Phases of Migraine Headaches

Headache, Migraine, Chronic PainThe Pain before the Headache


When a migraine headache occurs, it sometimes occurs in phases. What we mean is that sometimes a person may begin to experience signs of a coming headache due to a migraine up to 24 hours before the actual pain in their head begins. Sometimes, that pain will last throughout the headache and will continue after the headache subsides.


It’s not fun when these neurological disorders happen in phases, because that only prolongs the pain and brings about new types of pain. Though, it’s important to know what happens throughout each of those phases.


Migraine Headache Stages


Prodrome Phase – Symptoms before the headache (altered mood, irritability, depression and euphoria, fatigue, stiff muscles, food cravings, constipation or diarrhea, or sensitivity to smells or noise). Only 60% of migraine sufferers experience this phase. It can start a couple of hours to a couple of days before the next phase, which is Aura.


Aura Phase – These warning signs happen just before a the onset of the actual migraine headache (partial blindness, zigzag lines, blurring, a sensation of pins and needles, numbness and tingling, speech difficulty, dizziness, hallucinations, or loss of motor function.). It begins gradually and usually lasts less than an hour. Only a little more than a third of Migraine sufferers experience this phase.


Pain Phase – This phase, which can last anywhere from four to 72 hours, is the phase of the actual migraine. Like the Aura phase it usually begins gradually. Those who do not experience aura prior or during this phase often experience pain in their neck. The pain of the actual migraine may be moderate to severe, and physical activity can worsen the pain.


Postdrome Phase – This is the phase of any lingering effects of the first three phases. Symptoms during this stage may include soreness where the migraine occurred, fatigue, mood changes, gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, impaired thinking.


After the Migraine


As the phases go on, the end seems to be further and further away. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is relief.


There is a chance your migraines are due to a misalignment in your upper cervical spine. A misalignment of those two vertebrae, which are the top two vertebrae in your neck, of only ¼ of a millimeter can hinder your brain’s ability to communicate with your body. That hindrance can lead to all sorts of health issues, such as migraines, that will continue to worsen over time unless those two vertebrae are realigned.


To find an upper cervical doctor in your area go to or if you are in the Apple Valley, Minnesota area to schedule your NUCCA consultation and evaluation, click the button below:

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Johnson Spinal Care and Associates are Apple Valley Upper Cervical Chiropractors trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Our NUCCA Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from post-concussion syndrome in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on our website at

2017-09-19T00:18:14+00:00 April 27th, 2015|Headaches, Migraine Headaches, Tension headaches|Comments Off on Phases of Migraine Headaches