Not Just A Headache – Migraine Awareness Month at HVC

Not Just A Headache – Migraine Awareness Month at HVC

Migraine Awareness Month –  #NotjustaHeadache

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks migraine as the 6th highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability
  • Over 8 million people in the UK currently experience Migraines
  • The International Headache Society has found that 60% of women and 70% of men with Migraine aren’t fully assessed for their Migraines.

Many people who have Migraines may also experience Tension Type and/or Cervicogenic Headaches, so it’s possible for your Migraine case not to fit neatly into one “type.”

According to the International Headache Society’s ICHD-3 classification system, there are seven types of Migraine:


  1. Migraine without Aura – This is the most frequent type of Migraine. Symptoms include moderate to severe pulsating headache pain that occurs without warning and is usually felt on one side of the head

Other Symptoms: nausea, confusion, blurred vision, mood changes, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. Attacks typically last 4-72 hours, and they repeat a few times a year to a few times a week

  1. Migraine with Aura – As above but can also include other visual or neurological (nerve) symptoms that appear about 10 to 60 minutes before the actual headache and usually last no more than an hour.

Other Symptoms: Temporary loss of full/partial vision. Less frequent aura symptoms include an abnormal sensation, numbness, or muscle weakness on one side of the body; a tingling sensation in the hands or face; trouble speaking; and confusion.


Predrome: One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including: Constipation, Mood changes, from depression to euphoria, food cravings, yawning, neck stiffness.

Auras may come on during the predrome or attack. They are symptoms of the nervous system and are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision. Sometimes auras can also be touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal) disturbances. These often include:

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing noises or music
  • Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
  • Limb weakness


Attack – Pain on one side or both sides of your head – throbbing or pulsing. Can last 4-72 hours. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hypersensitive to light, sounds and/or touch
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness and/or fainting

Postdrome – After the attack has resolved you may experience postdrome symptoms in the hours or days following. This can include:

  • Confusion
  • Moodiness or euphoria
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound


There are many different causes of migraines –  genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role in determining who is more likely to experience migraines. When migraines come on they can be linked to changes in the blood flow around the brain and/or imbalances in brain chemicals such as seratonin. Migraines may also be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway.

Research is ongoing in migraines as they are not fully understood and there are many individual differences in migraines.


  1. Chiropractic and Osteopathy treatment has proven very successful in the treatment of a variety of Migraines, and has repeatedly shown to be a leading treatment in the case of other types of headache and/or neck pain. A consultation must be done to ensure your Migraine has been diagnosed correctly, and during a results session a specific course of care will be outlined that will be specific to your requirements, so that we get as close to the cause of your pain as possible.
  2. Daith piercing: 47% of respondents found a decrease in the frequency of their migraines after getting the daith piercing. For 48% of respondents migraine frequency stayed the same.
  3. Make a Migraine Diary. Identify and remove triggers such as cheese, food additives such as aspartame or MSG, caffeine, stress management, bright lights, smoking, physical exertion, weather changes or medications.
  4. Lavender oil has been proven to decrease migraine severity when a small amount is placed on the top lip.


  1. Migraine without Headache is characterized by visual problems or other aura symptoms, but without head pain.
  2. Migraine with Brainstem Aura (formerly called Basilar-Type Migraine) Symptoms include partial or total loss of vision or double vision, dizziness and loss of balance (vertigo), poor muscle coordination, slurred speech, a ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and fainting.
  3. Hemiplegic Migraine (a sub-type of Migraine with Aura) is a rare but severe form of Migraine that causes temporary paralysis on one side of the body prior to or during a headache. Symptoms such as dizziness, a pricking or stabbing sensation, and problems seeing, speaking, or swallowing.
  4. Retinal or Visual Migraine is a very rare type of Migraine characterized by attacks of visual loss or disturbances in one eye. These attacks, like the more common visual auras, are usually associated with Migraine headaches but not necessarily..
  5. Chronic Migraine is characterized by headaches occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months, which have the features of Migraine headache on at least 8 days per month. They can be with or without aura, they usually require preventative medications and behaviours to control, and they are often disabling
  6. Opthalmoplegic Neuropathy- This is very similar to a Migraine and often gets misdiagnosed as such, however it is very rare and can directly affect the nerves coming from the brain to the face. Symptoms can include pupil changes, droopy eye, watery eye during or after the ‘migraine’, which may or may not return to normal until the next attack. If you experience these symptoms you should talk to your chosen practitioner.

Helpful Websites:

Call us today for any other advice and to see if we can help you and your migraines.