Causes and Triggers of Chronic Migraine

A migraine is a condition characterized by severe headaches, which commonly occurs predominantly in one part of the head.

A migraine is often debilitating and hampers people’s daily life. The people who experience a migraine have a throbbing or pulsating sensation, which is often made worse by daily activities like walking.

A migraine can be episodic or chronic in nature. An episodic migraine is characterized by severe headaches for a short duration of time with a frequency of fewer than fifteen days in a month. Episodic migraine attacks can have a gap of weeks or sometimes even months, between them.

A chronic migraine is defined as a condition characterized by more than fifteen headaches per month. At least eight of these headaches need to be moderately or severely painful, and should be in the absence of medication overuse.

Chronic migraines last for a longer duration of time, and occur more frequently than episodic ones, but affect a very small percentage of people. A few people who experience episodic migraines can develop a chronic migraine.

Most of the chronic migraine patients develop the symptoms over time, with a steady development in the frequency and severity of the headaches.

There is no specific reason for a chronic migraine. Every individual has his or her own set of triggers and causal factors. Following is a list of some of the probable causes. Chronic migraine can cause severe pain in certain patients. .

Severe Neurological Conditions
Certain Neurological conditions can impact the brain or the complete central nervous system in a negative way.

Chemical Imbalances In The Brain
Sometimes the brain function is incapacitated due to a chemical imbalance. If the neurons do not work in coordination, or if there is a hindrance in nerve pathways due to broken nervous communication channels, it can cause migraine headaches.

Genetic Disposition
There is an increased risk of a migraine attack, if any member of the family like a parent or a sibling, has previously been affected by the condition. Although having a parent with migraine headaches, not necessarily mean that you will be affected too.

Physical Factors Like Irregular Blood Flow
A chronic migraine is also caused if there is a hindrance to the blood flow in the blood vessels of the brain. This can create undue pressure on the brain cells and nerves.

If there is a problem with the blood vessels, size and blood flow rate, injuries, neurological conditions, can lead to migraine headaches.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Or Severe Accidents
A severe traumatic injury might affect the physical makeup of the brain and have a debilitating effect on it. The neurons, blood vessels, and chemical composition of the brain are at a great risk of being affected by injury. This can lead to severe migraine headaches and cause chronic migraine.

Brain Infections
If the brain and its components are infected, their normal functioning is hindered. Meningitis is one such condition that is caused due to an infection in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Brain Tumors
A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells, in any part of the brain. If the tumor grows, it can put excessive pressure on the blood vessels, causing them to compress or shrink. This can be one of the causes of chronic migraine.

Improper Intracranial Pressure
Intracranial pressure is the pressure inside the brain, the cerebrospinal fluid, and the brain cells. At rest, is normally 7–15 mmHg for a supine adult. For the proper functioning of the brain, proper intracranial pressure needs to be maintained.

Migraine Triggers
Migraine triggers are different for each person. For someone susceptible to a migraine headache, there can be a variety of situations, behaviors or environment that can set them off. Following are a list of some of the common triggers and causes of chronic migraines.

Anxiety And Stress
Research suggests that there is a close relationship between stress and migraines. It is suggested that stress causes the release of peptides in the brain, which expand and inflames the blood vessels. This disrupts the brain function and leads to migraine headaches.

Caffeine contains certain substances that lead to the production of chemical compounds in the brain, which sometimes overstimulate the brain and could start a chain of events, that leads to a migraine headache.

Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances in the body due to any condition, or due to environmental factors like stress, can disrupt brain function and trigger a migraine attack.

Vasodilator Medication
Medicines that are meant for affecting the vascular system, may alter their shape, size or the amount of blood flow in them. This can be one of the causes of chronic migraine.

Keep in mind the symptoms and causes. Chronic migraine is something serious, so be aware of the causes and consult a doctor if you experience extreme pain.

Natural remedies for chronic migraine
Some of the popular natural treatments for relieving the symptoms of chronic migraine include-

This is a process of applying pressure with the hands and fingers on certain specific points on the body. Acupressure helps in easing the pain and also relieve symptoms of certain conditions. Chronic headaches may also be treated with acupressure and the natural remedy is considered to be a popular treatment.

Peppermint Oil
As per a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the presence of menthol in peppermint may be useful in stopping the trigger for migraine headaches. The study also found that the application of menthol solution to the temples and forehead is an effective method for relieving chronic migraine pain, sensitivity to light and nausea.

Go For Yoga
Yoga helps in promoting well-being and helps in relieving the intensity and frequency of migraines. Since yoga is known for supporting overall health, it may be considered as a complementary therapy for treating chronic migraine. Practicing yoga regularly helps in releasing migraine pain and tension.