the onset of migraines. Imbalances of these neurotransmitters can be influenced by genetics, hormones, medications, or other external factors in your environment. 

Additionally, if the central nervous system becomes more sensitive due to increased levels of stress, illness, or certain conditions, it can further alter the body’s pain signals, causing a migraine attack and its specific set of associated symptoms.

Highlighted below are some particular triggers that are known to further contribute to these underlying mechanisms. These triggers involve both physiological and environmental factors that can ultimately lead to a migraine attack.

Common Migraine Triggers

By recognizing some of the common migraine triggers, you can take steps to understand your own migraines and gain better control over their episodes. While the following list is not exhaustive and individual experiences may vary, these common elements have been identified as triggers to migraines and their debilitating symptoms. 

  • Food and drinks

Common dietary triggers include caffeine, alcohol (particularly red wine), food additives such as aspartame and MSG, and tyramine-rich foods such as aged cheeses and cured meats, citrus fruits, and chocolate. 

These particular foods are thought to trigger a migraine attack due to the presence of specific chemicals or substances that have the potential to influence blood vessels, neurotransmitters, and the sensitivity of the nervous system. 

  • Hormonal changes

Hormone fluctuations, particularly estrogen, can have a real impact on migraines. Meaning events such as the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause may trigger or even worsen migraines.  

Interestingly, hormonal contraceptives may contribute to migraines in some women but could potentially provide relief for others, depending on an individual’s natural hormone levels. 

  • Stress

During times of increased stress, the brain’s delicate balance of neurotransmitters can be altered, which may contribute to the onset of a migraine. 

Additionally, the difficult emotions that often accompany stress, such as anxiety, can lead to increased muscle tension and even impact the brain’s blood vessels. This combination of factors has the potential to intensify the severity of migraines.

Indirectly, stress can also disrupt your regular sleeping patterns, which alters the body’s natural hormonal balance and triggers a migraine attack. 

  • Sensory stimulation

Environmental factors have the ability to overstimulate our sensory pathways. Bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and even certain textures might be enough to activate the brain’s sensitive pain-processing neurotransmitters, leading to throbbing pain and other migraine symptoms.

Certain changes in the weather, such as humidity, heat, or storms, may also be a common sensory trigger for a migraine attack.

  • Medication

There are certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that are known to trigger the onset of a migraine for some people. 

These include medications that dilate or constrict your blood vessels, hormonal medications (the contraceptive pill or hormonal replacement therapy), over-the-counter pain medications (when overused), and medications that affect the central nervous system (such as certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, and sleeping tablets).

This is often very individualized, and not all people who take these medications will experience migraines. 

  • Illness

When our bodies are actively fighting an underlying illness or infection, there are several factors that have the potential to trigger migraines. 

Hormonal imbalances and stress responses that occur from an illness or disease can directly affect our blood vessels, nerves, and brain chemistry, making it more likely for susceptible individuals to experience migraines. 

In addition to these particular triggers, it’s important to recognize that there are many different types of migraines people can experience. With the various types of migraines, each one can present with a unique set of signs and symptoms.

By going beyond just the triggers of your migraines, you can gain a deeper understanding of your migraine type and better navigate your own symptoms and treatment options more effectively.

Migraine Types And Their Symptoms

Migraines are highly individual experiences, and it’s important to recognize that everyone’s migraine journey is likely to be unique. The complex nature of an individual’s migraines means they can present in diverse ways, with different types of migraines presenting their own set of defining symptoms. 

Some individuals may consistently encounter a specific type of migraine, while others may experience different types at different times. For example

Migraine With Aura

A migraine with an aura, also known as a classic migraine, is a type of migraine where some visual disturbances arise before the migraine pain. Auras are often seen as an early indicator to anticipate an impending migraine attack.

The duration of the aura can vary, ranging from a few minutes to potentially several hours. The aura might also present as a range of different visual disturbances, and they can vary from person to person. These symptoms can be unsettling, but it’s important to remember that they are usually reversible and tend to fade away before or shortly after the migraine headache sets in.

  • Aura Symptoms

Visual disturbances that involve seeing flashing or flickering lights, noticing blind spots or areas of reduced vision, experiencing zigzag lines or shimmering patterns, or even having temporary vision loss or blurry vision.

  • Intense head pain

Following the aura is a throbbing headache that is typically localized on one side of the head. This head pain can significantly impact your daily life and last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

  • Nausea

Nausea and sometimes vomiting are common accompanying symptoms of a classic migraine. This is because the digestive system often becomes more sensitive during a migraine attack.

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

A heightened sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia) during a migraine attack is not uncommon. Exposure to bright lights or loud noises can intensify the migraine symptoms and cause additional discomfort, often making people want to retreat to dark rooms for relief. 

  • Feeling hyper or cranky

Changes in emotions and behaviors can lead some people to feel hyperactive or irritable. This can result in feelings of restlessness or crankiness.

  • Fatigue

A general sense of fatigue and low energy are also common throughout and after a migraine attack.

Migraine Without Aura

A Migraine without aura is better known as a common migraine. It is the most prevalent type of migraine and doesn’t present with the distinctive aura phase. Although, a common migraine is often associated with many other typical migraine symptoms, such as: 

  • Moderate to severe headache

The major presenting symptom of a migraine without aura is moderate to severe pain that generally affects one side of the head. The pain is usually described as pulsing or throbbing in nature, which can be debilitating and disrupt your daily activities. 

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Individuals who experience common migraines may also become highly sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia) during an episode. Exposure to bright lights or loud noises can exacerbate migraine symptoms and cause discomfort.

  • Nausea and vomiting

Many people experience gastrointestinal symptoms with a common migraine, including nausea and vomiting. These symptoms accompany the headache, exacerbating the pain and further contributing to overall discomfort.

  • Neck stiffness or pain

Common migraine attacks can sometimes be accompanied by neck stiffness or pain. This discomfort in the neck region may occur concurrently with the headache or act as an early warning sign. 

Beyond the classic and common migraines, there is a wide range of other migraine types that you might experience. Most different migraine types are associated with a unique set of accompanying symptoms. 

Learning about the different types of migraines helps you better comprehend and manage the specific patterns of your own migraines. Below, we provide a list of different migraine types along with their unique signs and symptoms:

Menstrual Migraine

Menstrual migraines tend to occur in a predictable pattern, following the normal hormonal fluctuations of estrogen in the system throughout your cycle. 

Usually, a menstrual migraine will occur within two days directly before menstruation or within the first three days of menstruation. However, the timing can vary for each individual and differ if you suffer from an irregular menstrual cycle. 

Other than their predictable timing, symptoms of a menstrual cycle is usually similar to a common migraine and include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Visual and auditory sensitivities
  • Fatigue and mood changes
  • Nausea and vomiting

Silent Migraine

A silent migraine, also known as an acephalgic migraine, is a unique type of migraine that doesn’t bring about the typical throbbing headache pain along with its other migraine symptoms. While you may not have a headache, silent migraines can still be debilitating and disrupt daily activities. 

Fortunately, silent migraines tend not to last as long as a typical migraine, and their symptoms can include:

  • Aura symptoms
  • Fatigue and mood changes
  • Nausea and vomiting

Vestibular Migraine

The vestibular system controls the body’s balance and spatial orientation, and a vestibular migraine affects this sensitive system. This type of migraine is quite unique and causes various symptoms related to the inner ear and balance, leading to significant discomfort and disruption. Symptoms often include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Sensitivity to motion or movement
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Aura symptoms
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal migraines are a type of migraine where the associated symptoms primarily affect the abdominal region, often causing intense pain and discomfort. They more commonly occur in children but can also affect adults. An abdominal migraine doesn’t typically come with a throbbing headache but is known to have other identifying symptoms, including:

  • Intense abdominal pain and cramping
  • Gastrointestinal upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) 
  • Fatigue
  • Paling of the skin

Hemiplegic Migraine

Hemiplegic migraines are a rare and complex form of migraine that can involve temporary paralysis or weakness on one side of the body (hemiplegia). This particular type of migraine can be very distressing to those who experience them and can be difficult to manage.

A hemiplegic migraine can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. After the migraine, individuals usually experience a recovery period, where they gradually regain full strength and normal neurological function. A Hemiplegic’s associated symptoms include

  • Hemiplegia
  • Confusion
  • Vertigo (Dizziness)
  • Coordination problems
  • Throbbing headache
  • Aura Symptoms

Ocular Migraine

Ocular migraines are also known as retinal migraines and are a specific type of migraine that primarily impacts your visual system. 

Unlike typical migraines, an ocular migraine has a relatively shorter duration which typically lasts for less than an hour. Their unique symptoms typically manifest through visual disturbances, such as blind or blurred spots, flashing lights, or unusual patterns. 

It’s important to note that ocular migraines typically do not cause permanent visual impairment. The main symptoms associated with ocular migraines include:

  • Aura Symptoms 
  • Temporary vision loss (not permanent) 
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Migraine with Brainstem Aura

A migraine with brainstem aura is a rare subtype of migraine that involves symptoms that originate from the brainstem. The brainstem is the lower section of the brain that connects to the spinal cord. It is a crucial component of the nervous system and plays a significant role in various bodily functions.

