mig2Do you suffer from migraines?

Have you had a concussion in the past and received concussion treatment?

If you’re saying ‘yes’ to both of the above, then you may be interested to learn that there is a potential link between the two conditions, which could mean suffering a previous concussion, one or more, means you may be more susceptible to migraines in the future.

Not convinced?

This is by no means a definitive answer, however two studies have shown that there certainly could be a link, and that further research needs to be done.

What does this mean?

Basically, if the link proves to be true, a more targeted treatment option could be developed for patients who have suffered a head injury in the past, having received concussion treatment, and who then go on to experience migraines, or migraine-like symptoms. On top of this, knowing that there is a link means prevention could be put into place, and that is great news for those involved.

The first study which raised this intriguing possibility took a selection of 74 high school football players and asked a selection of questions regarding whether they had suffered from headaches and migraines in the past, and whether they had suffered a concussion as a result of a sporting injury. 34% of those questioned reported a history of migraines, with a further 28% reporting sinus headaches instead. 37.5% reported undergoing concussion treatment in the past, and out of that 37.5%, 41% reported having migraines since that time.

The general rate for migraine suffering in the general population is around 16%, so this set of statistics seems to show that there is a link between concussions in the past and resulting migraines in the future.

A further study certainly added more weight to this argument.

A random selection of 25 patients aged between 12 to 19 years, all regular sports players of varying types, reported that all of them had experienced headaches between sustaining their injury and then returning back to their particular sport, and that 68% of those were migraines, accompanied by regular migraine symptoms, such as nausea, photophobia, visual disturbances, vestibular symptoms, and neurocognitive problems.

Of course, these two studies don’t solidly prove or otherwise whether there is a link, but they certain raise a huge question mark of possibility, and where there is a question mark, further research must be done. If this is proven to be the case, this is great news for both present and potential migraine sufferers, because targeted treatment may be more effective as a result.

If you are at all concerned about migraines, concussion, or both situations together, then don’t worry for a second longer. Call the practice now on 03 8652 1628 to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation with one of our friendly, helpful, and highly experienced staff. Where migraines are concerned, help is certainly at hand after a thorough consultation and proper diagnosis of your situation.

headacheIf you’re under the illusion that a migraine is just a bad headache, you’re very wrong. Ask anyone suffering regularly from migraines, or even someone who has only ever had one, and they’ll tell you that a migraine is like the worst headache on the planet, then doubled. The scary thing is that a vast amount of people are regularly affected by migraine attacks, and a lot of it is down to the stressful lives we lead nowadays.

It is thought that migraines are more common in men than women, and out of the 8 million sufferers in the UK alone, 18% of these are female, compared to 6% of men. Of course, children are also affected, however these are thought to decrease in severity as they get older, despite the fact that in this age group, boys are more likely to be affected. Why is this? Well, hormones play a big part in migraine causation, especially in adult females with hormonal disturbances during the menstrual cycle and the menopause.

What causes a migraine?

There are countless triggers to a migraine attack, and these are generally variable on a person to person basis. Stress is a major cause, as well as poor diet and little exercise, however an intolerance to bright lights, noise, smoking, alcohol, hormonal causes, consumption of certain foods, such as chocolate and nuts, and consumption of certain ingredients in food, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), are all common triggers to a migraine attack.

What are the different types of migraine?

There are two types of migraine – migraine with aura, and migraine without aura.

Whilst you might think that migraine without aura sounds less severe, this is actually worse than the first type, and can last anything up to three days, with debilitating symptoms rendering the person basically useless until the attack passes. Migraine with aura can last for around an hour and is accompanied by visual disturbances, and occasional nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms of a migraine include flashing lights before the eyes, tunnel vision, temporary blindness, zigzag lines, dizziness, numbness, vertigo, confusion, fainting, inability to stand light or sound, low blood pressure, and extreme pain in the head, usually around the front and the temples.

As you can see, a migraine is not a pleasant experience, and is not simply a bad headache.

What is the treatment for migraines?

There is no cure for migraines unfortunately, and it’s more about managing symptoms and cutting down on attack frequency. There are many effective methods for this, however the most common does still tend to be medication. This isn’t always the best option, because side effects can be unpleasant, they don’t work for everyone, and they don’t always alleviate symptoms enough. Other options are more holistic and include stress management, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, deep relaxation, exercise, and looking at the overall diet, as well as cutting out triggers.

If you are struggling with the symptoms of migraines and the frequency of attacks, call the practice now on (03) 9381 1991 to arrange an appointment.