Chronic migraine is the most common complication of migraine. The presence of headache 15 or more days per month can consider, of which at least eight must meet the criteria for migraine without aura for at least three months.
According to the international classification, chronic migraine is the technical definition.
Dr. Patricia Pozo Rosich, a neurologist, explains that it is a term that creates confusion because migraine as a disease is chronic; a person is born and dies with migraine.
Chronic Migraine Or Episodic Migraine
The neurologist clarifies that When doctors use the term chronic migraine, they do it to differentiate it from the term episodic migraine. And this division refers only to the number of days the migraine lasts.
- Episodic migraine is Migraine attacks that happen up to 14 days a month.
- Chronic migraine is Migraine attacks appear 15 or more days a month.
Therefore, the term chronic migraine refers only to the frequency of attacks. The neurologist says that it is a poorly chosen technical term that is misleading.
It is more useful and appropriate to establish a classification of migraine based on the disability it causes:
- Between 0 and 4 days a month, the disability is low. It is relative because migraine can be very annoying if you have one day a week.
- Between 5 and 9 days a month, the disability is considered moderate.
- After 9 or 10 days, the disability is considered severe or very severe without reaching the 15 days established in the chronic migraine classification.
The neurologist emphasizes that the degree of disability it causes gives us clues to resort to one treatment or another for chronic migraine.
What a Migraine Attacks Looks Like, Chronic Or Not
Migraine is by definition a disease that occurs with episodic attacks (they begin and end), recurrent and unpredictable.
- The attacks last between 4 and 72 hours. This time frame can vary from one person to another, but in any case, it is not a pain of 15 minutes.
- They cause an intense, throbbing, disabling headache that worsens with movement and stimuli such as light or noise.
- The person may suffer from sensitive auras (for example, seeing flashes of light) or language that may appear before or during seizures.
A Disease Of Genetic Origin
Migraine is a disease that has a genetic origin. Most people who suffer from it tend to have close cases in the family: parents, grandparents, siblings.
The specialist says that you may not realize your genetic predisposition to suffer from migraines until you start having the first attacks at some point in your life.
He also says that people understand that they are or are not migraineurs depending on the attacks they suffer. If they start to suffer attacks in adolescence and then are 10-15 years without having any, they think they can overcome the disease in that time, but it is not like that. His brain is still migrañoso, though not aware of it.
A person who considers has a genetic predisposition to migraine has had at least five migraine attacks in their life.
What Factors Increase The Risk Of Suffering From Chronic Migraine
Apart from genetic predisposition, a series of factors increase the risk of suffering a greater number of migraine attacks and, therefore, ending up within the chronic migraine classification.
- The same frequency of crises. The brain is an organ that learns very well, so the more attacks you have, the more risk there is of continuing to suffer them. It is as if the brain is taking a run.
- The obesity.
- The disorders of sleep.
- People who have fibromyalgia or chronic pain (for example, back pain).
- Abusing pain relievers.
Manage Well A Migraine Brain
The first thing to do to chronic migraine treatment is to understand how a migraine brain works.
The instruction manual for a migraine brain is different. If you don’t find out how it works, you will worsen the problem, and more attacks will be.
Migraine is a neurovascular disease where the brain adapts quickly to sudden changes. It is not able to block over stimuli.
- Think of the brain as if it were a computer with many open programs depending on the stimuli it receives. There comes a time when the brain gets tired, needs to replenish energy and for this, like resetting the computer to returning the simile.
- In a migraine brain, that reset becomes a migraine attack. In contrast, in a non-migraine brain, it can simply translate into tiredness.
- A non-migraine brain can’t take it all, but it doesn’t need to reset as aggressively as a migraine brain.
Habits That Help Prevent Migraine Attacks
Migraine people have to avoid saturating the brain with stimuli, remarks the neurologist. For this, it is very important:
- Follow routines.
- Do moderate exercise, never intense.
- Do not abuse painkillers. There is nothing wrong with taking a painkiller, but if the seizures do not improve, you have to go to the doctor and not continue taking painkillers when we have already seen that it does not work for us.
The neurologist remembers that it is very important to keep track of the attacks. Making your pain diary will be useful for the doctor to analyze your level of chronic migraine and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Treatment For Chronic Migraine
The neurologist explains that from 5 days of migraine per month, it is advisable to treat to prevent attacks. The drugs used for this are neuromodulators. The arsenal is wide (calcium antagonists, antihypertensives / beta-blockers, some antidepressants), and it should be your neurologist who recommends the most suitable one.
In case of chronic migraine (more than 15 days a month) advising Butolin toxin treatments.
The latest preventive treatments are biological drugs with monoclonal antibodies against the CGRP peptide. This peptide with migraine for 30 years is associated. But they found a way finally to block it with these drugs.
It is allowed to use this type of drug when you have more than eight days of migraine per month and three previous preventive treatments have not worked for you.
Expert concludes that seizures are disabling, and it is an obligation to treat them; it is not optional. Doctors should recommend treatments for that attacks. As for the attack should be treated with the right drugs and doses.