Migraine Awareness Month: What is migraine?

This month Migraine Australia is running a campaign for Migraine Awareness Month (MAM).

Migraine is a common complaint Osteopaths manage through various treatment methods depending on their presentation.

Over 5 million Australians live with migraine, affecting 1 in 5 people.

Migraine is a spectrum disorder, rendering some completely disabled, while others are able to live fairly normal lives with only the occasional attack.

There is no cure for migraine, however, in most cases it can be managed.

The current research around migraine cause is rapidly changing, but the recent understanding is that all migraines have a genetic cause. People with migraine have variations in their genetic code that make the networks in their brain hyperexcitable. Think of this as having multiple balloons being blown up at different stages. The balloons with the most air in them are more likely to pop than the ones with less air. The balloons that pop first are the hyperexiteable areas of the brain and the air being blown into them are triggers such as stress.

These hyperexcitable brain networks can react abnormally to things such as light, noise, smells, diet or hormonal changes. These are known as ‘triggers’. Depending on the area of the brain that is over-stimulated, this will determine the symptoms and signs someone with migraine attack will suffer with.

Some common examples of migraine symptoms are: headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and neck stiffness.

Common triggers to be aware of include

(but are not limited to):

- Changes in routine

- Stress

- Sleep

- Hormonal changes

- Exercise

- Food

- Caffeine

- Water

- Environment

What might trigger you to have a migraine attack might be completely different to the next person.

A good idea to keep track of your migraine attack and the triggers is to have a migraine diary, listing the start time and finish of the attack, what time you got up, things you ate and drank, the weather, symptoms and medications etc. Making it as detailed as possible. This becomes very important when working out a pattern to your migraine so you can avoid specific triggers and get a more informed approach to your treatment.

If migraine is something you suffer with or would like more information on, head to www.migraine.org.au where this information was sourced. If you would like to talk to someone about migraine or any other condition call the clinic 0491038827 or book online.


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