To someone who never experienced a migraine episode before, the throbbing sensation might only seem like a severe type of headache. But, if you’re well familiar with migraine episodes, you know that the pain you feel is nothing close to a regular headache.

Typically, migraineurs experience various symptoms aside from throbbing or pulsating pain. Often, patients who seek upper cervical chiropractic care for their migraines complain about symptoms like vomiting, nausea, visual aura, and increased pain sensitivity. 

Each patient tends to experience migraine attacks differently. Hence, it’s hard to come up with a specific and detailed description of the condition. Fortunately, you can identify patterns or trends every time you have an episode. By doing so, you can prevent or reduce the severity and frequency of your attacks. 

While it’s virtually impossible to predict when an attack occurs, you can familiarize yourself with the different stages of migraine episodes. Let’s tackle these different stages below:


Phase 1: Prodrome (Premonitory or Pre-headache)

The initial migraine phase is called prodrome phase. It usually starts a couple of hours or even days before the rest of the stages of migraine begin. Roughly 30 to 40 percent of migraineurs experience the pre-headache phase.

Knowing when this phase starts will help you prepare for the worst parts of a migraine attack. You can take necessary preventive measures to minimize your pain and other symptoms.

Key Symptoms

Here are the key signs of a migraine’s prodrome phase:

  • Problem concentrating 
  • Difficulty reading or speaking
  • Nausea
  • Unexplainable fatigue 
  • Irritability
  • An excessive urge to pee 
  • Depression
  • Excessive yawning
  • Increased sensitivity to light or sound changes 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Sudden food cravings 
  • Constipation or irritation 

Phase 2: Aura

Roughly one out of three migraineurs experiences aura, the second phase of a migraine attack. It shortly follows the prodrome phase and lasts up to an hour. Similar to the initial phase of migraine, the aura stage can also serve as a warning for you. It can help you prepare yourself for the worst stage of migraine, which we will tackle shortly.

Key Symptoms

In the aura phase, you may observe the following symptoms: 

  • Visual symptoms
    • Blind spots
    • Blurry vision
    • Wavvy lines 
    • Floaters
    • Flashing lights
    • Temporary loss of sight 
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness/Vertigo episodes 
  • Temporary loss or reduction of hearing ability 
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, or prickling sensations on your arms, legs, and even your face
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Smell odors that aren’t really there 
  • Heightened sensitivity to pain and touch 


Phase 3: Headache

The majority of patients who received upper cervical chiropractic care for migraines go through the headache phase. The third stage of migraine is definitely the most debilitating. Sometimes, the throbbing headache can last for four hours, but it can stretch to three days. Besides headaches, you might also experience other symptoms that may affect the rest of your body.

Key Symptoms

Here are the most common examples of migraine headache phase symptoms:

  • A pulsating or throbbing headache that usually:
    • Ranges from mild to severe 
    • Starts on one side of your head but can radiate to other parts of the body
    • Worsens when you exert too much physical effort
  • Pain in your sinuses, eyes, jaw, and teeth
  • Mild to severe neck pain
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Panic, depression, or anxiety
  • Increased sensitivity to touch, light, smell, and sound 
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion


Phase 4: Postdrome (Migraine Hangover)

The last phase of migraine, migraine hangover or postdrome, occurs in over 80 percent of migraineurs. As its name suggests, migraine hangovers feature residual symptoms of the headache phase. Sometimes, it can last for a day, but it can easily extend to two or three days, depending on your condition.

Key Symptoms

Some of the commonly reported symptoms of a migraine hangover include:

  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity light 
  • Reduced comprehension


Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Migraine Relief

If you want to try a new means to relieve your migraine symptoms, you should get upper cervical chiropractic care. It’s a natural pain relief technique that has changed the lives of many patients who have mild to severe migraine episodes.

Here at Rickards Precision Chiropractic & Wellness, we help patients by using gentle adjustments. We customize the approach to help you enjoy the following: 

  • Precise adjustments – We make use of advanced digital imaging techniques to assess the neck bone alignment. This way, we can find the key points we need to work on and adjust our approach accordingly.
  • Focused careUpper cervical chiropractic doctors focus on the topmost portion of the neck, most specifically, the C1 vertebra. The C1 bone supposedly protects your brainstem. It also enables your head movements in different directions. 
  • Long-lasting benefits – Finding long-term relief is the primary goal of many migraineurs. With upper cervical care, you can enjoy that benefit. The adjustments we make hold for a long time so that you can see sustainable results.

Upper cervical chiropractic care is a one-of-a-kind and proven pain relief method. If you have been suffering from migraine episodes for years, it may be worth it to try this healing option. It could provide you with much-needed migraine relief in Escondido, especially if you previously had a neck or head trauma. Many patients have seen promising results. Most of them have started enjoying their favorite activities again, without worrying about severe bouts of migraine attacks.  

Get in touch with our team to book a consultation. You can contact us through our website form or call us at 760-745-1511. Begin your journey to healing and recovery today!


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 274-0564. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at