According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 28 million Americans experience migraine headaches of varying intensity. More than half (51%) of sufferers report a 50% or more reduction in work and/or school productivity and 66% report a 50% or more reduction in household work productivity.
The National Headache Foundation recommends a five–step plan to help migraine sufferers take control of their condition and not let their pain affect every–day activities:
1. Get diagnosed. An accurate diagnosis is the first step in taking control.
2. Partner with your healthcare provider. Many treatment options are available.
3. Identify your triggers. Keep notes on food, time of onset, intensity of pain, and environment experienced with the onset of your migraine attack.
4. Use self–management strategies. Work with your provider to determine what techniques, for example massage therapy, will help to ease the attacks.
5. Use the foundation as a resource. Visit www.headaches.org for topic sheets, support groups, and the latest information. There are a variety of headaches. The most common is the tension headache, which can be categorized as episodic, less than one a month; frequent, one to 15 times a month; and chronic, more than 15 times a month.
The migraine is in a category by itself. Usually accompanied by throbbing head pain, some also experience nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Attacks can last anywhere from four to 72 hours. Migraines can be hereditary. If both parents experience migraine, there is a 75 percent chance their children will have them.
While the exact causes of migraine headaches are not yet known, the condition can be effectively managed. With the help of a healthcare provider, patients can identify and alleviate the symptoms with the treatment that is right for them.
If you or a loved one are experiencing migraines consult a professional such as your doctor or your EAP for help. The EAP is here to help. Please call us if we can assist you in any way. We are here 24 hours per day, seven days per week.