A migraine with brainstem aura may occur concurrently or separately from a classic or common migraine and brings symptoms including:

  • Aura Symptoms
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Vertigo (Dizziness) 
  • Coordination problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Throbbing headache

Status Migrainosus

A migraine attack that is both prolonged and severe, lasting for a period over 72 hours, is described as status migrainosus. One of the defining symptoms of status migrainosus is its relentless persistence that typically does not respond well to standard migraine treatments, making its management quite challenging.

The prolonged nature of this type of migraine can greatly impact an individual’s daily life and is best treated with a specialized management plan. Symptoms often include the prolonged duration of: 

  • Throbbing headache (resistant to treatments)
  • Visual and auditory sensitivities
  • Visual auras
  • Dizziness & vertigo
  • Nausea and vomiting

Ophthalmoplegic Migraine

An ophthalmoplegic migraine is a rare subtype of migraine that specifically affects the nerves responsible for eye movement. Symptoms typically affect the eye muscles’ ability to function and tend to develop gradually over hours or even days, along with a mild headache. 

Compared to a common or classic migraine, ophthalmoplegic migraines can have symptoms lasting for days or even weeks, and it is not unusual to see recurrent attacks within a period of time. Symptoms involve: 

  • Mild to moderate headache
  • Eye-related symptoms, including:
    • Severe eye pain
    • Drooping eyelid (ptosis)
    • Double vision (diplopia)
    • Weakness of eye muscles
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Visual and auditory sensitivities

When To Seek Medical Advice

If you, or someone you care for experiences migraines, it’s important to be aware of situations where seeking medical advice is important. This includes if you notice any new or severe symptoms, especially if there is a change in neurological function, such as changes in your level of consciousness or ability to complete fine motor tasks. 

It is also important to see a healthcare professional if you notice the migraine attacks becoming more frequent, more intense, or start interfering with your day-to-day life. Noting a change in the pattern or triggers of your migraines also gives warrant to consulting a doctor. 

If you are diagnosed with any other underlying health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues or neurological disorders, and you experience migraines, it’s especially important to seek medical advice. 

Additionally, if you are taking medicines for your migraines and have any concerns or questions regarding their effectiveness, or possible interactions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. 

Remember, seeking medical advice can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of your migraines and access personalized treatment options that can help you better manage and reduce the impact of migraines on your overall well-being.

Diagnosis Of Migraines

When doctors diagnose migraines, they will rely heavily on assessing and piecing together the symptoms that you can describe. They evaluate and ask questions about the characteristics of the headaches, such as their nature, frequency, and any other accompanying symptoms. 

Identifying potential triggers is also important, in addition to gathering information about relevant family history. They are likely also to conduct a physical examination or order additional tests such as blood tests or CT scans to help to rule out any other possible causes or conditions.

Because the diagnosis of a migraine relies so heavily on the thorough assessment of symptoms, a Dr may ask you to complete a migraine diary to help them differentiate between certain types of migraines or other headache conditions. Clearly documenting the certain characteristics and symptoms of your headaches, such as timing, how long they last, associating symptoms, and their severity, may help come to a conclusive diagnosis. 

Getting a migraine diagnosis and help you achieve an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate, personalized treatment plan that works for you.

Common Treatments For Migraines

When it comes to treating migraines, there are various approaches that can be considered, which often depend on the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. It is important to prioritize the use of the least invasive treatments that effectively relieve your symptoms, to help avoid unnecessary overmedication.

Over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be helpful with symptoms of mild to moderate migraines. While more specific prescription medications can be prescribed for migraines that are more severe or frequently occurring. 

Prescription medications for migraines can include triptans or ergotamines, which are taken at the onset of a migraine attack and work by constricting the blood vessels and blocking certain pain pathways in the brain. Additionally, there are anti-nausea drugs, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants that can be prescribed to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. 

There are many alternative treatment options for those who do not respond well or prefer non-pharmacological treatments. These include acupuncture, reflexology, or external trigeminal nerve stimulation (e-TNS) therapy, among many others. 

e-TNS is an emerging field in migraine treatment that has been well supported by evidence to indicate its effectiveness as an affordable option. Unlike some other treatments, e-TNS is considered to be generally well tolerated and free from negative side effects.

By working closely with a licensed healthcare provider, you can develop a personalized treatment plan that effectively manages your migraines and minimizes their impact on your daily life.

In addition to medical interventions, incorporating different lifestyle approaches can be beneficial in preventing the occurrence of migraines altogether.

Can Migraines Be Prevented?

Incorporating healthier lifestyle habits can be key in preventing migraines and reducing their impact on your life. Simple changes such as establishing a regular sleep routine, practicing effective stress management techniques, and doing some form of exercise regularly may make a significant difference.

Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated may help identify and manage migraine triggers that are specific to you. It can be helpful to maintain a more consistent daily routine and limit your intake of caffeine, refined sugar, and alcohol. 

By adopting some healthy daily practices in your life, you can proactively reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, leading to an improved overall quality of life. 

Additionally, by working closely with healthcare professionals, you can develop a comprehensive strategy that combines lifestyle modifications with appropriate medical treatments, providing you with better control over your migraines and enhancing your well-being.

Understand Your Migraine To Treat Its Symptoms Effectively

Having a deep understanding of your migraine is the key to effectively treating its symptoms. By familiarizing yourself with the different types of migraines, recognizing your specific triggers, and being aware of the warning signs and accompanying symptoms, you can tailor your treatment and management approach.

Whatever treatments you choose to help manage your migraines, be it through over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, lifestyle modifications, or alternative therapies, finding the right combination that works for you is going to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

By seeking guidance from your healthcare provider, you can gain access to the knowledge and support needed to take control of your migraines and find effective relief from your symptoms. An accurate diagnosis and a proactive management plan can lead you toward improved overall well-being and a better quality of life.

6 Migraine Triggers You Should Try To Avoid To Manage Pain

Migraines involve recurring, debilitating headaches lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days. Approximately 39 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic migraines, and many more experience occasional ones. Unfortunately, nobody knows what causes migraines, meaning there is no cure. However, there are a variety of triggers that have been identified. Different people have different triggers, but understanding your migraine triggers can help you manage your migraine pain over the long term.

6 Major Migraine Triggers

A migraine trigger is any factor that can lead to a migraine. Sometimes, just one of these factors can trigger a migraine. Other times, a combination of these factors may trigger a migraine. There are countless potential triggers, but they can generally be divided into four main categories: stress, hormonal changes, food triggers, and environmental triggers.

Knowing what your triggers are can allow you to take steps to avoid them, thereby helping reduce the risk of getting a migraine. The following are six of the primary migraine triggers to watch out for:

1. Stress 

Stress is a primary trigger for migraines. Emotional stress can lead to physical tension, which results in headaches. Many things can cause stress, from work and relationships to financial worries. Understanding what’s causing your stress can help you to manage it more effectively and potentially help you avoid migraines. Of course, you can’t always solve the situation that’s causing your stress. However, there are lots of methods that can help you manage stress, such as relaxation techniques, exercise, and meditation.

2. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can also trigger migraines. Women are especially prone to hormonal triggers due to the fluctuating estrogen levels during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. It’s why women are three times more likely to experience migraines than men and why migraines in women taper off following menopause.

Other hormones that may affect migraine frequency are serotonin, melatonin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). Research has shown that these hormones can trigger or worsen migraines.

3. Changes In Or An Irregular Sleep Schedule

Changes in or an irregular sleep schedule can also trigger migraines. Sleep is vital to migraine management, as it helps regulate hormones, alleviate stress, and restore energy levels. When you don’t get enough sleep or have an erratic sleeping pattern, your body doesn’t have the chance to rest and recover properly — which can then trigger a migraine. So, make sure that you’re getting enough restful sleep each night and following a consistent sleeping schedule to help reduce your risk of migraines.

4. Lifestyle Migraine Triggers

Several lifestyle factors can trigger migraines as well. Fortunately, making lifestyle changes to avoid certain migraine triggers is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of getting a migraine. The following are some of the common lifestyle habits and activities that can trigger migraines:

Dehydration and Hunger

Dehydration and hunger can both trigger migraines. Your body requires the right amount of fluids and nutrients to function properly. Without them, it can start to break down and trigger a migraine. As such, be sure to drink lots of water throughout your day and eat regular, balanced meals to reduce your risk of migraines.


Overexerting yourself can be another major trigger. This includes physical activities as well as mental exertion. If your migraines often occur following a particularly strenuous activity, it’s a good idea to reduce the intensity of your workouts. You may even want to take breaks in-between tasks throughout the day.

Posture and Neck Strain

There is also a link between posture and neck strain, and migraines. Poor posture can put added strain on the muscles in your neck, which may result in headaches or migraines. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around so your neck muscles don’t become too tense.

Medications and Supplements

Finally, certain medications and supplements can also trigger migraines. If you’re taking any kind of medication or supplement regularly, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional about the possibility of them being a migraine trigger. Your doctor can switch you to a new medication or, at the very least, adjust your dosage.

