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What Are the Causes of Migraines in Women?

Migraines are characterized by a severe pounding headache that typically affects one side and is often accompanied by nausea and visual disturbances. They can continue for hours or days and are often disabling. Migraines can affect anybody, but women are three to four times more likely than men to suffer from migraines. Doctors have yet to find a single major cause of migraine. However, there are a variety of ways you can treat your migraines – this includes physiotherapy!

Why Are Migraines More Common in Females?

Some potential reasons for migraine being more common in women could be:

  • Hormones: Most females begin their menstrual cycle after puberty, which entails monthly variations in hormones, including progesterone and estrogen. These hormones may affect the neurological system and brain, increasing the risk of migraine.

  • Stress: According to some studies, stress can be a migraine trigger as it causes inflammation in the body. Studies showed that stress generated greater inflammatory levels in females than males.

  • Genes: So far, scientists have discovered 38 genetic variants that may have a role in migraine. According to some evidence, these changes may have different consequences on males and females.

Cause and Symptoms of Migraines in Women

Some common causes of migraine in females are:

  • Food: Alcohol, caffeine, meat, yeast, onions, cheese, chocolate, etc., and any other allergic food item.

  • Stress: Lack of sleep, over-exhaustion, too much exercise, and mental disturbance.

  • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights, and strong smells or perfumes.

  • Medicines: Certain medicines and drugs used for chronic conditions.

  • Illness: Infections such as cold or flu.

Migraine Symptoms in Women Include:

  • Pain in the head and spine

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Blurred vision or blind spots

  • Being bothered by light, noise, or odors

  • Feeling tired and/or confused

  • Lightheadedness

  • Feeling cold or sweaty

Can Migraines Be Prevented or Avoided?

Prescription medicines often used in treating different conditions can be utilized as migraine preventive meds. Some preventative drugs your doctor may recommend include anti-seizure meds, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and even Botox injections.

There are non-medical preventive methods as well, such as acupuncture, dry needling, and specific physiotherapy exercises, which can prevent migraines.

Physiotherapy and Other Treatments for Migraine

There are two approaches to treating migraines. The "abortive" approach focuses on preventing the headache from growing severe and treating the discomfort. The other category, referred to as "prophylactic or preventative," contains medications that are used on a daily basis to lessen the frequency with which headaches develop. Before beginning any medicine, you should speak with your doctor.

Physiotherapy is another way to reduce migraine attacks and is used more as a preventative measure to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines. Migraine generally occurs in the head but can affect the whole body. Your physiotherapist may use the following techniques to treat your migraines:

  • Retraining reflexes (e.g., COR, VOR) and oculomotor (eye) exercises

  • Postural correction

  • Massage to release tension in neck and scalp area.

  • Vestibular therapy

  • Desensitizing the nervous system

  • Pacing and planning techniques

  • Identifying your triggers

If you or your loved ones have migraine symptoms and want to get rid of this irritating pain, contact us today. At Radiant Physiotherapy, our team of professional and certified physiotherapists is committed to providing relief for migraines.