Migraine Q & A

Migraines can significantly impact your life and keep you from participating in your normal activities. The medical team at Annandale Primary Care in Annandale, Virginia, treats migraines using both traditional and alternative treatment methods. For a personalized plan of care to relieve migraine pain, call the office or book an appointment online today.

What is a migraine?

A migraine is a severe type of headache. Migraines affect around a quarter of households in the United States, and they’re the third most common illness worldwide.

Migraines usually are associated with severe head pain, as well as other symptoms, including nausea, light sensitivity, and visual disturbances. The headaches can be debilitating, and for many, migraines are a chronic, ongoing condition.

Migraines are considered acute if they affect you less than 15 days a month and last less than 24 hours at a time. Chronic migraines affect you for at least 15 days a month, and may last from a few hours to a few days.

More women than men suffer from migraines, and they’re most commonly a health concern between ages 25 and 55.

What causes migraines?

Migraines are not usually due to any underlying disease. The cause of migraines is not always clear, but scientists believe the pain may be caused by abnormal brain activity or by constriction or dilation of blood vessels in the head.

These changes may be triggered by:

Some foods or food additives, such as chocolate, dairy products, MSG, and certain processed foods, may also trigger migraines.

What are symptoms of a migraine?

A migraine is more than just a headache. Migraines are characterized by a number of specific symptoms that accompany the pain, such as:

Some experience an aura 10-15 minutes before a migraine, which is a patient-specific symptom that signals a migraine is beginning. Usually, these auras involve some sort of visual disturbance, but they’re unique to each person.

What are possible treatments for migraines?

Migraine treatments are varied, and each person may respond better to some treatments than others. At Annandale Primary Care, they offer treatments that are both traditional and alternative.

Traditional treatments include:

Alternative treatments may include acupuncture and cupping therapy. Your doctor takes time to understand what triggers and symptoms are specific to you, and then creates a treatment plan that’s most effective to relieve your migraine.

For a consultation about your acute or chronic migraines, call the office or book an appointment online with Annandale Primary Care today.

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Undiagnosed patients can unknowingly transmit the disease to others. Early diagnosis can help to prevent or stop an outbreak.