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Can't Move One or Both Legs During Migraine Attack

I've had migraines since I was 14 with various symptoms like headache, partial vision loss, sound and light sensitivity, etc. But just within the past few years, a new symptom has appeared--I have on about 5 occasions experienced extreme muscle weakness in one or both legs, to the point where I couldn't lift my legs or walk.

Am I the only one who experiences this? When doing research, hemiplegic migraine comes up, but it mentions weakness on one side of the body. This is never the case for me--it's always just my legs.

When this happens, I don't know what to do. I know that at any time I could suddenly be unable to walk, whether I'm at work, home, the grocery store, anywhere. Usually I have to sit or lay down for a few hours until I can walk again, but should I be going directly to the doctor instead?

  1. @emmahart hemiplegic migraines can have some scary symptoms that's for sure! I would definitely encourage you to bring this up with your doctor so you can discuss it with them. Any time you experience a new or bothersome/scary symptom take note of it and let your doctor know about it and how it affects your life. It may be something they can advise you on you just never know. Warmly, Cheryl migraine.com team

    1. Hi Emma, you don’t know how devastated I am to hear what you are experiencing right now 😢!!! I can empathize with your situation very closely, because I do suffer from Hemiplegic Migraines for over 6 years now. I too was working under these conditions in the beginning and would give my self injections in my thigh that the doctor prescribed, crawl under my desk in my office with the lights turned off until it passed so I can continue to work when it did. If it didn’t, I would have to call my husband to pick me up, since I couldn’t drive under such conditions. Eventually, it got so much worse where I have them everyday now and don’t know when it’ll come on or how long it will last. It could be hours, days or weeks at a time. Cheryl is so right about seeing your headache specialist to find out what’s causing your symptoms!!! It took several doctors to find the right one who knew how to diagnose me and told me I was having a HM that mimics stroke like symptoms. It usually begins in my brain where I feel light headed, cognitive thinking diminishes, I’ll stare at someone with a blank face and hear them but can’t comprehend them, my face begins swelling up and drooping on the right side, my head starts feeling numb, it then the goes down my arm and to my lower extremities where I go through paralysis on my entire right side. About 2 years ago, it started to affect the left side of my head and face as well but not the extremities. Having both sides affected is more rare but possible. Don’t ever give up finding help with your medical needs. Finding a great doctor in my neck in the woods is hard to come by, so I’m having to start looking at near by states that have a better reputation of doctors who hopefully can give me a better insight into helping me with HM and Chronic daily Migraines. Sending you good wishes and energy, and I do hope you can find the help you need to feel better and not so debilitating. Take care of yourself 🙏🏻!

      1. I am very sad to hear about your friend because it’s very painful, frustrating and scary to experience HM especially for such a long time like weeks to pass with no relief, and for our loved ones to see it happening first hand feeling helpless that they can’t make us feel better. Years ago in two separate occasions at the ED in Northern Virginia, I was told that I was having a mini stroke or TIA, because they had no clue and I wasn’t diagnosed yet at time. I typically ride it out for weeks at home with my husband’s help until I desperately have to go to the ER. I wish I had an in-patient clinic to go to under my own doctors care which makes more sense. Thanks for the website to inquire about specialist in all states, this is very helpful for sure 🙏🏻. Have a wonderful Black Friday day 🙂

      2. That sounds very scary that you were misdiagnosed in such a way at the ED. Unfortunately we have a long way to go in general doctors understanding the various types of migraine that exist. There are in-patient migraine clinics around the country but they primarily exist to help with evaluation and treatment: https://migraine.com/forums/mhni-or-jefferson
        It sounds like you already have your diagnosis figured out. I hope you can find a migraine specialist in your area. Thinking of you! Warmly- Holly (migraine.com team).

    2. hi you have exactly the same as me. Poor you. Six years I’ve suffered. I suffer nearly every day and get attacks 2 weekly.
      Are you from England???? Love to hear more.

      1. and There is a private messaging feature on our site - just click on the user's name that you would like to message and you will see an option to send a private message to that person. We would recommend you reach out to one another there. Thanks! Warmly- Holly (migraine.com team)

      2. Thankyou


    3. hi! I'm from the States actually, but I live in Japan. So the challenge has been finding a doctor who's patient with my broken Japanese (or who speaks English). I was recently diagnosed with hemiplegic migraine and put on new medication, so hopefully that helps somewhat!
      but I'm sorry to hear your attacks are so frequent, that must be really frustrating. I hope you can find the treatment you need to feel better, and please take care. 🙏🏻

      1. Thankyou. Not found the right treatment yet. My family are great as I struggle on. They all know how to care for me in an attack and after for the weeks I can take for a little recovery.
        You all take care. It’s such an isolating lonely disease.

      2. Thanks for your response! Sure, it's called Migsis 5mg (2 daily).

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