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Complications of Migraines

Complications of Migraines

About 12% of Americans get migraines. And while a migraine is a type of headache, many other symptoms can accompany this headache, including constipation, changes in vision, and confusion.

And while migraines are common, many people struggle to find treatments that work. Ketamine Integrative Medicine takes an alternative approach to treating chronic migraines.

Annette Lusko, DO, and our team specialize in osteopathic manipulation and ketamine therapy for migraines. In this blog, Dr. Lusko explains what migraines are, some of their complications, and how these headaches can be treated.

Stages and symptoms of migraines

Anyone — from children to adults — can suffer migraine headaches. Migraines are not understood well, but experts believe they may be caused by genetic or environmental factors.

A migraine can last from a few hours to a few days, and they generally follow a pattern with four stages. However, not every person experiences every symptom or even every stage.

Prodrome stage

The prodrome is the period before the migraine. You might notice subtle symptoms, such as neck stiffness, frequent yawning, or constipation.

Aura stage

Right before or during a migraine attack, you might experience an aura. Auras typically last up to 60 minutes and include primarily visual symptoms. Aura symptoms can include changes in vision, vision loss, tingling in the arms or legs, or muscle weakness.

Attack stage

The attack stage includes intense head pain, typically on one side of your head. Your head may throb or pulse, and it’s not unusual to be sensitive to light and sound.

Postdrome stage

After the migraine starts to fade, the postdrome stage begins. Postdrome symptoms can include fatigue and confusion, and these symptoms can last up to a day.

If your migraine attack lasts longer than three days, you could have a migraine complication called status migrainosus. This condition is a long-lasting migraine that doesn’t go away, and the pain may be so intense that you require hospitalization.

Symptoms that require emergency medical care

Although rare, there are times when a migraine can trigger or occur alongside a potentially serious issue. If you have a migraine or any type of head pain, you should seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following:

Recognizing these symptoms as early as possible is the best way to avoid serious health consequences.

Finding relief from migraine pain

There are a variety of over-the-counter treatments for migraines, but many people find that these treatments are ineffective. Unfortunately, some people also experience medication-induced migraines. Treating migraine symptoms by taking too much migraine medication can trigger more migraines, creating a cycle that’s difficult to escape. 

Dr. Lusko offers a unique approach to treating chronic migraines. First, she reviews your symptoms and your medical history to help you identify possible migraine triggers, so you can avoid them. Then she discusses treatment options. She may recommend osteopathic manipulation of your head, neck, and jaw to relieve tension.

She may also recommend ketamine therapy, which may help prevent and reduce the effects of migraines. Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that’s delivered intravenously. Depending on your needs, she may recommend a series of infusions.

An infusion usually lasts 3-5 hours, during which you relax in our office. After your infusion ends, our team observes you for about an hour. Since you may experience floating or tingling sensations during your session — which should go away shortly afterward — you’ll need to have someone drive you home.

To see if ketamine therapy can help you stop living with the symptoms of chronic migraines, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ketamine Integrative Medicine today.

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