Migraine throbbing pain symptoms: an introduction
The most common symptom among migraine sufferers is that their head throbs.
About 85 percent of people with migraines suffer from throbbing pain. Unlike other symptoms, this percentage is the same in both men and women with migraines. Those who have throbbing pain typically have more severe migraine pain than those who do not have pulsating pain. Throbbing pain is one of the four migraine symptoms the International Headache Society uses to define migraine. IHS considers an episode a migraine if the person has two of the following four qualities:
- Throbbing pain
- Pain on one side of head
- Moderate or severe intensity that forces the sufferer to reduce activities
- Worsening pain with physical activity
How is a migraine different from a regular headache?
This type of head pain is often described as:
- Dull aching
- Pulsating (also called pulsatile pain)
- Often occurs at the temples, front, back of one or both sides of the head
This migraine pain can occur in all or just a portion of the head. It may begin in one area and spread to others or throb all over the head.
The poundingcan become worse with certain movements such as:
- Other physical activities
This pulsating sensation may be a result of increased sensitivity in the brain, which then worsens when the migraine sufferer is physically active.
Some studies suggest that the throbbing occurs because of changes in blood vessels in the brain – called vascular innervations – which would explain the pulsating that mimics a heartbeat.
One researcher blames the throbbing on enlarging of the blood vessels in both the brain and in the arteries in the scalp.