About migraines

Migraine is a common health condition - around one in seven adults in the UK experience them, where women are three times more likely to get them than men.

They also seem to be hereditary with about half of all migraine sufferers having a close family member who also has them. Usually a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or on one side of the head, migraines sometimes come with other symptoms, such as nausea or sensitivity to light. Migraines can occur annually or several times a week, but mostly once or twice a month, lasting up to 72 hours, during which time any activity can often make the pain worse. During a migraine attack most people find sleeping or lying in a darkened room is the best thing to do, while some people felt better after eating or being sick.

Types of migraine

Unlike headaches, migraines can have clear stages:

Living with a migraine sufferer

Although there is no cure for migraine, there are things you can do to help control and minimise its symptoms. Some help to stop a migraine, while others prevent it from forming in the first place. Keeping a record of symptoms and which behaviours affect migraines will help to determine the best course of action for each individual.

Head for a better place...

Make sure there is an area readily available in your home where the migraine sufferer can rest. Typically, this would be a quiet, darkened room with things like a cold compress to hand to help soothe their head. Massage techniques, such as applying pressure to the pulse points on the side of their forehead or neck, can also help calm down the symptoms. Visit Syndol's ‘Better place’ for more information about relaxation and massage techniques.