Migraine ranks in the top 20 causes in the world of years of healthy life lost to disability. It is more common in females than males and is a common cause of headache that is often misdiagnosed.
As classified by the International Headache Society, Migraine is a severe pulsatile headache that is unilateral in nature (one sided) and is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea, photophobia (sensitive to light) and phonophobia (sensitive to sound). The patient often needs to stop their normal daily activities and lie down in a dark, quiet room. Attacks usually last for 4-72 hours and are episodic.
The exact cause of migraine is unclear. There are numerous theories including brain blood vessel constriction, brain excitation, peptide release, central nervous system (CNS) sensitisation, altered function of CNS chemicals and contributions from the cervical spine.
Risk factors for Migraine include:
Past history of anxiety or depression
Certain food types
The most common treatment for Migraine is analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication. Another group of medications called the ‘triptans’ are very effective in treating migraine patients.
Other forms of treatment include physiotherapy to mobilise the upper joints in the neck which can contribute to migraine. Management of stress levels with relaxation techniques and exercise has also been shown to help manage patients with migraine.
All physica staff receive extra training in the diagnosis and management of migraine. We will assess your condition and classify your headache type and inform you whether a trial of physiotherapy will be beneficial in managing your condition.