Migraine is a neurological disorder that can present a variety of symptoms beyond headache. It is more than just a bad headache, and there are several types of migraine that have different characteristics. These include migraine without aura, migraine with aura, chronic migraine, abdominal migraine, acephalgic or silent migraine, migraine with brain stem aura, hemiplegic migraine, and retinal migraine. Migraine without aura is the most common type of migraine and affects up to 80% of people with the condition.
It is characterized by moderate to severe throbbing pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine with aura is less common than migraine without aura and affects up to 20% of people with the condition. It is characterized by visual disturbances such as flashing lights or blind spots in the field of vision, as well as other neurological symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the face or extremities. Chronic migraine is a variant of migraine that causes repeated and continuous episodes of migraine.
It is also sometimes called transformed migraine or intractable migraine. People with chronic migraine may experience more than 15 days of headache per month for at least three months. Abdominal migraine is a fairly common condition that affects 4 out of 100 children and some adults as well. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of abdominal pain that last for several hours or days.
Acephalgic or silent migraine is a type of migraine without headache. Migraine with brain stem aura is a rare type of migraine that affects a very small percentage of people in the United States. People with this type of migraine experience paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, speech and vision disturbances, and other symptoms that often resemble a stroke. Hemiplegic migraine is another rare variant of migraine that causes paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, speech and vision disturbances, and other symptoms that often resemble a stroke.
It usually affects only one side of the body and can last for several hours or days. Retinal migraine is a rare variant of migraine that is characterized by repeated cases of visual disturbances, such as blind spots or blindness on one side of the field of vision. It usually occurs in one eye before the headache phase of a migraine attack. Focusing on exactly where your head hurts and the symptoms that come with it can help you and your doctor determine what type of migraine or headache you have, resulting in a more effective treatment plan and fewer painful days. It is common for this type of headache to require physical therapy in addition to medication or other treatment.