Artificial Sweeteners And Additives

Artificial sweeteners and additives, such as MSG or aspartame, also trigger migraines in some people. This is because these additives can affect the balance of chemicals in your brain, which may lead to a migraine. It’s best to limit or avoid processed foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners and additives to reduce your risk of migraines triggered by them.

5. Environmental Factors

Certain environmental factors can contribute to migraine risk as well. Knowing your environmental triggers can help you learn how to avoid them and take steps to create an environment at home that’s better suited to help prevent migraines. Some of the environmental triggers for migraines include:

Bright Lights

Bright lights, such as those from computer screens, televisions, and overhead lights, can trigger migraines in some people. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to bright lights, make sure that you have adequate lighting in your home and workplace, and take regular breaks from looking at screens. In addition, because the glare from bright light can be the specific trigger, it can also help to invest in anti-glare glasses or filters for your screens.

Loud Noises

Loud noises can be another trigger for migraines, as they can disrupt your brain’s normal functioning. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to loud noises, make sure that the volume of your television and other devices is at a comfortable level. Also, try to avoid loud places, such as concerts or nightclubs, if you know that they can trigger migraines. If you don’t want to miss out on fun activities that involve loud noises, then make sure that you bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to help reduce the loud noises.

Strong Odors

Strong odors, such as perfumes or smoke, can also trigger migraines. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to strong odors, make sure that your home and workplace are well-ventilated and free of any strong scents. If you know that certain scents can trigger your migraines, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Weather Changes 

Weather changes, such as an increase in barometric pressure, can also be a trigger for migraines. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to weather changes, it can help to stay inside when the barometric pressure is changing rapidly.

6. Physical Triggers

Finally, physical triggers can also play a role in the onset of migraines. These don’t just include changes in your body’s physiology, such as a lack of sleep or changes in your hormone levels. They can also include physical issues that can be bothersome in their own right, such as the following:


If you suffer from allergies, your risk of migraines can increase. This is because allergens can trigger a reaction that causes inflammation and other issues that can lead to migraines. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to allergies, take steps to reduce your exposure to allergens and try to keep your allergies under control.

Sinus Problems

Sinus problems, such as congestion or sinus infections, can also increase the risk of getting a migraine. This is because the inflammation caused by these conditions can affect the balance of chemicals in your brain and trigger a migraine attack. As such, getting regular checkups with your doctor is vital to ensure that your sinuses are healthy and taken care of.

Jaw Or Dental Problems

Problems with the jaw, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), can also increase your risk of migraines. This is because TMJ can cause muscle spasms and inflammation that can lead to a migraine. To reduce the risk of a migraine due to jaw or dental problems, make sure that you get regular checkups with your dentist and practice good oral hygiene. Also, try to avoid chewing gum or grinding your teeth if you know that it can trigger a migraine.

How To Identify Triggers Of A Migraine

Because of how intense migraines are, trying to figure out what your triggers are can be a bit tricky after the fact. This is especially true if you have multiple triggers. Fortunately, there are ways to identify your migraine triggers. For example, you can conduct an elimination diet, which involves eliminating certain foods or drinks from your diet for a couple of weeks to determine if your migraines improve. If you eliminate a specific food from your diet and stop migraines (or have them noticeably less frequently), then you can assume that food is one of your triggers.

Another way to identify your migraine triggers is to keep a migraine diary, which involves writing down details about the events that happen before and during a migraine attack. This can help you identify patterns in your migraines so that you can more easily pinpoint the triggers. Lastly, you can also discuss your migraine triggers with a healthcare provider. They can provide insight or advice to help you identify what triggers your migraines.

When To See A Doctor

If you are experiencing severe or frequent migraines, it is essential to see a doctor. You should also seek medical help if you experience certain symptoms with your migraines, such as fever, confusion, speech difficulties, paralysis, or numbness. Additionally, if pain persists for over 72 hours, then be sure to seek medical attention.

Furthermore, if you have never experienced a migraine before, you should seek medical help to make sure that it is indeed a migraine and not something else. Finally, if your migraines are interfering with your daily life and affecting your ability to work or participate in other activities, it is crucial to seek medical help.

Common Ways Of Coping Up With Migraine Attack

Many people will take over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help with migraine pain. However, it’s essential to understand that taking such medication too frequently can lead to rebound headaches and other health issues. Additionally, relying solely on pain medications won’t help you find long-term relief. It will only provide temporary pain relief because you’re only addressing the symptoms of the migraine. The following are a couple of tips on how you can learn to manage your migraine attacks more effectively over the long term:

Lifestyle Modification

Changing your lifestyle can be an easy way to reduce the intensity and frequency of your migraine attacks. This includes regular exercise, ensuring you’re getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and making dietary changes to avoid certain food and drink triggers.

Stress Management

Stress is often a significant contributor to migraine attacks, so finding ways to reduce stress in your life is critical. This can include taking time for yourself each day, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation and yoga, and ensuring you’re not overworking yourself.

Reduce The Symptoms Caused By Hormonal Changes

For women, hormonal changes can be a major migraine trigger. To reduce migraine symptoms brought on by hormonal changes, make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep regularly, eat regular snacks throughout the day and don’t miss meals, and try to avoid stress. Additionally, your healthcare provider can provide hormonal treatments to help you manage migraines caused by hormonal changes.

Seek A Medical Treatment To Relieve Your Migraine Attacks

If you are experiencing frequent or severe migraine attacks, it is vital to seek medical help. At Neuragenex, we offer personalized pain management plans tailored specifically to our patients’ needs. We take a whole-person approach to treating migraines, using electroanalgesia therapy, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling to help our patients find long-term pain relief. In addition, using a Neurofunctional Pain Management approach, we can help identify the triggers of your migraine attacks and provide treatment plans to help you cope with and manage them.

Understanding The Various Types Of Migraines

When most people think of what a migraine is, they think of a brutal headache that can last for a long time. However, a migraine is much more than just a headache. In fact, it’s not a headache at all — it’s a neurological disorder that causes various physical and psychological symptoms. Therefore, to effectively manage your condition, it is essential to understand the different types of migraine and the associated symptoms

That being said, the following guide will help you better understand what a migraine is, what the different types are, and how they can be managed to help prevent them from hurting your quality of life.

Four Stages Of Migraines

Regular headaches tend to occur right away, which is one of the reasons why a migraine is not considered a headache. A migraine is a condition that can affect the whole body. Migraines come in four different stages with waves of symptoms– including headaches. The following are the four stages of a typical migraine.

Stage 1: Prodrome

The word “prodrome” means “warning.” Prodrome is the first stage of a migraine; symptoms can occur up to a day or two before an actual migraine attack. During the prodrome stage, you may experience subtle changes in mood and behavior. These may be signs of a migraine attack, typically occurring at least 24 hours before the headache. Common early signals include irritability, fatigue, food cravings, and constipation.

Stage 2: Aura

The second stage is the aura. “Aura” refers to a set of neurological symptoms that occur before or during a migraine episode. The symptoms of an aura are typically sensory in nature, such as changes in vision, hearing, or smell. Other common signs include pins and needles sensations, dizziness, and difficulty speaking. An aura typically lasts up to an hour before the headache itself begins.

Stage 3: Attack

The third stage is the actual migraine attack itself. This is when you experience a throbbing headache along with other symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Depending on the individual, the attack can last anywhere from 4-72 hours.

Level 4: Postdrome

“Postdrome” is the fourth stage of a migraine, typically occurring after the headache has passed. The postdrome phase may last a couple of hours to a day or two after the migraine attack. It’s sometimes referred to as a “migraine hangover.” During this stage, you may experience confusion and exhaustion, as well as feel achy and weary.

Risk Factors

One of the challenges in treating migraines is that the underlying cause is unknown. However, various risk factors have been identified that can increase the likelihood of a migraine. The following are some of the common risk factors for migraines:


Migraines can run in families, and studies have shown that if your parent or sibling has a history of migraines, you have an increased risk of developing them. In fact, 80 percent of people who experience migraines have reported a family history of migraines. Additionally, if one parent has a history of migraines, their child will have a 50 percent chance of developing migraines as well.


Migraines are most common in adults aged 20 to 40. The reason is unknown, but it is thought to be related to changing hormone levels.


Women tend to be at greater risk than men when it comes to migraine attacks. This is thought to be the result of hormonal changes. For example, the hormonal changes that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and oral contraceptives. It’s estimated that migraines are twice as prevalent in women than men. It’s also been shown that the prevalence of migraines increases once women go through puberty and decreases after menopause.

Migraine Triggers

Triggers” refer to environmental or lifestyle factors that can cause a migraine attack. These triggers vary from person to person and often depend on the type of migraines you’re experiencing. Understanding your triggers is vital to managing your migraines since avoiding those triggers can help you to prevent migraine attacks. With this in mind, the following are some of the most common triggers of a migraine.


