A migraine is more than a headache; it is a painful, debilitating experience. Most people who suffer migraine headaches get them regularly. The Migraine Research Foundation refers to chronic migraines as a surprisingly common neurological condition (1):
- One billion people worldwide experience regular migraine headaches
- Women experience them more often than men—eighty-five percent of chronic sufferers are female
- Migraines run in families
- Migraines are the sixth most debilitating condition in the world
- Millions of people experience daily migraine headaches
- Ten percent of school-age children have recurrent migraines. While there are drugs to stop the pain, having a supply of natural migraine remedies on hand to relieve (and even prevent) them is the best option.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine differs from a regular headache in its intensity, duration, sensation, and causes. A headache usually lasts for a few hours and feels like a dull pain squeezing the head. A migraine is a severe throbbing pain, usually concentrated in the front or one side of the head and can last for several hours to days.
A headache usually occurs spontaneously, with no other symptoms. Migraines are often preceded by visual auras or “seeing stars”, extreme sensitivity to light or sound, unusually acute sense of taste or touch, and/or change of mood. Migraines can start while sleeping; headaches do not.
Other psychological changes can occur before and during a migraine, including:
- Feeling fearful
- Trouble with memory
Physiological changes that can accompany migraine include:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or face
- Double vision or loss of vision
- Loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting (2)
Sometimes symptoms of a migraine begin a day or two before the actual onset of a headache, such as:
- Stiff neck
- Frequent yawning
- Strange food cravings (3)
It’s not only the intense pain that makes migraines so difficult to endure, it’s the secondary symptoms that can make them debilitating. For many, migraines are flat-out incapacitating.