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Migraines weakness symptoms: an introduction

During a migraine attack, sufferers may experience symptoms throughout the body. Although many of the complaints center around head pain, some migraine sufferers feel weak during a migraine. In certain cases people say they still feel weakness after migraine. Sensory aura is often blamed for these migraine symptoms. This weakness or feeling of paralysis is temporary.

Localized weakness during a migraine

When weakness is felt only in one area of the body, it is considered localized. This type of localized weakness may appear as weakness in limbs, it may also occur on one side of the body or in just one muscle.

Total body (or generalized) weakness

A feeling of overall weakness or loss of strength may be felt in a small region of the body, such as a finger or a hand.

Other causes of weakness

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis flare up
  • Nerve injury or pinched nerve
  • Todd’s paralysis
  • Intoxication
  • Low sodium or potassium
  • Addison’s disease
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Botulisum
  • Anemia

One 1992 study of 47 migraine suffers found:

  • Weakness in limbs, 13 percent
  • Lack of control of the arms or legs, 11 percent

To help manage weakness you experience, make sure you keep an accurate account of each migraine attack in your migraine journal. Rate the severity of your all of your migraine symptoms, how often they occur and how long they last. This will help determine what your migraine triggers are as well as help you prepare to treat migraines before the pain becomes too severe.


Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
Prevalence of Migraine headache in the U.S., Stewart, JAMA 1992