One of the most common triggers is stress. When you become stressed, the brain releases certain chemicals that help to combat whatever situation is causing the stress. These chemicals are responsible for the “fight or flight” response but can also trigger a migraine. Additionally, anxiety or emotional stress, in general, can increase your muscle tension and dilate blood vessels, thereby increasing the severity of your migraine.

Hormonal Changes

As previously mentioned, hormones can play a significant role in the onset of migraines. Changes in hormone levels, like those that occur during menstruation or menopause, can trigger a migraine attack. Additionally, some medications, such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), can increase the likelihood of migraines.


Studies show that food is responsible for triggering upwards of 30 percent of all migraines. This is because certain foods, such as processed meats (e.g., hot dogs and bacon), aged cheeses, and chocolate, contain certain additives, such as nitrates and MSG (monosodium glutamate). These additives are thought to expand the blood vessels in the brain and make you more susceptible to a migraine attack.

Environmental Triggers

Environmental triggers, such as changes in barometric pressure, sudden changes in the weather, and extreme hot or cold temperatures, can also trigger a migraine. Other environmental factors include bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells (e.g., perfume).


People who constantly take headache medications to try and relieve migraine-related headache pain may experience what is known as a rebound headache. This type of headache occurs when the medications used to alleviate pain are taken too frequently and can increase headache frequency and severity. 

Other medications can trigger migraines as well. For example: vasodilators, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, can widen your blood vessels and contribute to migraine attacks.


Smoking and using other tobacco products can also trigger a migraine attack. This is because when nicotine enters the body, it constricts blood vessels, which can result in a tobacco migraine. Additionally, the chemicals found in cigarettes and other tobacco products are thought to increase a person’s sensitivity to pain.


The consumption of alcohol can also trigger a migraine attack. One study showed that alcohol was a common trigger for around a third of people who suffered from migraine attacks. This is thought to be because of the dehydrating effects of alcohol, which causes electrolyte and fluid imbalance in the body, thereby potentially triggering migraines. Additionally, certain types of alcohol, such as red wine and beer, contain additives that are thought to trigger a migraine.


Caffeine can also trigger a migraine attack. This is because caffeine can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which can trigger a migraine. In addition, if you drink too much caffeine, your body can become dehydrated, leading to an electrolyte and fluid imbalance, which can also trigger a migraine. Finally, the withdrawal from caffeine can also trigger a migraine, as your body is no longer receiving the regular doses of caffeine it has become used to.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can also contribute to the onset of a migraine attack. People with insomnia or who work long hours are at greater risk for migraines. Studies have shown that when a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body increases the production of a specific type of protein. This protein can lower your pain threshold (making migraine attacks more severe) and trigger intense migraine attacks.

8 Types Of Migraines And Their Symptoms 

Diagnosing what kind of migraine condition you have will go a long way toward finding the proper treatment. There are various types of migraines, each with its own symptoms. With that in mind, the following are the eight most common types of migraines:

1. Migraine With Aura

Migraines with aura occur when you experience a warning sign before the headache. These symptoms typically occur around 30 minutes before the headache begins and are often visual. Migraines with an aura tend to be less common than those without. It’s also worth mentioning that some people will experience the aura of a migraine with aura but won’t experience any more symptoms (such as the actual headache). Such experiences are more common in older people.


The following are a few of the symptoms that you may experience if you get migraines with an aura:

  • Dizziness and confusion during the aura stage
  • Vision changes, such as flashing lights or wavy lines
  • Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Weakness in the extremities
  • Moderate to severe headache

2. Migraine Without Aura

Migraines without an aura are the most common type of migraine. They occur when you don’t experience any early signs or warning signals before the headache. To be diagnosed with migraines without aura, you must experience at least five attacks within a year.


The following are some of the symptoms that you may experience if you get migraines without an aura:

  • Throbbing pain located on one side of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Fatigue

3. Chronic Migraines

Chronic migraines are a type of migraine that happens more than 15 times per month for at least three months. People who experience episodic migraines may develop them more and more over time due to various risk factors and triggers. The more headaches you have, the lower the threshold for new headaches becomes. As a result, your migraines will become less responsive to medication and may become chronic.


Chronic migraines can occur with or without an aura. The symptoms are generally similar to migraines with or without an aura. The only difference is that they happen much more regularly. As such, the following are some of the common symptoms of chronic migraines:

  • Dizziness and confusion during the aura stage
  • Vision changes, such as flashing lights or wavy lines
  • Numbness or tingling in various parts of the body
  • Throbbing pain located on one side of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sound and light
  • Fatigue

4. Vestibular Migraine

The vestibular system is the body’s balance and coordination system. A vestibular migraine occurs when this system is affected by a migraine attack, which can lead to vertigo or dizziness and a feeling of unsteadiness or motion sickness. The reason this occurs is thought to be a change in how you interpret your senses caused by abnormal brainstem activity. 

It’s estimated that around 10 percent of people with migraines experience vestibular migraines. They also tend to occur more often in people with a history of migraines without an aura. To be diagnosed as having vestibular migraines, you must experience dizziness at least 50 percent of the time that you have a migraine.


Vestibular migraines are unique in that they come with various symptoms that regular migraines do not cause. The symptoms of a vestibular migraine include:

5. Migraine With Brainstem Aura

Also known as a basilar-type migraine, this type of migraine is rare and originates from the brainstem. There are several theories as to what causes this type of migraine. When the condition was first identified, it was thought to be caused by a temporary narrowing of the basilar artery that supplies blood to the brainstem. Currently, most people believe it results from a genetic predisposition or an abnormality of the nerves or occipital lobes.

It’s estimated that only around ten percent of people with migraines with an aura experience this type of attack. It’s most common in teenagers and young adults, and it can be triggered by physical activity or stress.


The symptoms of a migraine with a brainstem aura are unique in that they are very similar to the symptoms that a stroke victim might have. These symptoms tend to come during the aura stage before the onset of the headache and generally don’t last for more than an hour. With that in mind, the following are the common symptoms of a migraine with a brainstem aura:

  • Double vision
  • Vertigo
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness
  • Tinnitus
  • Partial hearing loss
  • Coordination problems
  • Pain in the back of the head on both sides

6. Menstrual Migraine

Considering that migraines, in general, are linked to hormones, it makes sense that some women experience migraines around the time of their period. In fact, migraines in women occur two to three times as often during menstruation than any other time. This type of migraine is called a menstrual migraine. Menstrual migraines are incredibly common in women. In fact, 60 percent of women with migraines experience menstrual migraines.


First, it’s important to note that there are two types of menstrual migraines: a menstrual-related migraine and a pure menstrual migraine. A menstrual-related migraine occurs when you experience a migraine without an aura for a day or two before your period and in more than 60 percent of your cycles. You may also experience migraines with or without an aura at various other times during your cycle.

A pure menstrual migraine occurs when you only experience migraines without an aura during the one or two days before your period or after the onset of your period for more than 60 percent of your cycles. These types are much less common than menstrual-related migraines. As far as the actual symptoms go, they are no different than regular migraines with or without auras.

7. Hemiplegic Migraine

Like a migraine with a brainstem aura, a hemiplegic migraine causes stroke-like symptoms during the aura stage. It’s one of the most serious types of migraines and also one of the rarest. There are two main types of hemiplegic migraines: familial and sporadic. Familial hemiplegic migraines are genetic and are passed down from generation to generation. Sporadic hemiplegic migraines, on the other hand, are not genetic in origin. Both forms typically develop in childhood and can last hours to weeks.


Because of how similar some of the symptoms are to a stroke, you must seek medical attention if you experience such symptoms to rule out other potential conditions (like a stroke). A complete neurological exam will likely need to be done to diagnose the issue. With that in mind, the symptoms of a hemiplegic migraine include the following:

  • Fever
  • Problems with coordination
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and light
  • Vision changes
  • Trouble speaking
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hemiplegia (paralysis or weakness on one side of the body)
  • Changes in consciousness, from confusion to profound coma

8. Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal migraines are much different than other types of migraines. First of all, they mainly occur in children. Secondly, unlike other migraines, they don’t cause headache pain. Instead, they are more known for causing abdominal pain (hence, the name “abdominal migraine”). Abdominal migraines last between four and 72 hours. It’s estimated that around one to four percent of school-aged children (primarily girls) suffer from abdominal migraines. 

Fortunately, abdominal migraines will disappear as most children grow older. However, some studies indicate that anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of children with abdominal migraines will develop regular migraines later.


These are some of the common symptoms of an abdominal migraine:

  • Moderate to severe ache or soreness in the middle of the stomach
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • A pale appearance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How Long Does A Migraine Attack Last?

The duration of a migraine attack can vary significantly from person to person. Generally, most migraine attacks last between 4 and 72 hours, but some can last as long as a week. However, not all of your symptoms may last for the duration of the migraine. Usually, the headache pain will last the longest of the symptoms. It’s also worth repeating that some symptoms that occur during the aura stage (if your migraines have an aura stage) will often disappear with the onset of the headache. Additionally, some symptoms may last even after your headache disappears, such as fatigue. 

