Scott Metzger, MD, SEM Pain Consulting, discusses how pain specialists approach migraines. Migraine headaches are a result of specific changes within the brain and cause severe head pain that is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. Common symptoms include eye pain, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, and vomiting.

Types of migraines include:

  • Common migraine has no “aura.” About 80% of migraines are common.
  • Classic migraines present with an aura before the headache and are more severe than common migraines.
  • A silent or acephalic migraine is a migraine without head pain but with aura and other aspects of migraine.
  • A hemiplegic migraine can have symptoms that mimic a stroke, such as weakness on one side of the body, loss of sensation, or feeling ‘pins and needles.’
  • A retinal migraine causes temporary vision loss in one eye, which can last from minutes to months, but it is usually reversible. This is often a sign of a more serious medical problem, and patients should seek medical care.
  • A chronic migraine is a migraine headache that lasts for more than 15 days per month. – Status migrainosus is a constant migraine attack that lasts more than 72 hours.

Medications can assist in preventing some migraines and/or making them less painful.