Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

June 2024: Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is a time to expand advocacy and participate in building migraine and headache awareness. For an entire month, we dedicate our efforts to raising awareness about migraine and assisting patients in managing their pain. This period culminates on June 29th, observed as Chronic Migraine Awareness Day.

Miles for Migraine advocates every day for migraine and headache disorder patients and families, but June is a special time. There are many ways to participate in MHAM throughout the month and we encourage you to take part.

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by recurrent episodes of moderate to severe headaches, often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smells. These attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, significantly impacting the daily life and functionality of those affected.

Beyond the physical pain, migraine can have far-reaching consequences on patients’ well-being. It can disrupt work, school, and social activities, leading to decreased productivity and quality of life. Additionally, the unpredictability of migraine attacks can cause emotional distress, anxiety, and depression in people who live with migraine.

To learn more about migraine, its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and how to manage this condition effectively, visit the About Migraine page. This resource can provide valuable insights and support for individuals dealing with migraines and their loved ones.

Understanding the Difference Between Migraine and Headache

Headaches and migraine are often used interchangeably, but they represent distinct conditions with different causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches.

Headache:

  1. Headaches are a common symptom experienced by almost everyone at some point.
  2. They can be primary or secondary. Primary headaches, such as tension headaches and cluster headaches, occur independently and are not caused by another medical condition. Secondary headaches are caused by underlying medical conditions such as sinus infections, head injuries, or medication overuse.
  3. Tension headaches are the most common type, characterized by a dull, aching pain that typically affects both sides of the head.
  4. Cluster headaches are excruciating headaches that occur in clusters or groups, usually on one side of the head, and often accompanied by symptoms like eye watering, nasal congestion, and restlessness.

Migraine:

  1. Migraine is a type of primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent, throbbing headaches accompanied by other symptoms.
  2. There are several types of migraine attacks, including:
    • Migraine without aura: These migraine attacks occur without warning signs (aura) and are typically characterized by moderate to severe throbbing pain on one side of the head.
    • Migraine with aura: Some people experience warning signs, known as aura, before the onset of a migraine attack. These can include visual disturbances, sensory changes, or difficulty speaking.
    • Chronic migraine: When migraines occur on 15 or more days per month for at least three months, with at least eight of those days meeting the criteria for migraine or responding to migraine-specific treatment.
  3. Migraine can be triggered by various factors such as hormonal changes, certain foods, stress, sensory stimuli, changes in sleep patterns, and environmental factors.
  4. Migraine attacks typically progress through four phases: prodrome, aura (for those who experience it), headache, and postdrome. Each phase can present with different symptoms and experiences.

Learn more about the phases of a migraine attack. Understanding these phases can help individuals recognize and manage their migraine symptoms effectively.

Raising Awareness: Migraine Is Not “Just a Headache”

It’s essential to consult a doctor if you experience severe or recurrent attacks, especially if they interfere with your daily activities or quality of life. Visiting a doctor can help determine the underlying cause of your attacks and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Identifying and avoiding triggers, along with adopting lifestyle modifications and appropriate medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional, can help manage migraine effectively. If you suspect certain triggers are contributing to your migraine attacks, keeping a headache diary can be helpful for tracking and identifying patterns.

Ways to Participate in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Move in-Person or Virtually at a Walk/Run/Relax Event

If you live near Chicago, you won’t want to miss out. The Chicago event takes place on June 2, 2024. Register now. The beneficiary is The Seymour Diamond Fellowship in Headache Medicine.

Maybe you live closer to Buffalo, New York? Buffalo’s walk/run/relax event is on June 22 at Delaware Park. Funds will go to DENT Neurologic Institute to support their headache fellowship program.

Make a Donation for Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Sign up for an Advocacy Program

Miles for Migraine offers an advocacy training program and registration is open NOW! The next cohort is set to begin in August. ACT Now: The Advocacy Connection Team, fellow & patient training program is a 9-month virtual program that connects participants with migraine advocacy knowledge. The monthly meetings include patients, caretakers, and fellows who specialize in headache and migraine medicine. What better way to lean into migraine and headache awareness month than signing up for training? Register now and we will be in touch later this summer.

Connect Online during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Part of self-advocacy is being connected with self and others. With mindfulness and support groups, we aim to give your mind what it may need. 

Miles for Migraine offers many ways to connect virtually year-round. Mindfulness For Migraine & Headache Relief is offered every other Thursday at 7:30 PM EST and includes topics like mindful meditation, yoga, tai chi, guided creative writing, and art therapy. These mindful practices and relaxation techniques for migraine can be done while moving or sitting. Sign up and participate from home.

Support groups are a way to connect with a community that you may not otherwise have access to. Miles for Migraine offers a variety of virtual support groups including men’s groups, young adults, and various times mixed groups. Everyone is welcome!

Learn from Others

Sometimes reading about others’ journeys can be inspiring. Anna shares 5 ways she advocates for headache disorders and Sarah lives her life through advocacy. You can also read many types of advocacy stories here. If you have an advocacy story that you’d like to share, please do so here.

Follow and Share Information during Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Miles for Migraine shares a lot of information on social. Be sure to follow and share migraine facts, stories, and images to help reduce stigma and raise awareness during migraine and headache awareness month.

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Youtube

TikTok

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Observance Days

During the month, please share information on observance days about how deeply migraine and headache disorders affect lives. Please help by learning and educating others. To read details about these days and more, please go to the CHAMP website

June 1- Migraine at Work

June 2- Walk/run/relax Illinois

June 5- Facebook Live: Migraine Myths Dispelled

June 6- Veterans with Headache Diseases

June 7- In Remembrance

June 16- Headache Diseases and Men

June 19- Disparities in Headache- Please read this post written by White, MD (Neurologist/Headache Specialist, Jefferson Hospital)

June 21- Shades for Migraine

June 22- #cureforcluster 5k

Buffalo Walk/run/relax

June 28- Chat & Snack: Migraine myths, truths and action

June 29- Chronic Migraine Awareness Day

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