Migraine Headaches? Why Behaviors Matter.

picture of woman with headacheMigraine is a common and disabling condition characterized by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, head pain on one side, and attacks that are of moderate to severe pain.  These migraines are diagnosed when an individual has experienced at least five of these attacks in his or her lifetime.

Episodic migraine is characterized by having 14 or fewer headache days per month. Episodic migraine is common worldwide affecting an estimated 17.1% of women and 5.6% of men.  Among people with migraine, episodic migraine is the most prevalent type of migraine.

Behavioral factors including levels of stress, daily patterns of sleep and eating, and medication adherence, have demonstrated relationships with migraine symptoms and disability in people with episodic migraine. These behaviors are part of everyday patterns and can be specifically emphasized in clinical practice to improve migraine management.

Inconsistency in daily patterns (e.g., eating, sleeping, exercise, and hydration status) has been associated with increased migraine episodes. Sleep behaviors influence the quality and duration of sleep. A recent daily diary study among 34 people with episodic migraine found that nighttime snacking was associated with a 40% reduction in the odds of experiencing a headache compared to no food. Maintaining a healthy, high quality diet is also important for people with episodic migraine and obesity is associated with higher migraine frequency and intensity. Obesity is also associated with greater amounts of inflammation.


Rosenberg L, Butler N, Seng EK. Health Behaviors in Episodic Migraine: Why Behavior Change Matters. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2018 Jul 30;22(10):65.


By |2018-08-12T20:09:17-04:00August 12th, 2018|Categories: Exercise, Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Dean Smith, DC, PhD, husband, and father of two children, is a highly respected health and wellness authority. He is a chiropractor at Essence of Wellness Chiropractic Center and a researcher and clinical professor at Miami University. Dr. Smith incorporates lifestyle intervention (exercise, nutrition, other non-drug methods) with chiropractic adjustments and other manual methods to encourage optimal wellness. He has helped countless adults and children lead a life of wellness. His research interests lie broadly in the area of human movement and coordination. He is most interested in how chiropractic, exercise and rehabilitation affect human performance. His scientific articles have been published in such journals as Human Movement Science, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Chiropractic Research Journal, Chiropractic and Osteopathy and The Open Neurology Journal. His training includes a Master’s degree in exercise science, a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a PhD in brain and cognitive science with a focus on motor control and coordination. The International Federation of Sports Chiropractic has awarded him with the International Chiropractic Sport Science Diploma (ICSSD).

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