Have joint hypermobility syndrome? A new study shows that 75 percent of women with this condition also suffer from severe migraines.
The study, which was partially funded by GlaxoSmithKline, reveals that women who were severely double-jointed also reported significantly more migraine attacks. 232 women described as having severe double-jointedness participated in the study.
But why? According to researchers, it may be because people with extra-elastic collagen also have elastic blood vessels, which may stretch far differently compared to people that do not have this condition. This can trigger more frequent, sudden migraine attacks.
Women with joint hypermobility syndrome also face other health problems, including fibromyalgia, anxiety and insomnia. Many women don’t make the connection, however, and may blame their health problems on other issues.
There isn’t a specific treatment or medication available to treat both double-jointedness and migraines, but traditional migraine medications can be used to prevent or treat some headache pain. Topamax is a popular preventative treatment for women suffering from these excruciating attacks, and has been shown to help reduce the frequency of such attacks.
Non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen combinations or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can also help. These drugs work by reducing the throbbing pain of a headache as it begins to cause pain, making it easier for women to cope. It does not treat the other symptoms of a migraine, however, such as dizziness, changes in sound and vision, and sensitivity to light.
Women with joint hypermobility syndrome are highly recommended to use lifestyle measures to help prevent their attacks, such as avoiding migraine triggers, getting plenty of rest and using natural techniques to relieve the pain as it comes. Lying in complete quiet, massaging the temples and avoiding certain foods have been shown to be effective for some women.
Still, this may not be enough to help reduce or prevent all migraine pain. Women are strongly advised to seek medical advice if they begin to experience migraines or notice a change in the frequency or severity of their attacks.