Migraine and Headache Treatment Q&A
Migraines and headaches are both painful neurological disorders. Certain Symptoms develop including severe discomfort and nausea, light and sound sensitivity, and visual disturbance. Medication, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies are all options for migraine and headache treatment. Effective treatment lessens the frequency and severity of attacks, enhancing the quality of life. Reddy Urgent Care provides individualized migraine and headache relief. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Bixby Knolls, Downtown Long Beach, and Paramount, CA.
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Migraines are a common type of headache that affects around 1 in 15 men and one in 5 women. They can be debilitating for multiple days at a time during attacks, making it very difficult for those who suffer from severe migraines to continue with necessary daily activities and responsibilities during those times.
Migraines are typically described as more severe and more painful headaches, often leading to intense throbbing or pulsing on one side of the head. Many people who suffer from migraines will also experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting, along with increased sensitivity to sounds and lights until the attack subsides. The severity at which one experiences migraines varies from person to person, and even with individual attacks for the same person, sometimes only lasting a few hours but sometimes lasting for several days, heavily impacting one’s ability to function normally. The sensations experienced during a migraine, often including intense pain, occur due to chemical and hormone reactions in the brain as the nervous system surrounding the face and head are oversensitive in those who experience migraines, making them easily triggered by certain stimuli, making the blood vessels around the triggered nerves become dilated and inflamed, leading to the sensations of pain.
There are two main categories in which the vast majority of the 150 different types of headaches can fall, primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are triggered by lifestyle or environmental factors and are caused by an over-activity of pain-sensitive features that are already present in the head, making the headache the condition that needs direct treatment in order to subside and lessen other associated symptoms. The most common types of primary headache include tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches and include triggers such as the consumption of alcohol, nicotine, or certain foods, straining, poor posture, lack of sleep, to name a few. Secondary headaches are typically headaches that occur as a symptom of an underlying medical condition that will subside once the primary condition has been treated. Examples of secondary headaches include dehydration headaches, sinus headaches, and medication overuse headaches. Underlying conditions that often lead to secondary headaches include head injuries, bleeding in the brain, or sudden changes in blood pressure.
Migraines would fall into the category of primary headaches, as migraines are the main condition that is leading to pain and often other symptoms that will only subside once the headache itself has been treated or gone away. Migraines are considered a health condition themselves as they are a genetic neurological disease that causes the patient to experience both the headache as well as other symptoms during migraine attacks. Suffering from migraines has been shown to be inherited in families, with genetic disposition showing to be the cause of around 60% of migraine cases. The actual attacks seem to most frequently be caused by external or environmental triggers, with some individuals just being more likely to experience migraines than others.
Many individuals that suffer from migraines can distinguish four different stages with each attack, but it is important to note that every individual who suffers from migraines may experience the stages differently, with some individuals not experiencing all 4 stages every time. The stages often go as follows:
Prodrome: Many people who suffer from migraines have some early indicators that an attack may be coming at this stage. These indications can be very subtle, often including just minor changes in mood, specific cravings, changes in bowel movement and urination frequency, and neck stiffness.
Auras: Experiencing auras either before or during a migraine attack is common among many people who frequently suffer from migraines, often being visual phenomena of bright flashes of light or shapes, but can also include trouble speaking, numbness or tingling in the face or one side of the body, or vision loss.
Attack: This stage includes the actual experiencing of the migraine, often lasting anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and can occur as frequently as several times per month.
Post-drome: Following a migraine attack, many people will experience feeling confused or drained for a few hours. During this time, it is possible for some triggers to bring on sensations of pain again briefly, such as sudden movements of the head.
If you get migraines or headaches, the medical experts at Reddy Urgent Care offer customized treatment options to relieve your discomfort and improve your general well-being. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Bixby Knolls, Downtown Long Beach, and Paramount, CA. We serve patients from Belmont Shore, Shoreline Village, The Pike Outlets, Downtown Long Beach Station, The Westin Long Beach, Signal Hill, and Long Beach Boulevard, California.