Migraine headaches are among the most serious and painful type of headaches. They are usually described as an intense, throbbing or pounding pain that involves your temple, forehead, around the eye, or the back of the head. They can also be accompanied by flashing, brightly colored lights in a zigzag pattern usually starting in the middle of the visual field and progressing outward and can also include abnormal tastes and smells.
Migraines are caused by the enlargement of blood vessels and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around these blood vessels. As your blood vessels enlarge, the nerves surrounding them stretch. This stretching action causes the nerves to release chemicals. These chemicals cause inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery, which intensifies the pain.
About 10% of the world’s population suffers from migraine headaches. And this serious problem is largely under-treated and, in most sufferers, undiagnosed. In fact, less than half of migraine headache sufferers are diagnosed by their doctors.
The first course of treatment for migraines are over-the-counter analgesics and pain relievers (like acetaminophen and ibuprofen among others). Your doctor can also prescribe other medications like triptans to relieve the pain from migraine headaches. But these remedies only treat the symptoms of migraines; that is, they are only effective once the pain begins.
Using traditional migraine remedies on an ongoing basis can also be very expensive. And, they only mask your headache symptoms. They do nothing to eliminate the cause of your headaches. Using these traditional treatments, your headaches will return again and again!
Alternative holistic medical approaches can also be effective for some migraine sufferers. Of course, you should discuss these alternative approaches with your doctor before trying any of these treatments.