Migraine Stages and a Surprising Natural Solution

migraine-stages-and-a-surprising-natural-solutionMore and more patients seek the help of an upper cervical chiropractor in Clear Lake, WI due to migraines. A migraine is a disorder known to cause recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Most of the time, although not always, the headache affects one side of the head.

Migraines are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to 3 days. Some of the accompanying symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.

Migraines are one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting more than 39 million people throughout the United States, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

Almost 5 million people have at least one migraine attack per month, and another four million have chronic migraines, meaning they have at least 15 migraine days per month.  The circumstance is skewed heavily toward women – 28 million are impacted and 85% of these ladies are chronic sufferers.

How a Migraine Attack Occurs
There is no predictable script that a migraine episode follows. However, there are four separate phases that a migraine sufferer is likely to experience. Learning to recognize the stages of a migraine episode can be beneficial for migraine sufferers, helping them to prevent an attack from worsening or prepare for an oncoming attach.

There are four distinct migraine stages:

  • Phase 1 Premonitory phase 
  • Phase 2 Aura phase
  • Phase 3 Headache phase
  • Phase 4 Recovery phase

Migraine Phase 1: Premonitory Phase
Beginning hours or even days before the onset of traditional migraine headache symptoms, the first phase is the premonitory phase, also known as the prodromal phase. It serves as a warning sign that a migraine is coming. Likely prodromal symptoms include the following:

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

  • Food cravings or aversion
  • Weakness 
  • Mood changes
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Migraine Phase 2: Aura Phase
According to the American Migraine Foundation, about one-third of migraine patients will experience the aura phase during a migraine attack. The visual changes associated with the aura phase are very commonly associated with migraines. But there are other symptoms related to this second phase of migraines:

  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Hearing changes, consisting of listening to sounds and temporary loss of hearing
  • Dizziness
  • Heightened sensitivity to smells
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Experiencing sensations of numbness, tingling, prickling, in the arms, legs, and face
  • Visual modifications such as seeing flashes of light or wavy lines, having blurred vision, blind spots, floaters, or tunnel vision

Migraine Phase 3: Headache Phase
The headache phase can be the most debilitating stage of all the migraine phases. The headache section of a migraine can be characterized by the following:

  • Headache that is usually localized to one side of the head and may spread to other sides
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain that lasts between four hours to 3 days and is made worse through bodily activity
  • Pain around the sinuses, eyes, jaw, and teeth due to the involvement of facial nerves
  • Extreme light, sound, and scent sensitivities
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes, such as nervousness or anxiety
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Confusion or different cognitive changes

Migraine Phase 4: Postdrome/Recovery Phase
The last section of a migraine attack is the postdromal phase. Some people call it the “migraine hangover” because it can leave the person feeling awful for up to a couple of days after the headache disappears. Postdrome signs and symptoms can resemble those of the first phase, and they can also include the following:

  • Poor concentration
  • Reduced comprehension
  • Mood changes ranging from melancholy to euphoria
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite

A Surprising Natural Solution for Migraines
Certainly, migraines and your neck are related, especially given the fact that neck pain is such a frequent symptom among migraine sufferers. Migraines can frequently start following a head or neck injury. Sometimes they may not show up for months or even years after the incident. 

Atlas Misalignment Results in Migraines

A head or neck injury can misalign the uppermost vertebra in the neck. Misalignment of the atlas (C1) vertebra can result in quite a few difficulties that can lead to migraines. This is because the atlas plays an important role.

  • The atlas protects the brainstem, which is an extraordinarily important area of your body’s central nervous system. When the atlas misaligns, it can damage the brainstem and surrounding tissues and decrease its normal function.
  • Blood flow from the brain relies on atlas positioning.  A misalignment can decrease the normal blood to and from the brain which can cause migraine symptoms.
  • An atlas misalignment can reduce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage and flow. The atlas protects the brain and spinal cord. The CSF rids these tissues of metabolic waste.

Some of these factors can lead to migraines and may bring on other chronic conditions as well. If someone is dealing with migraines, whether infrequent or persistent, having your atlas alignment checked by an upper cervical chiropractor is key to achieving a lasting solution.

Get the Help of Northern Roots Family Spinal Care 

Northern Roots Family Spinal Care in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, focuses on restoring atlas alignment, and by doing so, correcting the root cause of migraines and different headache-related conditions. If an atlas misalignment is found, I can apply specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to gently resolve the problem. 

The most important aspect to remember when it comes to migraine stages and natural solutions is to get to the root cause of the problem. If upper neck issues are causing your migraines, then correcting that upper neck misalignment will make all the difference to your health and life.

Call my office at 715-303-7121 or fill out this online form to start your adjustments with a reliable upper cervical chiropractor in Clear Lake, WI.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. O’keefe, call our Clear Lake office at 715-303-7121. You can also click the button below.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Holliday
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

Free Appointment Booking

We provide specific, scientific Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, helping families get well and stay well.
Serving God by igniting hope in His people and instilling the true principles of health and healing through continual communication, education, and inspiration.
Learn More About Us