When To Seek Medical Treatment For Your Migraine

If your migraine lasts more than 72 hours, you should seek medical attention. Additionally, if you are experiencing symptoms that are not normal for a common migraine with or without an aura, you should also seek medical attention. Although they may indicate that you have a different type of migraine, you’ll want to ensure that any other conditions that cause similar symptoms are ruled out (such as a stroke). That being said, if you experience any of the following symptoms during your migraine, you should go to a doctor to get a proper diagnosis:

  • Extremely severe head pain
  • Paralysis or partial paralysis
  • Severe confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vision changes that do not get better
  • Weakness or difficulty moving
  • High fever
  • Continuous and intense nausea and vomiting

Take The Right Approach To Your Migraine Pain Treatment

There’s no cure for migraines. Unfortunately, that means many people rely on headache medications to try and relieve their migraine symptoms. However, doing so only temporarily masks the symptom and can create additional issues, including side effects and rebound headaches. Managing migraine pain effectively involves a comprehensive, whole-person approach to pain management, which is precisely what the Neuragenex protocol provides.

We take a Neurofunctional Pain Management approach to treating migraine pain, which means that we look at all of the factors that could be contributing to your migraine. Our treatment plan is tailored to each patient and includes:

  • Electroanalgesia: High-pulse electrical stimulation therapy that’s FDA-cleared and proven to provide long-term pain relief. Electroanalgesia reduces inflammation, increases blood flow, blocks pain signals, and releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain reliever).
  • IV therapy: Intravenous (IV) therapy is a treatment that introduces vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients directly into the bloodstream. IV therapy can help hydrate the body, rebalance electrolytes, and boost energy levels, thereby potentially helping to reduce the frequency as well as the intensity of your migraines.
  • Lifestyle counseling: We provide personalized lifestyle counseling to help you change your habits and behaviors, leading to better overall health and improved migraine management. For example, helping you identify your migraine triggers and taking steps to help avoid them in the future.

At Neuragenex, we focus on a whole-person approach to not only treat your symptoms but help you potentially reduce their intensity and even prevent migraines in the future — all without having to resort to medication, chiropractic therapy, or invasive treatments. Be sure to contact us today to learn more about our Neuragenex protocol and how it can help you.

Migraine Vs Headache: Understanding The Differences

Headaches are incredibly common. Almost everybody in the world has a headache occasionally, and they can range from mild to severe. Many people get these headaches often or even daily. However, there are many types of headaches, as well as certain conditions that cause headaches, such as migraines. Migraines are not the same thing as a regular headache. They tend to be much more severe. Yet they affect an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. Unfortunately, fewer than five percent of those people have been accurately diagnosed as having migraines.

This is because many people who suffer from migraines mistake them for regular headaches. If you’re suffering from migraines, you must be properly diagnosed. Knowing the difference between migraines and frequent headaches is necessary to treat them properly and get the relief you need.

Defining Headache Vs Migraine

Migraines are very different from regular headaches. However, many people mistakenly think a migraine is a bad headache. That’s not the case at all. While both headaches and migraines can cause pain, there are some substantial differences between the two.

What Is A Headache?

A headache is a pain or sensation in the head, usually on one side. Headaches are often caused by stress, fatigue, dehydration, or muscular tension. While headaches can be bothersome and even debilitating, they generally don’t cause other symptoms. There are many different kinds of headaches that are caused by different things and that cause a unique kind of pain. These include:

  • Tension Headache: Tension headaches are the most common type. They are caused by muscle tension in the neck and head and often feel like a tight band around your forehead or temples. They can be mild to severe and usually last a few hours.
  • Sinus Headache: Sinus headaches result from inflammation and pressure in the sinuses. Sinus headaches are often accompanied by a runny nose, nasal congestion, and/or sore throat. They can cause pressure and pain in the face and the head. Seasonal allergies, the common cold, and a deviated septum can all contribute to sinus headaches.
  • Cluster Headache: Cluster headaches are characterized by intense, sharp pain occurring on one side of the head. The pain can last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours and often occur in clusters, meaning several of them happen in a row or over a short period. Cluster headaches are a chronic condition and can be highly debilitating.

What Is A Migraine?

A migraine is far more severe than a common tension headache. It can be debilitating, causing intense pain on one side of the head, forehead, or temple. The underlying cause of migraines isn’t known, but genetics, environmental factors, and hormones all likely play a role. Migraines are usually accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, and vision changes. Migraines can last a few hours to several days and tend to come in cycles or clusters.

How Migraine Differs From A Headache

A headache is essentially just that — an ache in your head. A migraine isn’t a headache; it’s a condition. Furthermore, a headache is just one of the symptoms of a migraine. In fact, the headache is typically the last symptom to show up in a migraine. This is why it’s important to note that migraines are not just bad headaches but rather a complex neurological condition. A migraine can cause a wide variety of additional symptoms that, combined, can be incredibly debilitating. These symptoms include the following:


Dizziness is a common symptom of migraine. This can range from feeling lightheaded to having a spinning sensation, resulting in difficulty standing or walking.

Extra sensitivity to light, sound, and/or smells

Sensitivity to light, sound, and smells are often among the first signs that a person is having a migraine. People with migraines frequently experience sensitivity to bright or flashing lights, loud noises, and strong odors like perfumes or certain foods. This sensitivity can last for the duration of the migraine.

Extreme Fatigue

Migraines can cause extreme fatigue and make it difficult to do even simple tasks. People with migraines often feel exhausted and need to rest, even after the migraine has passed.


Nausea can occur with a migraine and can last throughout its duration. In addition, nausea can sometimes happen due to the other symptoms accompanying the migraine. For example, the severity of the headache combined with dizziness and sensitivity to light can cause nausea.


If the person with the migraine is experiencing severe enough nausea, vomiting can occur. As with nausea, this may be due to other migraine symptoms.

Are Headaches Always Migraines?

No, headaches are not always migraines. A headache is a symptom of a migraine; however, certain types of headaches, such as sinus headaches and cluster headaches, are not symptomatic of a migraine. Additionally, migraines are not the only condition that can cause headaches. Other conditions, such as infections, colds, and fevers, can also result in headache symptoms.

Other Migraine And Headache Distinctions

Besides the symptoms that distinguish migraines from regular headaches, there are a few other distinctions. The following are a few additional ways that you can tell a migraine apart from a headache:


As mentioned, there are several types of headaches (such as tension and sinus headaches). Likewise, there are also several types of migraines. The following are some examples of the different types of migraines:

  • Migraine with aura: This is the most common type of migraine. It typically includes visual disturbances like seeing flashes of light or wavy lines.
  • Migraine without aura: This type of migraine does not include the visual disturbances associated with migraine with aura.
  • Retinal migraine: Retinal migraines cause vision disturbances in one eye, such as blind spots or temporary blindness.
  • Hemiplegic migraine: This type causes temporary paralysis or numbness on one side of the body.

Location Of Pain

Migraines often cause pounding, pulsing pain on one side of the head. This pain is typically located in the temples, forehead, or behind the eyes. Other headaches, such as tension headaches, can cause more generalized pain across the entire head. However, the specific location of the pain (and type of pain) usually depends on the type of headache or migraine that you have.

Intensity And Duration Of Pain

The intensity and duration of the pain are two of the best ways to tell a migraine apart from a regular headache. Migraine headaches tend to be more intense and longer-lasting than other types of headaches. 

Migraine pain can range from moderate to severe, and can last for several hours or even days. In contrast, regular headaches typically last for a shorter period of time and are usually less intense. If the headache you’re experiencing is severe to the point of debilitating and lasts for a long time, there’s a chance that it’s a migraine.


Migraine and headache diagnosis can be difficult, as there are many possible causes of headaches. Additionally, migraines can easily be misdiagnosed as other types of headaches. To properly diagnose a migraine or headache, a doctor will typically ask about the type and length of the pain and any associated symptoms. They may recommend an MRI or CT scan to check for other causes of the pain as well.

Common Treatment Options

There are various ways that you can treat headaches and migraines. However, although pain management is possible, curing migraines is not since the underlying cause of migraines is not known. That being said, the following are some of the standard treatment options that are available for both headaches and migraines:

Over-the-Counter And Prescription Medications

Normal tension headaches are often treated using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. However, many doctors will prescribe stronger medications for patients diagnosed with migraine headaches. These can include triptans, ergotamines, and anti-nausea medications. At Neuragenex, we do not recommend pain medications to treat headaches or migraines, as they may lead to side effects depending on the medication.

Lifestyle Changes

Making specific lifestyle changes can also help to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines and headaches. These changes can include getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding migraine triggers like certain foods or environmental factors. Additionally, regular exercise can help to reduce muscle tension that may contribute to headaches.

At Neuragenex, we provide lifestyle counseling as a critical component of our whole-person approach to pain management. As such, we can provide guidance on how to make healthy lifestyle choices that may reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines.

TENS Therapy

TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy is a non-invasive treatment solution that involves using low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves in the head and neck, thus providing pain relief. It achieves this by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain and by increasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Not to mention, the massaging effect of the TENS device can help to relax tense muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders.

