Can hemiplegic migraine cause pain in one side of the body along with weakness?

Hi, everyone, I am new here, and I have a quick question for those who have hemiplegic migraines. I know that HM causes either weakness or paralysis in one side of the body, but does can it also cause pain in that side of the body, too? The reason I ask is because I am trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. In college, I started having headaches that lasted 2-3 weeks, and they said it was atypical migraines. But then I started getting more and more symptoms during my attacks. Now when I have my attacks, I don’t just get headaches, I also get partial seizures, psychosis, aphasia, vertigo, weakness down my left side (difficult to walk and write), pain down my left side, weird visual phenomenon, strange paresthesias, confusion, and severe memory loss. It’s crazy. My psychiatrist said it’s epilepsy, but my last neurologist thought it might be hemiplegic migraine. BUT the only thing is, I don’t just have weakness on my left side of my body, I also have pain. I have never heard of anyone having pain in their body during a hemiplegic migraine attack, so I wanted to ask people on here with HM – do you ever get pain on one side of your body during attacks? The pain has been getting worse and worse as the months and years go on, but luckily, it is only really bad for a few days during the episode. But I still have some lingering pain that can last for weeks. Does that happen to any of you? Do you get pain in your body during the attack, and not just your head? They’ve done MRI’s, EEG’s, and now I am having an EMG/NCS in a couple of weeks, because now I also have peripheral neuropathy. (Does anyone know if long-standing hemiplegic migraines can cause peripheral neuropathy?) Thanks


Community Answers
  • AshleighBun
    3 weeks ago

    Hey giggles68,
    I’m new here, this might not help, but I experience weakness and pain down the left side of my body, too. I haven’t been diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines, just chronic migraine. But I feel like my symptoms are changing to be more aligned with hemiplegic. I’m gonna see a neurologist about it. I guess I just wanted to say you’re not alone with the weakness and pain!

  • giggles68 author
    2 months ago

    I did see a migraine specialist for a year at a prominent neurological institute, but she sent me back to the epilepsy specialist, because she said she thought I was having more than migraines. She also thought it was seizures, just like the psychiatrist did.

    Unfortunately, nothing ever shows up on the EEG, so I have just been passed back and forth by different doctors for years now, and nobody can figure it out, and meanwhile, my symptoms are getting worse and worse, and I can no longer work.

    My first seizure and psychotic episode happened after I took Imitrex, so the migraine specialist said I can’t take that anymore. I don’t know for sure if it was the Imitrex that caused the seizure and psychotic episode, because I had taken Imitrex for years before that episode, but I have not taken it since, just to be on the safe side.

  • Holly Baddour moderator
    2 months ago

    Thanks so much for raising your important questions here. I’m hoping some of our community members knowledgeable on hemiplegic migraine will ring in here.

    While we cannot provide medical advice here, I wanted to clarify whether or not you are working with a migraine specialist currently. You mentioned a psychiatrist and a previous neurologist, but if you have HM, certainly a migraine specialist would be a great resource in helping you navigate this disease. Here is a list of migraine specialists if you are in need: https://migraine.com/blog/the-mrf-directory-of-headache-and-migraine-specialists/

    Hemiplegic Migraine is certainly a complex condition but one thing that seems certain about it is that it is presents differently for each person who has it: https://migraine.com/video/hemiplegic-migraine-symptoms/

    The pain you are experiencing that accompanies the weakness is definitely worth exploring with a specialist and it’s great of you to be looking into this.

    So glad you’re a part of our community. Please stay in touch!

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