The 4 Stages Of A Migraine Attack


The stress of everyday life, your diet, and a lack of sleep may all cause you to have headaches. Since they are common, you most likely have had one or more in your lifetime. However, many people experience a more involved version of a headache that can wreak physical and emotional havoc on a life. While shocking to learn, migraines are the 3rd most prevalent and 8th most disabling disease in the world. Migraines may be a common, painful version of a traditional headache, but you may not be familiar with the condition. Using this guide, you will understand the 4 stages of migraines and learn how to cope with these overwhelming headaches.


The pre-headache phase, or prodome, may occur hours or days before a migraine attack. During this phase, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Concentration Problems
  • Difficulty Speaking/Reading
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Food Cravings
  • Depression
  • Neck Stiffness
  • Increased Urination
  • Hyperactivity/Hyperactivity

The prodome phase is different for everyone, so you may experience one or more of the above issues before your migraine attack begins.

In many cases, taking your migraine medication during the prodome phase can prevent the escalation of the migraine attack.  


Aura is an overwhelming phase of a migraine attack. During this phase, you will see many changes to your vision. Flashing lights, wavy lines, scattered spots, blurriness, and even partial blindness may all occur during the aura phase.

Unfortunately, the aura phase will not only affect your vision. You may hear things, feel dizzy, and be sensitive to feeling and touch. Also, many people will notice neck pain and a tingling or numbing sensation around your face and head.

Reduce your exposure to bright lights and loud sounds during this phase. Lie down in a dark and quiet room to rest with your eyes closed until the discomfort subsides. If necessary, wear sunglasses to ease your vision difficulties.

The aura phase may last between 5 and 60 minutes, which may not be a sufficient amount of time to prepare for the painful headache phase.


The actual pain of a migraine usually occurs first in the headache phase. For most patients, the pain is on one side of the head, but it can move to the other side quickly. The pain of a migraine can be so severe, inflammation may occur around the trigeminal nerve, which will cause pain to spread to the eyes, sinuses, and jaw.

Along with the actual pain, you may suffer with neck pain, nausea, diarrhea, hot flashes/chills, vomiting, confusion, vertigo, and dehydration/fluid retention.

While experiencing the pain, practice breathing exercise to ease your discomfort and relax your mind. In a dark room, lie in your bed or sit in a comfortable chair. Breathe in and hold your breath for a few minutes before releasing slowly. Repeat multiple times to ease your headache pain.


The post-headache phase, or postdrome, may induce feelings similar to a hangover. You will feel exhausted and either depressed or overly elated during this final stage of the migraine attack. The postdrome phase may also cause you to feel confused, dizzy, and nauseous, but you should not experience actual headache pain.

Treating Migraines

If you are experiencing migraines, consult your doctor immediately. Prescription medications, specifically designed to prevent migraines or treat the pain and discomfort of these headaches may be necessary.

Consider a periodic chiropractic adjustment, as well, to reduce the possibility of migraines. In addition, treat your migraines. Chiropractors can complete a spinal adjustment using their hands to gently manipulate the spine into a more aligned position with the head and neck. This alleviates pressure off the spine and nerves, reducing pain and flooding the body with endorphins. These natural chemicals instantly decrease pain and improve your mood. Check out a clinic like Smith Chiropractic to book an appointment.

Understanding the different phases of a migraine attack is smart for prevention and treatment. Using this guide, you will understand the migraine phases and learn how to treat and prevent these painful headaches. 


27 May 2016

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After struggling with months and months with back pain, I could tell that things weren't getting any better with my DIY methods. I was tired of having trouble every time I needed to move, so I decided to start working with a chiropractor. When I arrived, the doctor worked really hard to diagnose my condition, and then he talked with me about treatments--letting me decide how to proceed. It made me feel really great about working with him, and within a few treatments my back was feeling a lot better. This blog is all about improving your back pain by talking with the right professionals.