The greatest tool for fighting your migraine is YOU!
"Is it a migraine or just a headache?" 37 million people in the U.S. reportedly suffer from migraines, but that number may be low. There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to help identify the difference between "just headaches" and chronic migraines.
Migraines are as unique as the individuals who suffer from them. The triggers, frequency, severity, side effects and remedies are different for each patient. That's why tracking your migraines in a migraine journal is so important.
Medication can be a major tool in your migraine toolkit but with all things migraine, it's complicated. Timing, dosage and rebound headaches are some of the things you'll have to worry about. Keeping your migraine journal up to date can be the key to navigating treatments.
Knowing where you are in the migraine phase allows you to use rescue medication more effectively. Try to medicate in the Prodrome or Aura phase of your migraine.
Based on research, there are 4 lifestyle factors that can greatly influence your migraine:
Life is busy and complicated, and it's hard to know how these 4 major factors could be affecting your migraines without tracking. By taking a few notes down on these 4 factors each day, you can start to see how they are affecting the severity and frequency of your migraines.
When tracking the 4 major lifestyle factors, it's equally important to track your migraine attacks. Information is power; the more you can track the better. Some things to track are:
By comparing the 4 major lifestyle factors with your migraine attacks, you and your specialist can create a personalized approach to manage your migraine.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to STICK WITH IT! The more you record in your journal, the more information you and your specialist will have to manage your migraine. You've got this.
Laurel's podcast interview on Another Mother Runner
I am a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Nurse Practitioner with Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic in Overland Park, Kansas. I earned my undergraduate degree in Nursing from Luther College and a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Kansas. I completed my Doctor of Nursing degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with an emphasis on self-management for chronic migraine. Working with patients who have the condition of migraine is extremely rewarding. Nothing beats seeing a patient transform from being overwhelmed by migraine days to feeling empowered and in control. I often say that a major treatment goal is to "put you back in the driver's seat of your life." Self-management for chronic conditions has been a focus for me throughout my nursing career, and I have a personal interest in this condition due to my father and brother experiencing migraine disease.
I am a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and an active member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals. My clinical practice includes comprehensive musculoskeletal and neurologic rehabilitation medicine.
I am passionate about working with rehabilitation patients to maximize their function and wellness. I enjoy presenting at medical conferences and community events about migraine and rehabilitation topics. Outside of the office, you'll find me running, cooking and spending time with my family.
I earned my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Houston and my medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I also have a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Medicine (University of Washington) and another Master’s degree in Health Services Administration (University of Kansas). I completed my internship and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington.
My clinical areas of interest include musculoskeletal medicine, neuropathic pain, spasticity, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonias, stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, nerve and muscle diseases, geriatrics, electro-diagnostic medicine and general rehabilitation medicine. It’s extremely gratifying to take care of people and improve their function.
When I am not in clinic, I enjoy tennis, traveling and spending time with my family.
Every day there are new developments, new technology and new medications. I am passionate about learning, research and presenting to facilitate learning for others. I conduct clinical trials to help with new treatment and learn of new ways to stay current with the various area of medicine. The focus of my practice is to optimize the function of my patients.
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