Migraine Basics

Daily Health Solutions, Healthy Living
on August 19, 2011
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Because of the variance in how migraines are experienced and the backgrounds of those who suffer from them, the cause of migraines has been difficult to pinpoint. The Mayo Clinic states, “Although much about the cause of migraines isn't understood, genetics and environmental factors seem to both play a role.” There seems to be a higher incidence of migraines within families, and a number of factors — including exercise, smoking and consuming certain foods — are known to trigger the onset of a migraine.

Common migraine symptoms. In general, a migraine will affect one side of the head and may be felt as a pain on the back of the head or neck, as pain behind the eyes or pain elsewhere on the head. Migraine pain is often aggravated by light and sound and may result in nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Some people will experience an aura, or “warning signal,” that a full-blown migraine attack is on its way. Migraines may last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days and are considered a chronic recurring condition in most cases.

Natural management. Changing your lifestyle in an attempt to eliminate migraine triggers may help prevent or reduce the numbers of migraine attacks. Good overall health, including sufficient exercise and stress management, is key in avoiding and coping with migraines. Pain is often managed through reducing activity, avoiding extreme temperatures and resting in a cool, quiet, dark area during the periods of most intense pain.

Medical treatment. Your doctor can evaluate your headache history and the symptoms you’re experiencing in order to formulate an effective treatment plan. Once the underlying causes of migraine pain are eliminated, your health care provider may prescribe migraine medication designed to reduce the pain of a migraine attack, as well as shorten the duration. With proper management, migraine attacks can be dealt with quickly, allowing you to return to your normal activities.