Stages, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment for Migraines

Stages, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment for Migraines

Oct 01, 2021

A migraine is a medical condition that involves recurring headaches that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation on one or both sides of the head. An episode of migraine occurs in stages and can last for several hours, days, or weeks. It may be accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light.

Migraine attacks require treatment at an urgent care near you because taking painkillers too often triggers severe medication-overuse headaches. There are no identifiable causes of migraines, but some risk factors can make you prone to having migraines. Migraines have no cure, but medications combined with lifestyle changes and self-help remedies may prevent or make migraines less severe.

Stages and Symptoms of a Migraine

People who have migraines can have symptoms that progress through four stages, but not everyone goes through all the stages. The symptoms in these stages highlighted below will guide you on when to seek emergency care for migraines.


In this stage of migraine, there are subtle changes that warn you of an impending migraine. They include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Constipation
  • Fluid retention
  • Frequent yawning
  • Increased urination
  • Aura

Auras are sensory changes that occur before or during migraines. The symptoms begin gradually and buildup over several minutes, sometimes up to an hour. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Speaking difficulties
  • Pins and needles sensations in the arm or leg
  • Seeing various shapes, bright spots, or light flashes
  • The face or one side of the body becomes numb or weak
  • Loss of vision
  • Attack

Your migraine may last for 4-72 hours if you do not seek treatment. Contact Express ER Temple during an attack stage for emergency treatment.

In the attack stage, the symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Throbbing or pulsing pain
  • Severe pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Light, sound, touch, or smell sensitivity
  • Post-drome

This is the stage after a migraine attack where you may have feelings of confusion or elation. Some people feel drained for several hours. You must be careful during this stage, as sudden head movements may cause the migraine to recur briefly.

Risk Factors for Migraines

Some people are more prone to having migraines than others. They are:

  • Those with a family history of migraines
  • Hormonal changes in women who are pregnant, menopausal, or menstruating
  • The sex. Women are more likely to have migraines than men
  • People around 30 years are more prone to migraines

Treatment for Migraines

Migraines begin as headaches causing a dull discomfort and progress to migraines that cause debilitating pain. You should go to urgent care near you when:

  • The headache lasts for a day, with three or more headaches per week
  • You have a fever, nausea, or rash accompanying the headache
  • Your headache develops after a minor accident or after starting a new medication
  • Two or three doses per week of over-the-counter headache medications do not ease the pain

The migraine ER treatment protocol at Express ER in Temple requires that medications for migraines be administered in a way other than the mouth. You may receive medication through an injection under the skin, into the muscle tissue, or through an IV tube. This ensures that the medications work faster in the body and are more effective.

You should rush or be rushed to an emergency room near you if you have the following symptoms:

  • Intense nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches accompanied by fever, confusion, seizures, stiff neck, double vision, numbness, or weakness in any area of the body
  • An abrupt severe headache like a thunderclap
  • Head pain that lasts for more than 72 hours with less than four hours of relief
  • A chronic headache that worsens after exertion, coughing, sudden movement, or straining
  • Severe headache after an injury
  • Loss of consciousness

Emergency Room Vs Urgent Care for Severe Migraine Emergency

If you are asking whether to call the Temple 24-hour emergency clinic or go to urgent care during a severe migraine emergency, here is some information to help you. Consider the following factors as you seek migraine treatment.

During a migraine emergency, you cannot drive yourself to the hospital or may not have someone to drive you. Calling an ER will ensure that you have ambulance transportation and will receive emergency treatment during the ride.

Modern imaging equipment and diagnostic devices are usually available in the emergency room rather than the urgent care. You are assured of fast and accurate diagnosis and treatment at the ER.

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