TENS therapy can provide temporary pain relief for both headaches and migraines and is a safe treatment option with few side effects. However, it’s important to note that like pain medications, TENS is more effective at providing short-term pain relief and may not provide long-term relief.

How We Approach Migraines And Headaches

Our Neuragenex protocol involves a Neurofunctional Pain Management approach, which means that we will take a drug-free, non-chiropractic, non-invasive approach to treating chronic headaches and migraines. Our protocol involves the following:

  • Electroanalgesia: Although TENS therapy can provide short-term pain relief for some patients, it’s not always effective, especially when providing long-term results. This is because TENS therapy uses low-pulse electrical currents. At Neuragenex, we use electroanalgesia therapy, which is an FDA-cleared electrical stimulation therapy that uses high-pulse currents that are more powerful and can penetrate deeper into the tissue to provide longer-lasting pain relief.
  • IV therapy: IV therapy involves infusing the body with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may help reduce inflammation and boost overall health. Additionally, IV therapy can help hydrate the body, which is essential for headaches and migraines since they can be triggered by dehydration.
  • Lifestyle counseling: As previously mentioned, we also offer lifestyle counseling as part of our whole-person approach. We believe that long-term pain relief requires more than just addressing the symptoms at hand, which is why we strive to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. Through lifestyle counseling, our medical team can provide guidance on how to make lifestyle changes that may help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines.

The Right Diagnosis Leads To The Right Head Pain Relief

If you’re suffering from severe headaches regularly, you should get your condition properly diagnosed. If you’re suffering from migraines, the right treatment is critical to ensure effective pain relief and prevent further episodes. At Neuragenex, we take a comprehensive approach to treating chronic migraine pain and headaches, focusing on lifestyle changes and non-invasive treatments and therapies that may help manage your pain. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, you can find long-term relief from headaches and migraines.

Migraine Headache Treatment With Neurofunctional Pain Management

If you have ever experienced a true migraine or suffer from chronic, recurring headaches that last for four hours, you certainly understand the urgency for an effective form of pain relief, as well as some ways to prevent them from occurring. 

Moderate to intense throbbing pain that fluctuates for hours and sometimes days, debilitating nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound– migraines are more than just a bad headache, and patients who suffer from chronic migraines know the difference. 

When patients experience migraine pain, or pain from any condition, that pain is a signal that something in the body is at risk. Some damage is occurring, or some tissue is in trouble. This triggers an inflammatory response that creates inflammation and swelling in the areas of pain. 

This can be very problematic in areas of the body that cannot handle that swelling and puts pressure on all the other tissues in that area. The pain and inflammatory cycle is especially constrictive in areas like the head and neck, where there is no physical tolerance for swelling and inflammation. 

Pain signals have the purpose of driving us to seek treatment or to completely stop using the affected area. Self-diagnosis of migraines and a patient’s ability to identify and sometimes avoid the triggers for a migraine have increased alongside our understanding of the condition. However, knowing when and how a migraine is triggered is not enough to treat the condition or reduce its pain.

Types Of Headaches

Over 50% of the world’s population experiences headaches and, according to the CDC, a quarter of adults aged 18-44 have at least one severe headache or migraine every three months. 

But these figures alone don’t show the impact that an active headache disorder can have on a person’s life, nor do they describe the types and intensity of symptoms experienced. 

To understand this, it is important to look at the different types of headaches and at the symptoms they cause. Let’s look more in-depth at the various types of headaches below.

Primary Headache

Primary headaches don’t have another underlying cause, such as an illness or disease. This means that the pain you experience in your head or face is, in itself, the condition. 

Primary headaches can be chronic (occurring more than 15 times in a month) or episodic (occurring up to 15 times each month). There are different types of primary headaches, including the following ones:

  • Tension headache – These headaches cause dull or aching sensations around the head and are caused by tension in the neck, forehead, scalp, or shoulder muscles. 
  • Cluster headaches – These are severe headaches that cause a burning or piercing sensation. They may last between 3 and 15 minutes and can recur 1-4 times a day. Other symptoms include tearing eyes, swelling, flushing, and seating. 
  • Hemicrania continua – Hemicrania continua causes mild but continuous pain on one side of the face for 3 months or longer. Flare-ups are common and they involve symptoms such as eye tearing, nasal congestion, agitation, and sweating. 
  • Stabbing headache – Ice-pick headaches may cause short and intense pain in your head. The pain lasts only a few seconds, moves around the head, and comes without warning. 
  • Hypnic headache – Also known as alarm clock headache, this type of head pain recurs at nighttime, during the REM phase of the sleep cycle, and always at the same time. 

One of the most common types of primary headaches is migraines. Migraines are neurological diseases caused by changes in the brain’s pathways and chemicals. Migraines involve severe throbbing pain on one side of your head that lasts for days and can be extremely debilitating. These headaches are also accompanied by other symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Secondary Headache

Secondary headaches usually have a well-defined underlying cause and may be the symptom of another illness, disease, or allergic reaction that is happening in the body. 

Some triggers of secondary headaches include:

  • Allergies
  • Head injury 
  • Hormone fluctuations (i.e.: associated with pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and using birth control pills)
  • Overuse of and withdrawal from caffeine
  • Exertion and intense physical activity 
  • High blood pressure
  • Medication overuse 

Some forms of headaches, such as thunderclap headaches, can either be primary or secondary, depending on whether they are related to an underlying cause or whether they are spontaneous.

Causes Of Migraines

Doctors Kristian Haanes and Lars Edvinsson explain that “the neurovascular theory dominates, suggesting clear involvement of the trigeminovascular system. The most recent data show that a migraine attack most likely originates in the hypothalamus and activates the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC)” (2019). 

In other words, the part of our brain responsible for maintaining our body’s stability (the hypothalamus) triggers the part of our brain that responds with pain and heat (the TNC). 

The hypothalamus being set off and triggering the adverse effect from the TNC does not always have a clear cause; however, there are several scenarios in which migraine pain can be triggered by anything from food sensitivities, allergies, alcohol, lack of sleep, medications, or changes in the weather.

The Prevalence Of Migraines In The General Population

Overall, migraines are not to be taken lightly, and they affect more people than previously thought. Doctors De Logu and his associates conclude that “[m]igraine is a pain disorder that affects about 15% of the adult population worldwide” (2019)

With around 1.2 billion people suffering from migraines, it is unsurprising that research to understand its origin and the search for a cure has been relentless. 

Dr. De Logu continues: “Thus, the burden of migraine is enormous in terms of suffering, disability, healthcare costs, and social and economic costs. For these reasons, migraine is ranked among the most disabling medical conditions. 

Although considerable progress has been made in the development of new treatment options, our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying migraine pain is still incomplete.”

Migraines As A Medical Condition

To someone unfamiliar with the condition, let it first be understood that migraines are classified as a neurological medical condition that manifests from a multitude of contributing factors. 

Dr. Karl Messlinger, whose research still stands relevant today, explains that “[m]igraine is a complex neurological disease with a genetic background. Headache is the most prominent and clinically important symptom of migraine, but its origin is still enigmatic” (2009)

Since 2009, the condition, origins, and treatment options for migraine pain and chronic headaches have remained mysterious.

Symptoms Of Migraines

Suffering from chronic headaches can prevent you from sleeping, being productive at work, or even concentrating on a task. Learning more about the symptoms of your headache can tell you more about the nature of your condition and help you choose a line of treatment that best suits you. 

Below, we’ll look at the common symptoms of migraines and chronic headaches

A word of caution; if your headaches last more than two days or are accompanied by vision loss, numbness, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, chest pain, high fever, or slurred speech, you should seek immediate medical care. This is because many symptoms of migraines overlap with the signs of serious conditions, such as strokes.


One of the most prominent symptoms of migraine and chronic headaches is pain. While the pain is often localized in one or more areas of the head, it can spread through your neck, shoulders, ears, and arms. 

In the case of migraines, painful and throbbing sensations concentrate in one half of the head. 

Although it isn’t clear what triggers this kind of pain, theories show that multiple factors might come into play, including hyperactive brain cells that trigger the production of vasoconstricting chemicals, such as serotonin. As the blood vessels narrow, fluctuations in the blood supply to the brain can aggravate the painful sensations. 

The pain deriving from migraines can last between 4 and 72 hours.

Light, Noise, And Odor Sensitivity

Migraine and chronic headaches can increase your sensitivity to stimuli such as noise, light, or odors, which can worsen your headache. 

This is due to the fact that migraines increase brain connectivity, or the link between the brain and other parts of the body. This changes the way the brain processes visual and auditory noises and alters how pain receptors in the brain work, causing you to be hypersensitive to stimuli that should normally be painless.

Nausea And Vomiting

Nearly 30% of migraine attacks are accompanied by nausea and vomiting, making this one of the most severe and bothersome symptoms of migraines. Although the connection between migraine pain and vomiting isn’t well-understood, researchers have several hypotheses. 

For example, vomiting may represent the last stage of a migraine. Other hypotheses show that vomiting might have a stimulating effect on the vagus nerve, which can relieve a migraine attack.


