Migraine is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Many different factors can contribute to the development of migraines, such as genetics, stress, and certain environmental triggers. Using a migraine tracker of any kind, either a digital solution or printed log can be effective in determining the cause of your symptoms and triggers.
Table of Contents
- What are migraines?
- What causes migraines?
- Migraine Episodes
- Migraine Assessment Scale
- The role of migraine trackers in helping to manage the condition
- Why use a Migraine Tracker App?
- When do you track migraines?
- What information should you track in a Migraine tracker?
- How frequently should you log entries in the migraine tracker?
- Migraine Prevention
- 5 Evidence-Based Interventions You Can Try
- Migraine FAQ’s
- How to Prepare for a Doctor or Neurologist Appointment
- Migraine Management
- Headaches and You
What are migraines?
Migraines are a type of headache that can cause severe pain, disability, and throbbing or pulsing sensations in one area of the head. They often occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines can last for hours or even days and can be so severe that they interfere with a person’s ability to carry out their normal activities. You may have already known all that if you are reading an article, but it is important to differentiate a migraine from a run-of-the-mill headache.
There are four stages of a migraine: prodrome, aura, attack, and postdrome. Not everyone experiences all four stages, and the order in which they occur may vary.
Prodrome: This stage occurs one or two days before the actual migraine attack. You may notice changes in your mood or energy levels, as well as neck stiffness.
Aura: This is the second stage of a migraine, and it is characterized by neurological symptoms that occur just before or during the migraine attack. These may include visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or blind spots, or other problems such as tingling in the hands or difficulty speaking.
Attack: This is the third stage, and it is when the actual migraine headache occurs. The pain is often throbbing or pulsing, and it is usually on one side of the head. The pain may be so severe that it interferes with your ability to carry out your normal activities. Other symptoms during this phase may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Postdrome: This is the fourth and final stage of a migraine. It occurs after the pain has subsided, and you may feel drained and washed out. Some people also report feeling depressed or euphoric during this phase.
What causes migraines?
The exact cause of migraines is not known, but several factors may contribute to their development, such as genetics, stress, and certain environmental triggers. The most well-known trigger for women is hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle. Other potential triggers include certain foods, drinks, and medications.
If you do have a migraine, there are things you can do to ease the pain and symptoms. Some migraine treatments include:
- Resting in a quiet, dark room
- Applying ice or heat to the head
- Massaging the temples or neck
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Taking prescription medications specifically for migraines such as triptans
If you find that your migraines are affecting your quality of life, you should speak to your doctor about other treatment options.
Migraine attacks can be debilitating, but by tracking your migraines and understanding your triggers, you can take steps to prevent them. The CareClinic app can help you to track your migraines and find patterns.
Migraine Assessment Scale
To get the most accurate picture of your migraines, it is important to use a migraine assessment scale. This will help you to rate the severity of your migraines and track any changes over time. There are a few different migraine assessment scales, but the most commonly used one is the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) scale.
This scale rates the severity of migraines on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the mildest and 5 being the most severe. The MIDAS scale was designed to help doctors assess the disability caused by migraines, but it can also be used by people with migraines to track the severity of their headaches.
If you are tracking your migraines, it is important to use a consistent scale so that you can accurately compare the severity of your headaches. The MIDAS scale is a good option because it is easy to use and widely accepted. It is important to be consistent in how you rate the severity of your migraines. The MIDAS scale is short and easy to use, which makes it a good option for tracking migraines.
If you are tracking your migraines using the CareClinic app, you can use the built-in MIDAS scale to rate the severity of your headaches. This scale is based on the following criteria:
- How often do you have migraines
- How long your migraines last
- How much your migraines interfere with your everyday activities
- How much your migraines interfere with your ability to work
- How much pain you have during your migraines
- How much nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light or sound do you have during your migraines
CareClinic takes a step further and lets you compare your weekly progress with last week (or any date for that matter) along with other charts. Reviewing these can help identify patterns and possible triggers for migraines. CareClinic can also help track the efficacy of different treatments and medications. CareClinic is the best migraine tracker app because it helps you track your symptoms, triggers, and medications, and provides data-driven insights and recommendations with work in conjunction with your health care provider.
The role of migraine trackers in helping to manage the condition
If you suffer from migraines, you are not alone. In fact, migraines are one of the most common types of headaches, affecting approximately 10% of the population. While there is no cure for migraines, there are ways to manage the condition and lessen the frequency and severity of attacks. One way to do this is by keeping track of your migraines using an app to track migraines like CareClinic.
Why use a Migraine Tracker App?
A migraine tracker is a tool that allows you to record information about your migraines, such as the date, time, and severity of the headache, as well as any potential triggers. This information can be used to help you identify patterns in your migraines and find ways to manage them.
When do you track migraines?
The best time to track migraines is when you have one. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget to track your migraines if you don’t have a system in place. One way to make sure you don’t forget is to set a reminder in the CareClinic app for every day. That way, even if you don’t have a migraine, you’ll be reminded to enter the information for that day (setting severity as 0 for correlations to be calculated.)
What information should you track in a Migraine tracker?
– The date and time of the headache along with the length of the headache
– The severity of the headache on a scale of 1-10
– The location of the pain such as one-sided, both sides, or all over
– Symptoms that you experienced such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound
– Potential triggers such as foods, drinks, medications, stress, hormonal changes, or anything else that you think may be relevant such as weather changes and sleep patterns.
– Any medications you took for the headache like over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, and home remedies.
