I meet a lot of patients, friends and acquaintances who tell me that they have a migraine; however, I know that it isn't a migraine but something known as a cervical headache. You may ask- what’s the difference and why one must know! The reason is simple. Only if you know the cause can you take care of it effectively. Else you will be doing lot of things trying to remedy it but actually making the problem worse.
So, do you get migraines? You might say you don't know- You may get headaches but don't know whether they are migraines or not! Let me explain in a nutshell.If you have a headache that begins from the base of your head and moves upwards, then it is a cervical headache. It may be on one side of the head or even in the eye region.If the headache is on the crown and you have one or more of the following symptoms associated with it - dizziness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, nausea, etc - then you most definitely have a migraine.
There are other causes of headaches, cervical headaches being only one of the classifications (albeit the most common one for the modern stuck-to-the-laptop man). Hence if your headaches are persisting with no change in symptoms with basic remedies, especially if they are constant (24/7) then it may be prudent to do a proper check up with a medical practitioner.
If you do get migraines, you know they are no walk in the park!!! They are disabling! But the good news is that they are relatively easier to treat compared to those cervical headaches. Migraines occur due to reduced blood flow in blood vessels of the brain- in layman terms. This may occur due to several triggers. The tricky part is identifying your trigger; once that is done you can be migraine free if you are careful. For example- my husband began to get migraines (lucky for him- he has a doctor at his beck and call!!) – after playing twenty questions, we figured out that his trigger was hunger- if he went for more than 5 hours without food, he got a migraine and once these suckers start, they are impossible to manage- the rest of your day is screwed! So, if you have a migraine, all you CAN do is lie down without a pillow, room as dark and quiet as possible and an ice pack on the top of your head. This will temporarily help. Of course you will need to take a pill if it is severe enough!
On the contrary, if you have persistent cervical headaches you need to see a good physio to mobilize your neck and relieve them. You may need to do some neck exercises, get some guidance on posture correction and on how to use your laptop in a way that it doesn't create these headaches for you. It is a process but totally worth it.