Fatigue is a natural part of the migraine’s pathophysiology, or the range of abnormal changes in body functions caused by this disease. 

Fatigue and tiredness may also be worsened by pain, vomiting, and feelings of nausea. Additionally, the throbbing pain of a migraine might prevent you from falling asleep and getting a good night of rest, which can aggravate your fatigue.

Blurred Vision

Migraines may also cause temporary vision changes, including blurred vision, double vision, or blindness in one eye. In most cases, these symptoms are a normal part of the migraine’s “aura”, or wave of brain activity that occurs before the migraine attack. 

In some rare cases, blurred vision may be a symptom of retinal migraine; a type of migraine that affects the eye and might lead to serious vision changes, such as seeing flashing lights in one eye or blindness. Retinal migraine is a rare condition that is estimated to occur in 1 in every 200 people with migraines

Migraine-related vision changes arise from changes in the blood flow reaching the brain as well as vasoconstriction. However, abnormal brain activity and changes in how brain receptors process visual stimuli may also be contributing factors.

Other Symptoms

The symptoms associated with migraines can vary in nature and intensity from one person to another. You might also experience different symptoms from one migraine to another, depending on what has triggered the attack. 

However, some other common symptoms you should be aware of include the following:

  • Changes in body temperature – Migraines commonly affect the areas of the brain associated with processing muscle and temperature sensations. Changes in these parts of the brain during a migraine attack can cause you to experience temperature spikes and drops, shivering, fever, chills, or excessive sweating. 
  • Paleness – Migraines might cause changes in the blood flow, which can lead to pallor (paleness). You might also look paler due to the changes in body temperature, fatigue, or nausea. 
  • Diarrhea – Beyond vomiting and nausea, migraines are linked to several gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable or inflammatory bowel syndrome. These can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, nausea, or bloating. 
  • Vertigo – Dizziness and vertigo are common symptoms of a type of migraine called vestibular migraine. These symptoms appear when the migraine affects the area of the brain responsible for balance and coordination. 

Other symptoms that might be associated with a migraine attack include allodynia (feeling pain from stimuli that should be painless), mood swings, insomnia, brain fog, neck pain, or phantom smells.

Migraine Timeline

As seen above, every migraine is different. However, the body of research over the past years has been growing and, today, migraines are categorized into three types:

  • Migraine with aura – If you have a migraine with aura, you’ll experience warning signs several hours before developing a headache. 
  • Migraine without aura – This is the most common type of migraine. It occurs suddenly and without warning signs. 
  • Silent migraines – This happens when you experience the aura, or the premonitory signs of a migraine, but don’t develop a headache. 

Migraines with auras are characterized by sensory, visual, and motor disturbances, and they manifest themselves in 4 well-defined phases.  Today, it is estimated that nearly 30% of people suffering from migraines will experience at least one premonitory sign.

Pre-Headache (Prodrome)

The prodrome (or pre-headache) phase occurs up to 24 hours before a migraine. During this phase, you’ll experience abnormal sensations that may last for hours or days. 

Some of the prodrome symptoms include:

  • Food cravings and changes in appetite
  • Mood changes and feelings of depression or euphoria
  • Increased urination or fluid retention
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Excessive yawning 
  • Hypersensitivity to light, smell, or noise
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea


Within 24 hours of developing a headache, you might experience what’s called a migraine aura. The exact causes of auras are not well-understood, but it is believed that visual, auditory, and sensory changes are due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. 

The aura can last between 30 and 60 minutes, and it is characterized by a range of symptoms, which can vary from one person to another. 

Common telltale signs of a developing migraine aura include:

  • Visual disturbances – These include seeing dots and sparks of light, having tunnel vision, experiencing blurred vision or vision loss, or seeing wavy lines. You may also experience hallucinations. 
  • Motor and sensory disturbances – Also known as sensorimotor aura, this type of aura causes changes in your movement and sense of touch. You may experience numbness, tingling, changes in smell or taste, and weakness in your arms and legs. 
  • Impaired speech and communication problems – Although less common, dysphasic migraine aura can cause temporary slurred speech or mumbling. 

You may also experience sensations such as being touched or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). Migraine auras can be triggered by several factors, including bright lights, skipping meals, certain foods, stress, certain medications, sleep problems, or hormonal changes. 

Learning to recognize the symptoms of an aura can help you go to a safe and comfortable place before the headache starts.


The headache phase is characterized by intense, throbbing pain in one side of the head. The pain will build gradually in intensity and become worse during or after physical activity, 

Migraine attacks commonly last around 4 hours, but if left unaddressed, can be painful for up to 3 days. During this time, the pain can move from one side of the head to the other, or even affect both sides. 

Symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or a feeling of “fainting” are common during this phase.


The postdrome phase occurs after the headache has subsided. During this stage of a migraine, you may feel tired or confused, experience muscle weakness, or have food cravings. 

The postdrome stage usually lasts around a day.

Types Of Medications For Migraines

Migraines are difficult to treat because, in most cases, they have no direct cause. Additionally, a lot of how they change over time and the symptoms they cause are not well understood. 

However, beyond home remedies such as resting and applying cold compresses to the forehead, patients with migraines often get recommended one of two lines of treatments by their healthcare providers:

  • Pain-relievers– These medications are not curative; they only aim to reduce the pain derived from severe headaches. Usually taken during the attack, these medications include pain relievers, prescription drugs that block pain pathways in the brain (triptans), anti-nausea drugs, opioid medications, and medications with sedating effects. 
  • Preventive treatments – Medications to lower blood pressure, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs might be prescribed to patients who suffer from migraines in order to prevent future attacks.

These medications might provide some relief in the short term. However, people who suffer from migraines will experience debilitating headaches an average of 2-4 times each month. Taking migraine medications for such long periods can expose you to significant side effects, including:

  • Gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, bloating, and nausea
  • Fatigue and myalgia
  • Weakness and heaviness in the limbs
  • Dizziness, confusion, and brain fog
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Chest tightness
  • Alopecia and hair loss
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weight gain and changes in appetite
  • Low blood pressure
  • Bradycardia or tachycardia
  • Sexual and liver dysfunction 

Taking these medications over long periods might also lead to increased tolerance, addiction, or dependency. 

Fortunately, thanks to advances in migraine treatment research, today’s patients can start to look beyond traditional treatments. Below, we’ll look at the limitations of today’s lines of treatment for migraines and explore the benefits of Neurofunctional Pain Management for chronic headaches.

Are Traditional Migraine Treatments Enough?

Patients don’t want to be addicted to or even dependent on painkillers, especially when those painkillers become less potent over time. When the pills fail, patients will often turn to more potent prescriptions for their migraine pain.

When migraine relief appears beyond reach or its effectiveness is lacking, it may be time to search for an ongoing treatment that is both non-invasive and non-habit forming. 

With patients typically running for a glass of water and Tylenol to lessen the pain as it starts ramping up, these methods are not always effective. In fact, in many cases, the use of painkillers to numb the pain can be habit-forming, addictive, and even deadly.

Neurofunctional Pain Management For Migraines

Neuragenex has created and pioneered the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management and may offer a solution to some of the chronic migraine conditions prevalent in the population. Neurofunctional Pain Management is considered the next generation of pain management due to its focus on non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, and non-invasive treatment protocols

Neurofunctional Pain Management may offer some excellent treatment options for patients suffering with chronic migraine pain. With Neurofunctional Pain Management, patients will not only acquire pain relief but also a health restoration effort to hydrate the body and balance nutritional deficiencies that contribute to chronic pain conditions.

Foundational Elements Of Neurofunctional Pain Management

An understanding of where the pain comes from in the first place and how it presents, and progresses is the first step in understanding how a treatment program would work. The foundational elements of Neurofunctional Pain Management are high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy. 

This combination provides an excellent and enduring pain relief effect for many chronic pain conditions. The combination of these two treatments performed simultaneously is called Neuralgesia. Neuralgesia is a proprietary treatment protocol offered exclusively by Neuragenex.

Because there are many triggering sources of migraine pain, the treatment may be received differently by different patients with migraines occurring from different problems. 

This is a much more complex scenario than other chronic pain conditions like osteoarthritis or sciatica, where the source of the pain is a known and understood condition that presents very similarly in most patients. 

Migraines are problematic because of their variability so even with Neurofunctional Pain Management the outcomes may vary from patient to patient depending on these many factors.

Neuragenex also includes robust education and lifestyle counseling as part of the Neurofunctional Pain Management program to educate patients on their condition and counsel them on lifestyle changes through their course of treatment. 

While patients learn more about their condition and what they can do to help manage the migraine pain on their own, they will go through the treatment protocols of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy.

Get Help For The Pain. Consult With Us Today.

Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols attempt to reduce the pain-inflammation cycle in multiple essential ways, treating pain through direct stimulation of pain neurons with high-pulse electrical stimulation and adding hydration to dilute the concentrations of inflammatory ions in the affected tissue areas. This two-sided approach gives patients relief from future episodes of migraine pain.

