The Stages of a Migraine - Migraine Attack

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Did you know? That a migraine can occur in 4 stages? It is also a myth that all migraineurs will experience all the stages. Prodrome, aura, migraine attack and postdrome make up the 4 stages in which a migraineur may experience. 

Previously, we have discussed on the first 2 stages (Aura and Prodrome), and today a greater emphasis will be placed on the actual migraine attack.

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The attack itself is the most debilitating part of the migraine. The headache often occurs on one side of the head and can move to other parts during the course of the migraine. Migraine sufferers often explain the pain to vary in different types: 

  • Burning 

  • Stabbing

  • Ice pick in the head

  • Drilling

  • Throbbing

Here is how some Migraine Buddy users describe their migraines to feel like: 

“Like a bowling ball slammed into one side of my head and stayed there”

“Pulsating, stabbing, crushing, exploding pain…”

“I explain it as feeling like being hit in the head with a hammer over & over again 😔”

“Knife twisting in my skull”

“Like my brain was probed with a pair of scissors by alien life forms who implanted an automatic drum set that goes off daily.”

“Like a volcano erupting inside my skull 💀 🌋”

“My head in a vice and icepicks being inserted like horns! I’ve also described it as “heavy”...like it’s a cinderblock I’m carrying around on my shoulders. 😖”

The pain intensity of the headache can often be aggravated by even simple say-to-day activities and other physical activities.

Some common symptoms in this phase:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Giddiness

  • Insomnia

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Sensitivity to Smell

  • Anxiety

  • Depressed Mood

  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

  • Phonophobia (sensitivity to sound)

  • Neck pain and stiffness

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According to Migraine Buddy users, the top 10 most common symptoms which they experience  include: 

  1. Photophobia (Sensitivity to Light)

  2. Nausea

  3. Neck Pain 

  4. Phonophobia (Sensitivity to Noise) 

  5. Fatigue

  6. Throbbing Pain

  7. Nasal Congestion

  8. Pulsating Pain

  9. Worse Pain if Moving

  10. Pounding Pain 

Most migraines last approximately 4 hours. If not treated or no response is shown to treatments, it can last up to 72 hours or longer. If one experiences aura, the pain may overlap with the aura. 

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more insights on migraine triggers! Are any of the above mentioned symptoms ones that you experience too?

Healint Singapore