Migraine Stages Explained

If you have experienced migraine headaches, you already know how painful and debilitating they can be. You may have experienced attacks that disrupted your life for days at a time and caused you to look into migraine treatment Jacksonville FL.

There are different stages to a migraine event. You already know about the headache stage, and perhaps you have also experienced an aura, but there are also stages that occur pre- and post-headache. It may be helpful to learn about these stages and recognize the signs. This is especially true of the early stages, as it may be possible to prevent the headache altogether with intervention.


The prodrome is also called the premonitory phase. It can occur a few hours to a few days before the headache starts. Symptoms include neck and shoulder stiffness, fatigue and yawning, light and sound sensitivity, and frequent urination. You may start craving certain foods or, conversely, experience nausea. You may be able to prevent a headache altogether by avoiding trigger factors, practicing relaxation and/or taking medication during the prodrome phase.


Not everyone experiences aura with their migraines. Auras are present in approximately one-third of all patients. Some people have auras but no headache, and some people experience auras after the headache instead of before. Patients usually experience auras as visual abnormalities, such as blurry vision or blind spots. Some people report perceiving geometric shapes or flashing lights that seem to float in the air.


About 80% of migraine patients experience a postdrome phase after the headache. Postdrome symptoms include dizziness, light sensitivity, fatigue, and body aches. Some patients have difficulty performing routine tasks during postdrome, reporting that it feels like they are in a mental fog.

Though the headache pain has resolved, some people find postdrome symptoms equally debilitating. Some people refer to the postdrome stage as a “migraine hangover” because that is what it feels like to them.

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