Overview of Migraine

Migraine Meaning in Urdu

اس بیماری کو آدھے سر کا درد یا دردِ شقیقہ کہا جاتا ہے۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے سر کے ایک حصے میں درد کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ دردِ شقیقہ ایک عام بیماری ہے جو کہ ہر پانچ خواتین میں سے ایک خاتون اور ہر پندرہ مردوں میں سے ایک مرد کو نشانہ بناتی ہے۔ یہ بیماری زیادہ تر نوجوانی کا آغاز ہوتے ہی لاحق ہو جاتی ہے۔ سر درد کی نسبت اسے کنٹرول کرنا کافی مشکل ہوتا ہے۔ اس کی وجہ سے گردن میں کھنچاؤ اور قبض کا بھی سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔

A migraine ( درد شقیقہ یا آدھے سر کا درد) is a severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation usually on one side of the brain. It is usually described as a strong or severe headache. Migraine can disrupt the daily life of a person. These attacks can last from a few hours to days.

Along with migraines, bouts of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound occur. A person is unable to focus due to severe pain. Medications can help prevent migraines but an exact treatment is not possible.

Signs and Symptoms of Migraine

Migraine attacks are different for everybody. It usually occurs in stages, which include:

  1. Prodrome

60 percent of people notice these symptoms hours or days before a headache:

  1. Aura

Aura involves the nervous system and often the vision. They last less than an hour for about five to twenty minutes. Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tunnel vision
  • Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • See black dots or flashes of light
  • Tinnitus
  • Changes in sensation
  1. Attack

A migraine starts as a dull ache and grows into throbbing, severe pain. Physical activity usually worsens the condition. Pain moves from one side of the brain to the other side of the brain. The sensation grows and it feels like the whole head is in severe pain.

80 percent of people have nausea along with a migraine.  

  1. Postdrome

Postdrome can last up to an entire day. Symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Crankiness
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Food cravings
  • Lack of appetite

Types of Migraine

Migraines can be of different kinds inducing those with aura known as classic migraine and those without aura known as common migraine. 

Other types of migraine include:

  • Menstrual Migraine: Linked with a woman’s period.
  • Silent Migraine: This includes aura symptoms without a headache.
  • Abdominal Migraine: It causes nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  • Ophthalmic Migraine: These are short-lived migraines causing a dull ache behind the eye.
  • Ophthalmoplegic Migraine:  This causes pain around the eye along with paralysis of muscles and pressure on the eye.
  • Hemiplegic Migraine: This causes temporary paralysis and weakness.
  • Vestibular Migraine: This causes vertigo, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Status Migrainosus:  Migraine that lasts more than 3 days.
  • Brainstem Aura Migraine: The back of the head is affected accompanied by confusion, dizziness, and loss of balance.

Causes of Migraine

The exact cause of migraines is still undetermined. But many genetics and environmental factors play a role in it. 

Neurotransmitters and serotonin might play a role in the onset of migraines.

Risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Hormonal changes
  • Age 

Migraine Triggers

Several factors can trigger migraines include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine 
  • Loud noises
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Climate changes
  • Intense physical exertion or sexual activity
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Lack of sleep
  • Certain medications
  • Processed foods
  • Skipping meals
  • Food additives such as MSG

Risk Factors of Migraine

The risk factors of migraine are as follows:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Frequent clenching of teeth 
  • Gum chewing in children
  • Tiredness
  • Anger 
  • Stress
  • Sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • Excessive use of the screens (smartphones, laptops etc)

Health Complications of Migraine 

Several health complications that are associated with migraines are:

  • Migraine-triggered seizures 
  • Chronic migraine 
  • Persistent aura without infarction 
  • Stroke with migraine



These are the best preventive measures for migraine:

  1. Sleep 

Make sure to get adequate hours of sleep. Practice this by going to bed and then waking up at the same period. Not getting enough hours of sleep can be the core reason for migraines.  

  1. Exercise 

Regulated and moderate physical activities can make a person more active. This lowers the overall occurrence of migraines. But ensure staying careful because too much strenuous activity can trigger these headaches. 

  1. Eating Balanced Meal 

The sudden and significant drop in blood sugar can be the core reason for migraines. Thus make sure to eat a well-planned meal. 

  1. Limit the Levels of Stress

You should try to control the stress. Stay relaxed. Engage yourself in healthy activities such as listening to music, doing yoga, or trying walking. 



A complete note of health history and symptoms is noted. Any triggers need to be mentioned to the doctor. Other tests done for a diagnosis include:

Treatment of Migraine | When to Consult a Doctor

No exact cure is available for migraines. Home remedies can be done and drugs can be taken to prevent migraines,

  1. Home Remedy

Certain practices can be done at home to relieve migraines.

  • Biofeedback and other relaxation techniques
  • Staying hydrated
  • Massaging the scalp
  • Resting in a dark room with eyes closed
  • Placing a cool compress or ice pack on the forehead
  • Trying acupuncture, massage, or acupressure
  1. Medications

Certain medications can be taken to treat or prevent headaches, common treatments include:

  • Pain relief drugs including aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Nausea medicine
  • Triptans and Ergotamine balance chemicals in the brain
  • CGRP receptor antagonists
  • Preventive medications
  1. Brain stimulation and Neuromodulation

Nerves are stimulated using electronic or magnetic pulses. Neuromodulation can ease pain and prevent some migraines. These simulations include:

  • Vagal Nerve Stimulation or VNS

The vagus nerve is stimulated using electrical pulses. It may ease pain during an intense headache.

  • Single-pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (sTMS)

This treatment is usually done at home. A magnetic pulse is sent to the brain. This therapy is done right before the onset of migraines.

  •  Remote Electrical Neuromodulation

A band is worn on the upper arm which sends electrical pulses (weak) to stop the migraine,

  • Transcutaneous Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation

A painless electrical current is sent to the trigeminal nerve. This activates painkilling receptors in the spinal cord and brainstem.

  • Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) stimulation

A device is implanted that detects pain and eases it through the stimulation of the trigeminal nerve,

  • Occipital nerve stimulation (ONS)

It has not been approved yet. Electrical leads are implanted on the back of the head under the skin. Electrical pulses help ease the pain.

Migraines are disturbing and can be very uncomfortable. It is important to know your triggers and symptoms before consulting a neurologist.