Migraines are attacks of moderate-to-severe pain, pulsing or throbbing head pain. A migraine has four phases and can last from hours to days. The cause may have to do with a genetic-determined cell activity in the brain. While there is no cure, there are effective medicines and therapies that can relieve symptoms and ease pain.

At the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Headache Center, our team of providers is committed to the diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of migraines. Our team is committed to caring for you and helping you manage your condition so you may live your most comfortable, productive life.

What are Migraines?

A migraine is a moderate-to-severe headache that is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, impaired vision, sensitivity to light, or lightheadedness. A migraine can last from four to 72 hours. Many things can trigger a migraine, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Exposure to light
  • Hormonal changes (in women)
  • Lack of food or sleep
  • Stress

Migraines effect three times more women than men, and more than 10 percent of people worldwide. There is no cure, and no definitive cause, but researchers believe that the condition may be genetic. A migraine can have four phases, although not all patients experience them:

  • Premonitory – may appear a day or two before the migraine, and could include stiffness, mood changes, or constipation
  • Aura – right before the migraine, may include flashes of light or zigzag vision, and sensory or movement disturbance
  • Attack – throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of the head, neck, or face, vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or sound, blurred vision
  • Postdrome – the final phase, may include feelings of exhaustion or elation, confusion, weakness, or dizziness

Risk factors of migraines include family history, age (attacks can begin during adolescence), gender (women are more susceptible), and hormonal changes.

Diagnosing Migraines

If you have symptoms of migraines or a family history of migraines, your doctor may diagnose migraines based on your medical history and a physical and neurological examination.

For some conditions, your doctor may also order more tests to rule out other possible causes of your pain. A blood test, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or a spinal tap could be necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. 

Treatment for Migraines

The providers at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Headache Center are dedicated to finding the treatment option that fits your individual needs, and keep you comfortable so you can get back to doing the things you enjoy. We offer:

Therapies, medication

  • Botox therapy
  • Peripheral nerve blocks
  • Trigger point injections 
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription and/or natural supplements

Outpatient infusion therapy

  • For patients who require more intensive therapy than can be provided at home or in the office
  • For migraine headaches lasting more than 72 hours and not responding to conventional medications
  • For acute migraine attacks for less than 72 hours, but are debilitating, and not responding to conventional home medications
  • For patients with medication overuse headache ("rebound headache") that can be detoxed safely, such as from triptans and over-the-counter medications

Inpatient evaluation and infusion therapy

  • For patients with disabling chronic migraine
  • For patients with medication overuse headache from medications that may not be safely discontinued in the outpatient setting, such as from opioids or butalbital containing medications
  • For patients with other types of acute or chronic headache who need further diagnostic evaluation and treatment
  • For patients who need more intensive therapy than can be provided in the outpatient infusion center