– The outcome of the headache such as: resolved spontaneously, resolved with medication, or still present.
By tracking this information, you will be able to see patterns in your migraines and find ways to manage them.
For example, if you notice that certain foods trigger your migraines, you can avoid those foods or take medication before eating them.
How frequently should you log entries in the migraine tracker?
If you have infrequent migraines, you may only need to track them when they occur.
However, if you have frequent migraines, you may want to log an entry every day, even if you don’t have a headache, to help you identify patterns.
If you are having a migraine attack then you will want to log an entry as soon after the attack starts as possible.
Migraine attacks can last for hours or even days, so it is important to track the information while it is fresh in your mind.
They also tend to happen at the same time of day or after certain activities, so tracking them can help you identify potential triggers. You can see an example of an entry logged within CareClinic which shows environmental factors, the severity of the migraine (which is 9/10), and the time that it occurred. This data can also be seen in Charts and can be sorted through quickly when you go in for your next appointment.
While there is no cure for migraines, there are things you can do to prevent them. Some migraine prevention strategies include:
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Eating a healthy diet which includes limiting caffeine and alcohol intake along with staying well hydrated.
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress
- Getting enough sleep up to eight hours per night.
- Taking medications to prevent migraines (e.g. beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants)
5 Evidence-Based Interventions You Can Try
There are a number of evidence-based interventions for migraines that have been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of attacks. Some of these interventions include:
Acupuncture: This is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. This intervention works because it helps to release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Pressure points for migraines are usually located in the neck and head.
Biofeedback: This is a technique that uses sensors to measure things like heart rate and muscle tension. The aim of biofeedback is to help you learn to control these bodily functions through relaxation techniques. This can be an effective migraine treatment because it can help to reduce stress and muscle tension, which are common triggers for migraines.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is a type of therapy that helps you to change the way you think about and react to certain situations. It can be effective for migraines because it can help you to manage stress, which is a common trigger.
Meditation: This is a relaxation technique that can help you to focus your thoughts and control your breathing. Meditation can be effective for migraines because it can help to reduce stress, which is a common trigger.
Supplements: There is some evidence to suggest that certain supplements, such as magnesium, riboflavin, and Co-enzyme Q10, can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Botox Injections: Botox is a toxin that can be used to paralyze muscles. When it is injected into the muscles in the head and neck, it can help to prevent migraines by relaxing the muscles and reducing tension.
FL-41: This is a type of tinted glass that can help to reduce the sensitivity to light. They work by filtering out certain wavelengths of light that are known to trigger migraines.
If you are interested in trying any of these interventions, be sure to talk to your doctor first to see if they are right for you.
Does Caffeine Treat or Trigger Migraine Attacks?
It is a common misconception that caffeine can help to treat migraines. However, the evidence suggests that caffeine is more likely to trigger migraines than to treat them. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it narrows the blood vessels. This can lead to increased pressure in the head, which can trigger a migraine. If you find that caffeine is a trigger for your migraines, it is best to avoid it.
Can Weather Changes Trigger A Migraine?
There is some evidence to suggest that weather changes can trigger migraines in some people. This is thought to be because changes in barometric pressure can cause the blood vessels in the head to change size, which can trigger a migraine. If you find that weather changes are a trigger for your migraines, it is best to stay indoors on days when the weather is changing.
Can Hormones Trigger Migraine Attacks?
This is thought to be because hormones can affect the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can trigger a migraine.
If you find that hormonal changes are a trigger for your migraines, it is best to speak to your doctor about treatment options.
Tracking down Triggers
Tracking these potential triggers along with other factors within the CareClinic App can provide you with definitive answers to whether something is a possible trigger (correlated) or not.
CareClinic generates a personal analytical report that your healthcare provider and you can review.
With this report, your doctor can identify triggers, review your migraine symptoms, and determine the right treatment plan for you. You can also share data directly within the App with any caregiver or neurologist.
How to Prepare for a Doctor or Neurologist Appointment
- Keep a migraine diary for at least 3 months prior to the appointment. This will help your doctor identify possible triggers and patterns.
- Make a list of all the medications you’re taking, as well as any supplements.
- Write down any questions you want to ask your doctor.
- Some questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
- What are the possible causes of my migraines?
- What are the possible triggers for my migraines?
- What is the best way to treat my migraines?
- What are the side effects of the medications you’re prescribing for me?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help reduce the frequency of my migraines?
- Are there any alternative treatments for migraines that I can try?
- When should I see you again?
- Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
CareClinic helps you manage a healthy lifestyle by providing data-driven insights and recommendations.
It is the best migraine tracker app because of its ability to track and analyze your migraine attacks, triggers, medications, and symptoms. You can use the app to:
- Track your migraine symptoms and triggers
- Log your medications, treatments, and other health information
- Get data-driven insights and recommendations
- Access your health information anytime, anywhere
- Share your data with your healthcare provider or any caregiver
- Automatically fetch weather data (specifical pressure)
- Track the quality of your sleep
- Pre-date check-in dates and times in case you don’t have access to your phone
- Keep it safe and private
- Use the diary prompts to get any stress off your mind
- Use data integrations to get even deeper insights
Headaches and You
There are many potential triggers for migraines, and it is important to track these triggers in order to identify patterns and possible causes. Hormonal changes, weather changes, and certain medications can all trigger migraines in some people.
CareClinic is the best migraine tracker app because it helps you track your symptoms, triggers, and medications, and provides data-driven insights and recommendations. Get started today, tap the banner below.