Pain Therapy Associates
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Relief From Migraine Headache Pain

Causes & symptoms of migraine headache

Migraines are painful, sometimes debilitating headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, noise and smell. These throbbing headaches usually occur on only one side of the head, although the pain can shift from one side of the head to the other, or it can occur on both sides simultaneously. Migraines involve changes in chemicals and blood vessels in the brain, which trigger pain signals leading to headache and other symptoms.


Migraine runs in families and a genetic link has been identified. However, it is not entirely clear why some people get migraines and others do not. Migraines seem to develop from overactive electrical impulses in the brain that increase blood flow and cause widening (dilation) of blood vessels and inflammation. This activates pain signals and other symptoms, such as nausea. The more inflammation there is, the more intense the migraine headache.

Although the exact cause of migraine headache is not clear, a genetic factor has been identified. The mechanism that causes migraines appears to be a complex progression of biochemical and vascular changes in the brain. The sequence of events is poorly understood; however, it seems to involve widening and narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain, triggering changes in brain chemicals, inflammation and activation of pain signals.


Migraine headache symptoms vary and may occur with or without an aura (neurological disturbances prior to the headache). Common characteristics of migraine headache include:

  • Throbbing or pulsating headache on one side of your head
  • Moderate to severe headache intensity
  • Worsening of headache with routine physical activity
  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Sensitivity to light, noise & odors

A migraine aura may occur within 30 minutes before a migraine headache begins. Auras typically involve visual disturbances such as blind spots, wavy lines, flashing lights or tingling in your hands. Less commonly, aura causes numbness in your arms, shoulders or face, difficulty putting the right words in order or weakness on one side of your body.

It can be difficult to distinguish migraines from other types of headaches. Sinus headache or tension headaches have similar symptoms. Unlike other headaches, however, migraine usually occurs on one side of your head, although the side that is affected can shift with each new attack.

Migraines can be disabling. If they prevent you from performing your daily tasks, working or going school, you should seek help from a doctor. Most people experience only temporary disability from migraine attacks.

Migraines may occur along with many other conditions such as asthma or depression. More serious conditions, such as tumors or infections, can also cause migraine-like symptoms. Headaches caused by more serious health problems are rare.

Our migraine headache patients come to us from Arlington Heights, Elgin, Elk Gove, Schaumburg, Palatine, Hoffman Estates, Wheaton and surrounding locations. To schedule a referral or appointment, please call our pain management specialists at 847-352-5511 or use our online appointment request form today!

Pain Therapy Associates in Numbers

+30,240 Patients Treated
35 Years in Practice

Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants

Rana Amer, PA-C
Yuri Kuklov PA-C

Massage Therapists

Massage Therapists

David In

Ultra Sound Technician

Ultra Sound Technician

Chris Plonka

See what our patients are saying...

Dr.Dabah and his staff are always searching for ways to heal my neck pain. I am happy with the progress we are making as a team. The receptionists are always so cordial.


Doctor Dachman is knowledgeable and always knows how to help me manage my pain. The staff is very pleasant and professional. I highly recommend this office for care!!


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Pain Therapy Associates
Tel: 847-352-5511
Fax: 847-352-5585

455 South Roselle Road, Suite 104
Schaumburg, IL 60193

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