A Stage by Stage View Of Migraine Symptoms

Many of the patients looking for migraine relief in Oakland CA have varying experiences of this condition. However, most of them complain about the severe, throbbing pain in one side of their heads, which is a typical symptom of migraines. 

Most of our migraine patients are not aware of the other aspects connected to migraines. Understanding what migraines are is a critical element in your journey for relief. It pays to know these facts about migraines:

  • Migraines are one of the most prevalent health conditions that drive people to the ER.
  • Women are more likely to get migraine attacks than men.
  • Migraines are more common for people in their 40s but can still occur in younger individuals.
  • Migraine attacks occur in phases or stages.

Today, we’ll shed light on the different phases of migraines and what happens in them. This way, you’ll have a good idea about the actions to take to make your migraine attacks more bearable. Later, we’ll also discuss a natural method that people looking for migraine relief in Oakland CA have discovered.

The Four Phases of Migraines

Migraines can be extremely debilitating, and as a neurological condition, they can affect the way we process thoughts and sensory stimuli. Suddenly getting migraines at the most inconvenient time can only hurt our lives. So wouldn’t it be nice if we have a way to tell if a migraine attack is about to happen? 

Many (as much as half) of migraineurs experience different signs that can tell them if a migraine attack is about to happen. Migraine attacks usually occur in four stages: the prodrome, the aura, the pain, and the postdrome phases. Read on to find out more about these migraine phases.

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Prodrome Phase

The prodrome phase refers to the pre-migraine attack stage. Around 3 out of 5 individuals with migraines experience this phase. These “warning symptoms” usually occur a couple of hours or days prior to the episode. Those that experience this phase report the following symptoms:

  • Stiff muscles in the neck and shoulders
  • Gastrointestinal issues (constipation, diarrhea)
  • Sensitivity to sensory stimuli (noise, smells, lights, temperature)
  • Sudden changes in mood (irritability, anxiety, depression)

Aura Phase

Auras are commonly seen by 1 out of 4 migraineurs. These may come in the form of visual disturbances or auditory hallucinations. In some cases, auras can manifest as motor-related experiences. These auras can arrive a few minutes or even a day before the onset of the migraine episode.

Visual auras may include the following occurrences:

  • Seeing zigzag lines in your visual field that may resemble forts or walls
  • Blind spots in your field of vision
  • Seeing flashing lights in your field of view

Auditory hallucinations refer to hearing sounds from things that are not there. For example, some patients claim to hear music, footsteps, or conversations between people. 

Motor-related or sensory auras can affect our balance and ability to speak. Those who experience the aura phase report experiencing numbness or tingling sensations in their nose or mouth and limbs, limiting their movements. Others experience some difficulty speaking and focusing. Several migraine patients also report experiencing vertigo symptoms during the aura phase.

Pain Phase

The pain phase or the headache stage consists of symptoms in the actual duration of the migraine attack. In most cases, only one side of the head is affected by head pains. Aches may also occur in the neck and shoulders. People who do not see visual disturbances may be more prone to bilateral pain, where both sides of the head are affected. 

Other symptoms that occur during this phase are:

  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to bright lights, loud noise, and foul odors
  • Irritability 
  • Stress

Doctors will often recommend people with migraines to lie down in a cold, quiet, dark room during an attack. This kind of environment can keep you away from triggers that can worsen your migraines. 

Postdrome Phase

The postdrome phase or the “migraine hangover” signals the end of the attack. However, people with migraines often experience symptoms that linger during this stage.  Migraineurs report feeling extreme fatigue and weakness during this phase.

  • People with migraines might still experience the following symptoms during postdrome:
  • Sudden mood changes (euphoria to sadness)
  • Difficulty in concentrating or focusing
  • Digestive issues 

Who Are at Higher Risk of Developing Migraines?

Migraines can affect anyone regardless of gender and age. However, women are more susceptible to migraines due to the hormonal changes connected to their monthly menstrual cycle. Aging is also a risk factor as well as genetics. Individuals who seek migraine relief in Oakland CA report having other family members who also get migraines. 

Other contributing factors for the onset of this condition are underlying conditions, such as hypertension, stroke, spinal misalignments, and depression. Poor lifestyle habits can also lead to migraines. For example, if you regularly smokes or drinks alcohol, you might experience even worse migraine episodes. Lack of sleep and dehydration can also lead to migraines.

How Are Migraines Relieved?

Now that you are aware of the phases of migraines and the risk factors for developing this neurological condition, you must learn about the different treatment methods for this condition.

Over-the-counter medications

Doctors usually prescribe pain relievers as the first line of defense for migraine symptoms. These pain and anti-inflammatory medications effectively provide fast relief from migraine symptoms, like nausea and vomiting, headaches, and muscle aches.

However, these relieving effects might not last long. Hence, a person with migraines would be required to take them regularly to fend off the migraine symptoms.


Surgical intervention might apply to severe cases of migraines that stem from other underlying severe conditions. Unfortunately, in many cases, surgery is often the last resort for relief.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes require diligence and discipline to work for your migraines. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can radically affect your overall health apart from reducing the severity and occurrence of migraine episodes. Below are some lifestyle changes that you can easily commit to:

  • Avoid physical activities during a migraine attack
  • Eat healthier and drink more water
  • Adjust your sleeping habits
  • Do some mild workouts for stress relief

Adjusting The Spine to Reduce Migraines

Recurrent migraines might also be a result of a spinal misalignment. As surprising as it sounds, the connection between the spine and migraines is simple. Migraines are a neurological condition that affects the function of the central nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord, which are connected and housed to the rest of the body by the spinal column. Hence, a problem in the alignment of the spine can ultimately lead to the onset of migraines. 

Here at Life Chiropractic, we offer migraine relief in Oakland CA. Dr. Crago, our specific chiropractor, can perform gentle, specific, and tailor-made adjustments to correct the misalignment in your spine. Realigning the spine to its natural position can alleviate the excess tension on the nerves that causes migraine attacks. 

If you want to rediscover what relief feels like, schedule a consultation with us. Call our office at (510) 394-5035 or fill out our online form.

To schedule a special consultation in our Oakland office call (510) 594-9994, or just click the button below.


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