Once the headache is over, the Migraine attack may or may not be over. The postdrome (sometimes called postheadache) follows immediately afterward. The majority of Migraineurs take hours to fully recover; some take days. Many people describe postdrome as feeling “like a zombie” or “hung-over.” These feelings are often attributed to medications taken to treat the Migraine, but may well be caused by the Migraine itself. Postdromal symptoms have been shown to be accompanied and possibly caused by abnormal cerebral blood flow for up to 24 hours after the end of the headache stage. In cases where prodrome and/or aura are experienced without the headache phase, the postdrome may still occur. The symptoms of prodrome may include:
- lowered mood levels, especially depression
- or feelings of well-being and euphoria
- poor concentration and comprehension
- lowered intellect levels
Migraine. As we've seen there's far more to an attack than just the headache phase. Not all Migraineurs experience all phases, and those who do don't experience them with each attack. If it all sounds unpredictable — it is. For those who suffer from Migraine, there can be great advantage to learning about these phases of a Migraine and how to recognize them. Once we know about them and learn to listen to our bodies, if we experience prodrome or aura symptoms, we have a better chance of avoiding the headache phase. In addition, there's always an emotional comfort factor to knowing what is causing us to feel depressed or have other symptoms. Add in a bit of control — once we learn to recognize these symptoms and use them in our Migraine management, we gain a bit more control over Migraine. Any time we can do that, it's a positive move.
Young, William B., MD; Silberstein, Stephen D., MD. "Migraine and Other Headaches." AAN Press. St. Paul. 2004.
Calhoun, Anne H., MD; Ford, Sutapa, PhD; Millen, Cori, DO; Finkel, Alan G., MD; Truong, Young, PhD; Nie, Yonghong, MS. "The Prevalence of Neck Pain in Migraine." Headache. Published Online: Jan. 20, 2010.
Robert, Teri. "Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches." HarperCollins. New York. 2005.