Migraine Pain Symptoms: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Migraine symptoms

Migraines are a type of headache. They are more than just a regular headache, however. Migraines are recurring attacks that often cause other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain may last for hours up to several days.

Migraines usually start in childhood or adolescence and continue through adulthood. In some cases, migraines can be prevented by avoiding specific triggers (such as stress). However, in other cases, they cannot be prevented, and the patient must learn to manage them with medications and lifestyle changes.

The pain of a migraine is usually on one side of the head and is throbbing or pulsing. It’s usually moderate to severe, but some people experience milder symptoms that may go unnoticed by their friends and family. Some people also have an aura (a visual disturbance) before or along with their migraine attack. Auras can be simple things like flashing lights or zigzag lines, or they can be more complex such as seeing bright spots, wavy lines, or blind spots in your vision.

Migraine attacks can be classified into two categories:

Classic Migraine: Headache is one-sided, throbbing, and moderate to severe in intensity. It can last anywhere from four to 72 hours. Other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, may also occur during the headache phase.

Common Migraine: Headache is usually bilateral (on both sides) and pulsating in nature. Commonly associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound (photophobia or phonophobia).

Migraine pain symptoms include:

  • A throbbing or pulsating sensation on one side of the head
  • Pain that gets worse when you bend over or touch your head
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Blurry vision or other visual disturbances
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, or smells
  • Stiff neck
  • Aura (visual disturbances) before the headache

What Causes Pain During a Migraine?

Pain during a migraine is caused by changes in blood vessels in the brain. The arteries that carry blood to the brain are dilated, allowing more blood to flow through them than normal. This causes a change in consciousness and other neurological symptoms. The brain also releases chemicals that cause inflammation and swelling of the nerve fibers in your brain and around your spinal cord. These nerves send messages to your brain about what you’re feeling and thinking — such as pain — which is how you know when something hurts.

How do you prevent Migraine?

Migraine is a complex condition that can be difficult to manage. But the good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent migraine and reduce their severity.

Here are some tips on how to prevent migraine:

Eat a healthy diet. According to Harvard Medical School, a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help prevent migraine attacks. In addition, foods high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium may help reduce migraines’ frequency.

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Quit smoking or drink less alcohol. People who smoke or drink alcohol excessively are more likely to suffer from frequent headaches, including migraines than those who don’t consume these substances, says the National Headache Foundation.

Get enough sleep. Recent studies suggest that not getting enough sleep can trigger migraines in people who tend toward them anyway; getting adequate rest is essential for good health overall.

Exercise regularly. But not too much or too little! Moderate physical activity helps prevent migraine attacks in some people by releasing endorphins (natural painkillers), according to Harvard Medical School’s Guide To Healthy Living With Migraine Disease And Chronic Headaches (PDF).

Limit your salt intake. Salt contains sodium which causes fluid retention in your body, leading to high blood pressure, which can trigger migraines in sensitive individuals. Avoid processed foods (those with added salt) as much as possible since they contain high sodium levels.

Treatment for Migraine 

Migraine treatment depends on the frequency and severity of attacks. If you have mild headaches that occur once a month or less, you may be able to manage them with simple pain relievers. But your doctor may recommend preventive medications if you have more frequent attacks or severe headaches.


This article has explained the causes of Migraines, how to prevent them, and how to treat them if you get a Migraine. Hopefully, this information has been helpful and informative for those suffering from Migraine Headaches. Please see a doctor if you are getting headaches regularly or anything in between.