What is a persistent migraine?
Chronic migraine is characterized by recurrent or protracted headaches and migraine attacks. Your symptoms from a chronic migraine may change every day or even every hour. Because of this, it may be difficult to distinguish between one migraine or headache and another.
What distinguishes a headache from a migraine?
A migraine is more than just a painful headache. Although both headaches and migraines are included in the International Classification of Headache Disorders’ definition of persistent migraine, they are not the same.
Although headaches are normally unpleasant and inconvenient, they are rarely severe enough to prevent you from carrying out your regular activities. Headaches of the tension type (TTH) are the most prevalent kind. Pain that just affects your head or face but not your brain is the primary sign of TTH.
Because they directly affect your brain, migraines can be very painful. The symptoms frequently get severe enough to interfere with your daily routine and activities. When you have a migraine, it can be excruciating to try to go about your life as you would in normal conditions.
How widespread are chronic migraines?
Around 12% to 15% of people globally suffer from migraines, making them familiar. Experts believe that between 1% and 2.2% of individuals globally suffer from chronic migraine.
People designated as female at birth (AFAB) and women are more prone to suffer from chronic migraine. Compared to 0.6% to 0.7% of men and people who were designated male at birth, between 1.7% and 4% of women and people who identify as AFAB suffer from chronic migraine.
Typically, migraines begin around adolescence and become less common as you get older. After menopause, migraines infrequently occur in women and individuals with AFAB or completely disappear.
Symptoms are present?
The signs and symptoms of episodic and chronic migraines are identical. Simply put, chronic migraines persist longer or occur more frequently. Pain from a chronic migraine also causes headaches.
You must have the following symptoms to acquire this diagnosis:
- whenever you get a headache or migraine at least 15 days a month. This must continue for a minimum of three months.
- At least eight days per month when you experience migraine symptoms or characteristics in your headaches. This must continue for a minimum of three months.
Stages of migraine:
As previously said, migraines differ from headaches and can manifest in several ways. You may experience different symptoms from one migraine to the next. There are up to four stages of migraines, albeit not every migraine goes through all four.
- Prodrome: This is the period before a migraine. You can frequently sense minute changes that indicate the impending onset of a migraine.
- Aura: These signs and symptoms appear as various parts of your brain are affected by a migraine.
- Headache: A migraine’s pain stage is represented by this.
- Postdrome: This is when a migraine’s aftereffects start to manifest. It is frequently compared to a “migraine hangover.”
What is the condition’s cause?
The likelihood of developing migraines increases if you have a close biological relative who suffers from them, particularly a parent or grandmother.
Additionally, according to researchers, several factors could cause headaches, such as:
- Vascular widening or narrowing causes changes in blood flow in your brain.
- temporary modifications that hinder the ability of brain cells to transmit electrical signals.
- Neurotransmitter concentrations, such as serotonin, alter because of these changes in brain chemistry.
- incorrect nerve groups in your head or near your eyes are signaling.
- malfunctions in the brain’s various signal and pain processing centers.
- changes in the way your body perceives and processes pain because of chronic pain.
Talk therapy for migraine:
Stress or a lack of sleep can occasionally be the cause of chronic migraine, which affects between 1 and 2 percent of individuals worldwide. It can be incapacitating and have significant emotional consequences. It is diagnosed when you experience 15 or more headache days per month.
Adding talk therapy to a chronic migraine treatment plan has been demonstrated to assist some patients to manage the disease, even though chronic migraine has a physical neurologic root cause.
Talk therapy, commonly referred to as psychotherapy, can be used to address depression, anxiety, or sleeplessness as well as stress levels. To better comprehend and respond to stress, discomfort, and even your sentiments and beliefs, entails speaking with a qualified specialist.
Types of Talk therapy for persistent/ chronic migraine
Various therapeutic modalities could be beneficial for chronic migraine. Others may benefit from therapy alone or a mix of therapy and medicine, but some people utilize medication to treat the condition’s effects on their mental health. No one strategy is effective for everyone.
Cognitive behavioral therapy:
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can be helpful for those who want to manage stress or alter behaviors that might be causing them to feel anxious or depressed.
This popular type of talk therapy functions by assisting you in becoming conscious of negative thoughts. It also enables you to comprehend how your attitudes and convictions influence your actions. In a small 2019 trial, CBT was proven to be helpful for persons with migraines. There is currently research being done on CBT specifically for migraines.
In CBT, you collaborate with therapists to develop the ability to see challenging circumstances more clearly, which may enable you to react in more useful ways.
For persistent migraine, some patients utilize relaxation therapy, which has advantages comparable to those of CBT. Stress is one of the main triggers for migraine symptoms, and relaxation therapy works by directly treating this trigger.
Deep breathing and relaxing exercises like guided imagery and meditation are used in relaxation treatment to soothe the nervous system. When you are just getting started, working with a qualified therapist in an office is helpful. However, you can also do it independently with the aid of smartphone applications or internet videos.
You are attached to devices during biofeedback therapy that track numerous involuntary physiological reactions, such as skin temperature or muscular tension. You will be informed about the adjustments that are being made, and you might view a computer screen or get visual cues to view the quantitative measurements of stress.
According to the AMF, this can signal you to start a preventive measure, such as hand warming, or it can help you understand and alter how you react to stress.
The National Headache Foundation states that biofeedback therapy may help persons with persistent migraines achieve the following results:
- Fewer migraine attacks
- higher nervous system stability between attacks
- improved control over migraine
Hospitals, medical facilities, and physical therapy clinics are typically where biofeedback therapy is provided. Getting therapy begun
Consult your primary care physician:
Speaking with a primary care physician is the initial step in beginning therapy. It is crucial to communicate your needs, worries, and symptoms to determine a viable therapy strategy. A primary care physician might also suggest a therapist for you that they know and trust.
If you believe that treatment would assist you in controlling your migraine symptoms, be sure to speak up and demand a referral.
You should also think about your therapeutic objectives, such as reducing anxiety or learning relaxation techniques. This might assist you and your primary care physician in choosing the best therapy for your requirements. It would be preferable to locate a therapist who specializes in treating patients with chronic pain.
Consider the price:
Check with your health insurance provider or employer benefits to see if treatment is covered before you begin and try to choose a psychologist or other mental health professional from within your network.
Hospitals in your area are another resource you can use to find a doctor.
Look for a therapist who is in training at a center or university for more affordable possibilities. They are closely supervised by trained mental health specialists who hold licenses. Online counseling choices are also accessible, and they could be less expensive than conventional therapy.
While talk therapy will not cure chronic migraine, it can help manage the psychological effects of the condition and, in some cases, lessen the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. In general, it can help with stress, despair, or anxiety.
Speak with your GP to find out more about the advantages of talk therapy. They can assist you in identifying the type of therapy that might improve your overall chronic migraine treatment plan.
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