Migraine pain headaches are a widespread, well-known condition. Research suggests that they are the most common of all primary headache types. Women appear to be at three times the risk of migraine headaches compared to men. For many female patients, the onset of migraine pain may be related to the stages of their menstrual cycle.
Migraine headaches are considered a primary neurological condition. They occur in regular episodes throughout the year that may involve:
- Extremely severe pain perceived as coming from within the skull
- Sensations of throbbing on one side of the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Strong sensitivity to external environmental factors such as sound, light, or smells
These symptoms may last anywhere from a number of hours to a number of days.
Migraine Pain Causes
Brain tissue itself does not normally feel pain. The pain of most headache types is related to chemical or mechanical damage to the tissues in close proximity to the brain, including the nerves, skull, sinuses, muscles, blood vessels, eyes, ears, and various membranes.
The exact cause of migraine headaches is not completely defined. Early research into the subject led to conclusions that it is a vascular condition, or related to changes in the blood vessels of the brain’s surface.
However, this was subsequently debunked.
Current research tends to link mutations in certain genes to the increased probability of developing migraine headaches.
Here are a few more causes of migraine pain:
- Psychological disorders, such as stress
- Sensitivity to chemicals such as food preservatives
- Caffeine intake
- Weather changes
- Sleep deprivation or changes to a normal sleep rhythm
- Failing to eat regularly
Migraine Pain Treatments
A pain clinic or specialist may offer many treatments to address the pain of migraine headaches. Patients with relatively mild to moderate pain may be advised to try conventional measures at home beforehand to assess their effect, if any. If these fail, a patient may discuss more treatments with their specialist or physician. For example, a patient might be advised to try over-the-counter painkillers to test their efficacy and make sure the next line in treatment is necessary.
What is Migraine Pain Relief? Watch...
A physician may advise their patient to track their symptoms in cases of migraine associated with severe chronic pain. Symptom tracking involves keeping a record of pain onset time, pain severity, the time from an episode onset to the maximum severity of pain, episode length, the presence of stages and their symptoms (e.g. aura), and unusual symptoms. This may contribute to the identification of triggers and to improved prophylaxis against the onset of pain episodes.
There are several treatments that can help with migraine pain, they include: