|Image thanks to to Nik Shuliahin|
What is a migraine? (scientifically speaking)
Migraine is a genetically determined recurrent pain syndrome accompanied by neurological and gastrointestinal features, involving interaction of external triggers and internal pathophysiology. Migraine is currently considered a complex interplay of different processes such as an alteration of pain and sensory input, increased sensitivity of the cortex leading to aura phenomena, central pain facilitation, neurogenic inflammation and brainstem nociceptor sensitisation. ~ Menken M, Munsat TL, Toole JF.
Migraine affects mainly the brainstem and diencephalon4 and is considered an abnormal amplification and sensitisation of pain pathways in these areas of the brain.
Fibromyalgia and migraines (the statistics)
Migraines are common in people with fibromyalgia. The frequency of migraine in patients with FM ranges from 45% to 80%. However, no explanations have been provided for the rate of co-occurrence.
According to the Rheumatology Network the frequency of fibromyalgia is significantly higher among patients who have chronic migraine headaches than in patients who have chronic tension-type headaches. Also patients with chronic migraines experience more severe symptoms of fibromyalgia.
What fibro migraineurs want?
People living with both fibromyalgia and migraines are living with severe and chronic pain. They do not particularly want explanations of migraines, or more research into the connection, or a bunch of statistics, unless it brings solutions to the problems they are living with.
As a person living with these conditions, somedays I can barely take in any information let alone complex scientific diagrams and information.
Processing is a part of the problem of FMS and having a migraine, however low grade makes it even more difficult.
So what do I, and countless others want? We want simple easy to understand information told to us by someone we trust... someone who has done the research and found out what can help relieve our migraines symptoms. we want this information told to us by a person because this is the best way we can process information... hearing it from the lips of another person.
If that cannot happen then we would like it written in simple to understand language, preferably in large font. That's why I am so pleased to present the information from The Migraine Trust.
For over 50 years The Migraine Trust has been championing migraine research and supporting everyone affected by the condition.
They have wonderful, helpful and thorough resources including:
- Seeking medical advice: From diagnosis, to follow-up GP appointments and being referred to a specialist
- Treatments: There are numerous migraine treatment options available from conventional medicines to supplements, herbs and other options.
- Coping and managing: Information on coping and managing with migraine.
Menken M, Munsat TL, Toole JF. The global burden of disease study: implications for neurology. Arch Neurol 2000;57:418–20.
Jacques Joubert MRCP, MD, FRACP, consultant neurologist, Epworth and Royal Melbourne Hospitals, Victoria, Australia. Migraine Diagnosis and treatment. PDF
Penn I-W, Chuang E, Chuang T-Y, Lin CL, Kao CH. Bidirectional association between migraine and fibromyalgia: retrospective cohort analyses of two populations [published online April 8, 2019]. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026581.