Migraines are normally divided up into two different types although many more subdivisions exist. These two main categories are ‘common’ and ‘classic’ migraines.
The pain of the headache is normally one sided covering half of the forehead and one eye however pain can also spread from the back of the head over to the eye or in some cases may be located over both eyes. Sensations described include, throbbing, pulsing and stabbing pains.
The most common type of migraine is the ‘common’ migraine. Research indicates that a change in cerebral blood flow could be responsible for the symptoms of this headache. It normally involves a unilateral pulsing headache. It occurs more commonly in females and is usually found to have started in young adulthood. Headaches are usually severe although sufferers are able to carry on with their daily activities and there is often associated nausea and vomiting.
The ‘classic’ migraine has the same typical throbbing unilateral headache as in the common migraine, but is preceded by what is known as ‘aura’ or ‘prodrome’. This describes symptoms experienced prior to the onset of the throbbing headache. These include visual symptoms such as flashing lights and the presence of a blind spot. This usually lasts up to 30 minutes after which it is replaced by a disabling headache that can last for a few hours or up to 3 days. Nausea and vomiting may occur and photophobia (sensitivity to bright lights) is common. Resting in a cool dark and quiet room is often reported to be the only relieving factor.
Chiropractic has been shown to help reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks in many cases. Chiropractic care also addresses the after effects of a migraine, including relief of restriction in movement of the neck, muscle tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders and helps correct any postural issues that may influence the occurrence of both migraine and tension headaches.