Why Recording and Tracking Symptom Changes during Migraine Attacks is Important

Why Recording and Tracking Symptom Changes during Migraine Attacks is Important


Personal experience with migraine attacks and hip numbness can be an overwhelming and challenging journey. However, recording and tracking symptom changes during migraine attacks can greatly assist in better understanding and managing the condition. This article explores the importance of keeping a record, offers insights into effective tracking methods, and highlights the benefits of sharing this information with your healthcare provider.

Recording Symptom Changes during a Migraine Attack

Recording symptom changes during a migraine attack is a practice backed by numerous benefits.

Why it is Beneficial

To have a record for personal reference:

  • It helps to forget and reduce stress by allowing you to review and analyze your symptoms objectively. For example, you may notice a pattern of increased hip numbness during periods of high stress.
  • It provides a sense of control and empowerment, as tracking your symptoms allows you to identify patterns and triggers, and make informed decisions about your wellbeing. For instance, you may discover that certain foods or environmental factors worsen your migraine attacks and hip numbness.

To gather information for future doctor visits:

  • It helps in understanding the effectiveness of treatments by documenting your experience with different medications and therapies. This can guide your doctor in adjusting your treatment plan. For example, you may find that a specific medication consistently reduces both migraine attacks and hip numbness.
  • Taking quick notes on how fast a medication worked can be valuable:
    • Within 30 minutes of intake: If a medication provides relief within this time frame consistently, it indicates its fast-acting properties, which may be particularly helpful during severe attacks.
    • Within 2 hours of intake: The overall effectiveness of a medication is often assessed within this time frame. If it consistently provides relief within this period, it can be considered a reliable treatment option.
    • Presence of any side effects: Documenting any side effects experienced with different treatments can be important for your doctor to evaluate their tolerability and potential risks.
  • Preparing questions to ask your doctor during the next visit regarding potential side effects and correct medication usage can improve the consultation process. For example, you may ask about alternative medications that have fewer side effects or if any lifestyle changes can complement your treatment.

How to Keep Track of Symptom Changes

Keeping track of symptom changes during migraine attacks can be facilitated through the following methods:

  • Using a migraine diary or tracking app to record the details of each attack and track trends over time. There are several user-friendly apps available specifically designed for tracking migraine attacks and associated symptoms.
  • Making note of specific details, including:
    • Duration and intensity of the migraine attack: Recording how long the attack lasts and rating its severity on a scale of 1 to 10 can help you monitor any changes in the course of your migraine attacks and hip numbness.
    • Frequency of hip numbness and its duration: Keeping track of how often hip numbness occurs during a migraine attack and how long it persists can help you identify any patterns or triggers that may be contributing to its occurrence.
    • Any associated symptoms like nausea or aura: Documenting any additional symptoms experienced during a migraine attack can provide a more holistic picture of your condition and aid in accurate diagnosis.
    • Possible triggers that may have contributed to the attack: Identifying potential triggers such as stress, certain foods, or environmental factors can help you take proactive measures to avoid or manage them.

The Benefits of Sharing Symptom Records with the Doctor

Sharing symptom records with your doctor can enhance the quality of your healthcare:

  • It facilitates an open and constructive conversation during appointments, ensuring that all relevant information is discussed. By sharing your symptom records, your doctor can gain valuable insights into your condition and make more informed decisions about your treatment.
  • It helps detect patterns and identify effective treatments, aiding both you and your doctor in making informed decisions about your care. For example, by analyzing your symptom records, your doctor may identify specific triggers or effective medications that can be tailored to your needs.
  • It allows your doctor to have a comprehensive view of your symptoms and treatment history, enhancing their ability to provide accurate diagnoses and personalized recommendations. By having access to your detailed symptom records, your doctor can better understand the progression of your migraine attacks and hip numbness, and adjust treatment options accordingly.

Reporting All Details to the Doctor

While compiling extensive information about your migraine attacks and hip numbness is beneficial, it is important to be mindful of potential drawbacks:

  • Doctors may not have time to thoroughly review everything, therefore prioritizing the most critical information is important. Focus on key details that directly impact your treatment and well-being, such as medication effectiveness and notable side effects.
    • Consistency in medication intake at proper intervals and avoiding excessive combinations can be a priority. Your doctor may be particularly interested in any notable changes in the frequency or intensity of hip numbness.
  • Some doctors may focus more on the effectiveness of acute treatments rather than detailed records. In such cases, highlight the impact of medications on your migraine attacks and hip numbness, and any noticeable changes in symptom severity and duration.
  • Insurance companies may only require evidence of incapacity and duration rather than extensive details. While it is important to document the overall impact of migraine attacks on your daily life, focus on the most relevant information needed for insurance purposes.

Determining When to Record Symptom Changes

While continuous recording of symptom changes is not necessary, there are specific scenarios where it can be particularly useful:

  • Determining which medication is most effective:
    • Tracking changes in hip numbness with different drugs can help you and your doctor identify the most suitable treatment options. Document any changes in symptom intensity and duration when using different medications, highlighting improvements or exacerbations.
    • Comparing the duration and intensity of migraine attacks with each medication can assist in determining which medication provides the most comprehensive relief for your migraine attacks and associated hip numbness.
    • Noting any side effects experienced with different treatments is crucial in evaluating their tolerability and making informed decisions about your ongoing treatment plan.
  • Understanding the speed of medication effectiveness:
    • Monitoring how quickly each drug provides relief from hip numbness can help you gauge its efficacy and decide which medication to use during acute attacks. Note the time it takes for your hip numbness to subside after taking each medication.
    • Noting the time frame in which hip numbness subsides with each medication can provide valuable information for managing your symptoms and selecting the appropriate treatment options.


Recording and tracking symptom changes during migraine attacks play a crucial role in better understanding, managing, and treating migraine attacks. Keeping a record provides personal benefits, such as reducing stress and gaining a sense of control. Additionally, sharing this information with your healthcare provider can lead to more informed decisions and improve the quality of your care. By compiling symptom reports, individuals can empower themselves in the management of migraine attacks and associated symptoms.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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