More than 38 million people in the United States suffer from migraines, with headaches among the most common reason people seek care from a doctor. Pain management specialist Alexander Kulick, MD, provides pain management for men and women with migraines at his practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Call the New York City office or schedule an appointment online to discuss a treatment plan to relieve your migraines.

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What are migraines?

A migraine is a recurring, disabling headache that causes moderate to severe pain and lasts 4-72 hours. You can experience migraine pain on one side of your head or all over, and the pain can feel like it’s stabbing, throbbing, or pulsing. 

Migraine symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sounds, blurred vision, and weakness. Some people experience migraines as little as once a year, while others may have several migraines per week.

What’s the difference between a headache and a migraine?

Severe headaches can be mistaken for migraines, but there are differences. A tension headache occurs with no warning, while a migraine gives warning signs, such as visual, psychological, auditory, or physiological changes, called aura, prior to starting. 

Tension headache pain feels similar to an elastic band squeezing your head, while migraine pain tends to affect only the front or side of the head. 

What causes migraines?

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but neurologists believe changes to nerve cell activity and blood flow in the brain contribute to migraines. These changes are also responsible for causing aura symptoms that lead up to the migraine. 

Women experience migraines more often than men, and you’re more likely to have migraines if someone in your family also suffers from them.

Chronic migraines are often triggered by:

  • Stress
  • Skipping meals
  • Humidity
  • Changes in weather conditions
  • Caffeine
  • Hormones
  • Fatigue
  • Red wine
  • Nitrates
  • Chocolate
  • Noises

Knowing what triggers your migraines can help you avoid them. Make a note of how you feel and what you eat in the hours leading up to a migraine. These notes can help you look for patterns and possible migraine triggers. 

How are migraines treated?

Dr. Kulick takes an integrative approach to migraine treatment and pain management. Treatment plans are customized to each individual to offer long-term relief based on your symptoms. Migraine treatment may include a combination of the following methods:  

  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Dietary changes
  • Relaxation techniques 
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Botox® injections

When you learn what triggers your migraines, you can take steps to prevent them from occurring so you become less dependent on medical treatment.

If you suffer from migraine pain more than once or twice a month, Dr. Kulick can help you find relief. Call the office of Dr. Alexander Kulick or request an online appointment to learn more today.