How do you know if you are suffering with a migraine. Or is it a tension headache, or a cluster headache?
Up to 90% of the the population suffer from headaches at some point and if you are on the unfortunate ones to suffer regularly you may be wondering if there is something you can do to help.
But is it a migraine?
First, in order to identify if you are indeed suffering from a migraine you need to classify your symptoms.
If you have 2 of the following:
- Pain on one side of the head
- The pain is moderate to severe
- Pain can be characterised as throbbing
- Pain is made worse with movement
And 1 of these:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Aversion to light and noise
- Pain lasts from 4-72 hours
Around 11% of the population suffer with migraines and they can be completely debilitating. If you have other symptoms it may be that the pain is on both sides of the head, or they may only last 15 minutes but be unbearable. These tend to fall under tension or cluster headaches.
There are also what we call secondary headaches – these are headaches that are caused by something else going on such as sinus headaches, or as a symptom of something more serious such as meningitis.
With migraines it is often necessary to try and figure out the trigger, sometimes it can be food or drink related, sometimes stress or over-exertion. From there a plan to manage them is what we have found works best.
At Active Potential Therapy at least 3 people suffer with them. Sam gets migraines following running, hence why she now lifts weights as this does not bring them on. One member of staff has migraines so severe that they are hospitalised for days. They manage them through a careful diet and watching out for the signs so that they can take action quickly.
If you would like more information our osteopath Carol, has spent time learning the specifics of headaches. She offers a free 15 minute consultation and would be happy to talk through things.