Brain Research & Migraines

Headache Journal
1. The days and times your headaches occur
2. How long the headaches last
3. What you were doing before each headache began
4. What you ate or drank before each headache began
5. Any treatments you've used, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies or other treatments
6. The severity and location of the pain
7. Other symptoms, such as nausea or stomach upset, auras or other visual symptoms
8. The impact the headaches have had on your life, such as days lost from work, missed family events, etc. and Symptoms of Migraines
Abnormal body sensations, called paresthesias, such as tingling, numbing or prickling
Dizziness or vertigo
Nausea and vomiting
Scalp tenderness
Sensitivity to light
Visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or blind spots in your vision
Facts: Migraines are the most common cause of vascular headache- 26 million Americans. About 15 percent of women and 6 percent of men experience these headaches- characterized by recurrent attacks, with pain most often on one side of the head, accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound- migraines can occur at any time of day or night, they tend to be more frequent in the morning. Routine activity or slight head movement typically makes the pain worse. Episodes can last from several hours to several days and often are disabling. During the attack, pain may travel from one part of the head to another and may radiate down the neck into the shoulder. Scalp tenderness occurs in the majority of patients during or after an attack. Migraines tend to run in families and often are hereditary. If you have migraines, chances are another family member does as well.

There are several main causes for migraines, they are as follows; diet, sleep, hormones, stress and anxiety, and environmental factors.

For diet, certain foods can set off a migraine episode. Some of these foods include; dairy products, alcohol (particularly reds), some sugar substitutes especially aspartame, caffeine, monosodium glutamate (the acronym is SMG), foods like aged cheese which have tyramine in them, as well as meats with nitrates and nitrites that are known to cause headaches.
Sleep is simply a lack of it. Without enough sleep, a person will become easily susceptible to migraines because everything becomes dulled including a person’s defenses against their usual aggravators.
Hormones caused headaches are usually found in woman going through menstruation. Estrogen induced headaches are harder to treat, last longer, and hurt more.
If a person is nervous about an exam or a lawsuit or any number of things is very likely to get a migraine episode. The headaches that can be brought on by such issues are usually easily treatable and are not always as bad as they can be. However, these migraines do not always hurt. They can be sudden mode changes and are extremely debilitating. This form of a headache can last from one hour to over a month.
Environmental changes are known to cause headaches. Altitude change can cause severe migraine attacks usually lasting about three days. Environmental changes are not always natural changes. Environmental changes can include moving of furniture in your house. This can stress out a person bringing on a short period of migraine headaches. Weather change can also sometimes cause migraines.

Migraines can be managed by identifying and then avoiding the "trigger factors" that affect you. People who suffer from migraines tend to be sensitive to stress. Since the stresses of everyday life can't be avoided, practicing stress-relieving techniques -- such as yoga, transcendental meditation, hypnosis and biofeedback -- may be helpful.
These treatment methods are extremely helpful and practical. They are effective keeping migraines away as well.

More Traditional Methods of Treatment
Devin Wu is a physical therapist and licensed acupuncturist whose practice emphasizes musculoskeletal dysfunctions and sports injuries. Devin's unique integrative approach combines Western and Eastern medical perspectives and modalities to address a wide range of challenges--pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness, tingling--that may limit his clients' daily activities, recreation, and sense of well being. His services and clinical techniques include acupuncture, soft tissue and joint mobilization, exercise instruction, ergonomic consultation, postural and neuromuscular reeducation, and body mechanics instruction.
About 28 million Americans have migraines. Migraines typically start during adolescence or the 20s.

52% of migraine sufferers are undiagnosed by a healthcare provider.

Migraine is misdiagnosed as tension (a catch-all phrase) or sinus headache (a relatively rare condition) almost as frequently as it is correctly diagnosed.

Migraine affects 13% of the population, and one in every four U.S. households has a migraine sufferer.

It is estimated that industry loses $50 billion per year due to absenteeism, lost productivity and medical expenses caused by migraine.

70% of all migraine sufferers are women.

24% of migraine sufferers report headaches so severe that they have sought emergency room care

More than half (51%) of migraine sufferers report a 50% or more reduction in work and/or school productivity and 66% report a 50% or more reduction in household work productivity.



This is similar to the type of migraine episode I get. This is the kind that causes people to commonly go to the emergency room or go into a neurological health center (not an asylum).


This is what a migraine looks like as it progresses going from its start to its peak.