Many people don’t treat migraines as a medical condition, instead brushing them off as simple headaches that linger longer than usual. This is a mistake, as migraines carry many debilitating neurological symptoms that can impact your quality of life. Here’s how you can tell the difference between the two.
How Migraines Differ From Headaches
Also known as the preheadache or premonition phase, the prodrome usually begins a few hours to a few days before a migraine. Symptoms include moodiness, depression, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, and bowel irregularity. You could also experience excessive urination, frequent yawning, or intense food cravings. You may not experience all of these symptoms, but if you notice any of them, begin taking prescribed headache medication promptly. Try to minimize potential triggers and practice quiet relaxation techniques to release tension.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 25% of migraine suffers will experience an aura. These generally appear a few minutes to an hour before a migraine attack and disappear within an hour. Signs of aura include blurry vision, blind spots or floating shadows, vision loss, or flashing lights. Auras can affect one or both eyes, and may or may not occur alongside head tenderness.
Tension headaches often feel diffuse, impacting the entire head. They’re uncomfortable, but tend to be moderate, respond well to over-the-counter analgesics, and typically dissipate within an hour or two. If they linger, however, they may presage a migraine. If so, the pain will likely evolve over time. Migraines tend to consist of intense, throbbing, localized pain, usually on one side of the head. They’re often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, dizziness or vertigo, insomnia, anxiety, and hypersensitivity to stimuli like light or sound. They can last for hours or even days. Thankfully, a holistic approach that includes both acute treatments and preventive options can minimize the disruption to your life.
Spinal adjustments can be an excellent part of proactive migraine management. If you believe you’ve experienced one or more migraines, contact Stroud Chiropractic Clinic in Archdale, NC. Their team of expert chiropractors is trained to correct the misalignments that can trigger migraines or create stress. Call (336) 434-2107 or visit their website to learn more about their techniques to reduce headaches.