5 Migraine Misconceptions you shouldn’t believe

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People have a lot of theories on ways to relieve migraine headaches, and while some work, many are based on misconceptions about migraines.  In coping with chronic headaches, it’s important to be able to sift the facts from the fiction. Here are 15 common fallacies about migraines:


Migraine Myth #1: Migraines are just really strong headaches.

Any chronic migraine sufferer can attest to the fact that migraine symptoms involve more than excruciatingly strong headaches.  For many, severe nausea, cyclical vomiting, stomach cramps, photophobia, vertigo, stroke-like symptoms, and visual disturbances occur prior to or during a migraine attack.  Because of its debilitating nature, migraine disorder can destroy the quality of life for its sufferers, creating feelings of depression, anxiety, despair, and anger.

Unlike common headaches, chronic migraine headaches can make it impossible to hold a job, care for yourself, or perform simple household duties.  For that reason, the ADA accepts migraine disorder as a disability qualified for compensation.

Social Security Disability for Migraine- 5 Tips for Filing

Migraine Myth #2: Alternative treatments for migraines are a waste of time and money.

Actually, modern medicine has been slowly incorporating alternative medicine alongside conventional treatments like drugs, physical therapy, and psychotherapy.  This is especially true regarding chronic pain disorders such as migraines and fibromyalgia.


Popular natural ingredients for migraines include:

  • Vitamins and herbs, such as butterbur, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), coenzyme Q10, and magnesium
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Restrictive dieting

Cure Migraines with Functional Medicine; Part 1

Migraine Myth #3: If OTC pain relievers like Excedrin help, then your migraines can’t be that bad.

Swallowing over-the-counter pills like Excedrin for migraines or Advil can have bad side effects.  For one, NSAIDs often cause rebound headaches. Over time, frequent use of OTC pain relievers can take its toll on your digestive system, liver, and kidneys, in addition to causing tinnitus (ear ringing).


Migraine Myth #4: Only middle-aged women get migraines.

While it’s true that women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than are men, it’s important to recognize that millions of men get migraines as well, and that often age doesn’t play an important factor.  It’s not unusual for migraineurs to experience their first migraine attack before entering high school or college.

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Migraine Myth #5: Migraine sufferers who complain are just attention seekers or lazy.

Contrary to popular belief, chronic pain sufferers don’t want to be in the spotlight. Far from it, many migraine patients resort to the “grin and bear it” strategy, rather than have to ask for help or make any mention of their agony.  This kind of approach is actually detrimental, because they end up not getting the help they need, for fear of being called “weak” or worse, a hypochondriac.

35 Things you should never tell a Chronic Migraine Sufferer

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psyberartist, Venture Vancouver, Colin_K