June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM), complete with a social media challenge to blog or otherwise use daily prompts in social media to raise awareness. Today is day 26, and the prompt is:
"A Migraine attack isn’t a headache. It can occur with NO headache at all."
It’s important to raise awareness of this point because the misconception that a migraine is, “just a headache,” is still quite pervasive and only serves to increase the social stigma associated with migraine disease. (“Oh, come on. Get over it. It’s just a headache, after all.”)
Headache can be a symptom of a migraine attack, but it’s just one of many possible symptoms. Headache alone isn’t sufficient for a diagnosis of migraine; there must be other symptoms present as well.
Severe and debilitating migraine attacks can occur with no headache. When this occurs, it’s described as “silent” or “acephalgic” migraine.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.