The ultimate goal and objective of Neurofunctional Pain Management is to relieve pain and prevent its recurrence. Neuragenex works towards the same mission: relieving pain, restoring health, and improving quality of life without dependence on drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures.

The first step in that process is to get the patient out of the immediate pain condition and into a state or relief so that they are motivated to engage in health restoration efforts. These additional efforts, such as specialized nutritional deficiency, hydration therapies, and lifestyle modifications, will help the pain relief effect endure for a prolonged period. 

When they know they are relieved of pain and their health is better all around, their entire outlook on life changes from restrictions to freedoms. This is a magnified quality of life, and we champion this final step in the process.

Non-pharmaceutical Non-invasive Treatment Options for Migraine Pain

Mild to intense throbbing pain that fluctuates for hours and sometimes days, debilitating nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines are more than a bad headache, and someone walking around talking about how they have a migraine is likely using migraine as a catchall term for headache and not actually experiencing a real migraine, as any patient who suffer from chronic migraines know the difference. To someone unfamiliar with the condition, let it first be understood that migraines are classified as a neurological disease that manifests from a litany of contributing factors. Luckily, self-diagnosis of a migraine and a patient’s ability to avoid the triggering of a migraine have increased along with our understanding of the condition. However, knowing when and how a migraine is triggered is not enough to treat the condition or reduce the pain. 

Frankly, the treatment of this chronic condition has been poorly executed, as some medical professionals view it as a latent or untreatable condition that will pass with time or the avoidance of triggering factors. For patients seeking lasting relief from migraine pain, hearing that the condition is often a result of their decisions does little to help the pain and in fact will cause understandable frustration. The objective of this article is to inform patients suffering from migraine pain of their treatment options in relation to solutions with Neuragenex. Treatment options outside of Neuragenex have their pros as well as their cons that will be discussed. Whether patients choose to seek pharmaceutical or natural treatment, our argument remains the same; migraine pain may be effectively treated.

We must make it clear that our intention is not to disparage the opinions of the medical community. Rather, our goal is to review migraine pain treatments with objective reasoning through careful analysis of the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of each recommended treatment and weigh our analysis of these treatments in contrast with the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of treatment with Neuragenex. With these parameters in mind, we hope to provide those seeking treatment for pain– particularly migraine pain– an informed perspective which they can then use to find effective treatment.


Treatment Options for Migraine Pain

As we mentioned previously, the symptoms of a migraine can fluctuate from mild to severe. Patients experience and express feeling pain in their neck and head, sensitivity to light and sounds, and nausea in addition to several other symptoms. It is not enough for medical professionals to put the onus of the condition on the patients and tell them to avoid the triggering factors that cause migraines.

Though, in some cases, migraines can be a result of chemical reactions and hormone irregularities that in some cases can be preventable with effort from the patient. One patient in particular comes to mind who had a sensitivity to sodium nitrite found in cured meats. Anytime she had sodium nitrite she deteriorated into a debilitating migraine that lasted for up to three days and had to be in a room with no light or sound and her family knew to avoid her during these times. This was many years ago, but the fact remains that in her case her migraines were entirely preventable by her diet alone. Once she figured out the culprit foods, she avoided them and never had a problem. 

Regardless of a patient’s ability or willingness to avoid migraine triggers, the fact is that migraines will happen. However, for patients seeking treatment, we recommend along with medical professionals that the migraine triggers should be avoided as a preventative measure. Unfortunately, many of these triggers are simply unavoidable as a result of environmental factors and include loud sounds, strong scents, bright lights, hormone imbalances, and lack of sleep. Medical professionals should understand that while patients are aware of the conditions that can set off a migraine, avoidance of these triggers and the resulting inducement of a migraine are often unavoidable. In many of these unavoidable cases, patients will seek immediate relief. However, as we have found in many treatments for pain conditions, immediate relief does not always mean lasting relief. 

When a migraine strikes patients who are unable to avoid the triggering factors and environments, they often immediately turn to the quickest relief. Some of the fastest pain-relievers are known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include ibuprofen, Tylenol, and aspirin. In our studies, particularly in relation to the use of NSAIDs as a supplement to other forms of treatment, we found that there are several side effects that should be considered and understood by patients. We will, however, consider some of the pros related to NSAID treatment in addition to these side effects. 

NSAIDs are predominantly safe for limited short-term use and therefore readily available to most of the population and while these drugs can provide temporary relief, there are other effects that should be considered by patients. The use of NSAIDs is the most common form of “immediate” relief that patients will seek to treat their migraine pain. While NSAIDs are not directly addictive to patients who use them to deal with pain, the risk of dependency cannot be dismissed. NSAIDs, by their very nature, have a temporary effect, temporary enough to not offer sustainable relief over the hours or days of a migraine. The effects of NSAIDs, while often effective at treating pain, are short-lived and do not last long enough for patients to experience relief over a long period of time. One who experiences the effects of migraine pain for long periods of time will know that NSAIDs are not going to be a lasting treatment for their pain. However, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods, NSAIDs may provide relief long enough for patients to work through those treatment methods. They may also provide the relief needed to get through unavoidable migraine-triggering conditions. However, relying on NSAIDs as a staple to counteract the triggering conditions is not recommended.

For many patients, the minor efficacy of NSAIDs can cause dependency and even overdose. The mild nature of NSAIDs often leads to patients desiring heavier doses outside of the recommendation which is a dangerous step that should not be considered when treating migraine pain. Because of the convenience and availability of NSAIDs and a patient’s desire for immediate relief from migraine pain, the risk of overdose (while not always deadly) increases. In addition, it must be communicated to those seeking effective treatment that NSAIDs, like all drugs, are not without their side-effects. In a study done in February of 2020, doctors V.K. Sharma and associates concluded that, “[a]lthough NSAIDs are among the most commonly utilized drugs, their use is associated with a broad spectrum of side effects, which may include gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity” (2020). While patients may experience the effects of NSAIDs, both positive and negative, they may also question the efficacy of treatment options that they supplement.

Another closely associated treatment for migraine pain is the use of analgesics which are an alternative painkiller. The difference between NSAIDs and analgesics is that analgesics stop the pain signals from traveling back and registering in the brain, while NSAIDs primarily target and decrease inflammation. When pain from a condition like chronic migraines increases and gets to a breaking point, stronger analgesics known as opioid analgesics are often prescribed. 

Opioid analgesics, if you haven’t already guessed, are a much more potent painkiller especially in comparison to NSAIDs. However, if we were to analyze the similarities between the two, we would likely find that the side-effects are somewhat homogenous, especially when analyzing the effects of these drugs on the digestive system. According to a 2017 study conducted by Paulin Jirkof of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, it was concluded that the side-effects of opioid analgesics are diverse and, “. . . include constipation, respiratory depression, nausea and urinary retention, as well as addiction, tolerance and hyperalgesia”. In a survey of side-effects related to the use of NSAIDs, we will find that according to a study conducted in 1993 by Dr. Bjarnason, the gastrointestinal effects of NSAID use range from diarrhea to ulcers, holes or perforations, and bleeding in the small intestine. Cardiovascular toxicity as a result of NSAID ingestion can also result in severe and irrevocable damage to the heart. 

In the 2017 study conducted by Jirkof, it was later found that tolerance of analgesic opioids, “. . . is characterized by a progressive lack of response to the drug that can be overcome by increasing the dose”. Patients should be careful and recognize that as opioids could be used to treat severe migraines, it is likely that dependency and addiction will increase, which is why it is considered a last course of action for medication managed migraines. Risk of dependency and addiction to analgesic opioids is much more serious and deadly when compared to the risk associated with NSAID dependency. 

In a recent study that analyzed the effects of opioids overdose in the United States, it was determined that, “[o]f the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, approximately two thirds (47,600) involved an opioid” (2020) with the number of opioid-related overdose increasing year after year. With dozens of side-effects and potential for dependency and addiction weighing on the minds of patients with migraine pain, it is no wonder that popularity for the type of treatment that Neuragenex supplies is growing every day. 


Solutions with Neuragenex

Migraine pain is likely a result of a patient’s inability to avoid triggering circumstances and unfortunately, is often not solved with a simple head massage or change in routine. Just about any chronic musculoskeletal pain condition can be effectively treated with Neuragenex should be your first consideration. 

Neuragenex offers a proprietary treatment protocol called Neuralgesia as their treatment solution to the pain associated with migraines. Neuralgesia is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that produces an enhanced pain relief effect that can endure for months and months after a course of treatment. It is more commonly understood that migraines are at least in part, a result of muscular tissue inflammation that constricts blood flow and creates excess pressure on vessels and nerves that causes migraines. Many specialty migraine treatment centers actually treat migraines by performing injections or other procedures into the muscle bodies of the occipitoatlantal joint in order to reduce inflamed muscle tissue causing restriction. Other physicians rely on medications, and IV medications and fluids to help relieve pain. 

Neuragenex created and pioneered a next generation pain management category called Neurofunctional Pain Management, which is the concept behind their proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocol. This means that Neuragenex is creating a new non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-chiropractic, and non-invasive standard in the treatment of chronic migraine pain.