Factual Migraine Patterns

Factual Migraine Patterns

Posted by Lisa Erickson on Mar 15th 2023

To be clear, knowing these facts did NOT move the needle in my #migrainerecovery. But some people need the facts.  To be clear, a fact does not =truth. A fact is something agreed on by a percentage of people & data. 

Next month, I'll be sharing on a podcast I just recorded a few patterns that I have noticed throughout my 10 year career with #migrainereleif that SHIFTED my healing.

But until then....here are some facts....

Migraines are an extremely common and debilitating type of headache disorder. It is estimated that roughly 12 percent of the world’s population is affected by them.1

In order to better understand migraines, it is important to understand the pattern of its occurrence. A migraine is characterized by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe pain, typically felt on one side of the head.2 Attacks typically last from 4 to 72 hours and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.2

The type of headache that typically characterizes a migraine is known as a throbbing, pulsing or pounding sensation.2 It is estimated that 8 out of 10 sufferers experience this type of headache.2

Migraines can be recurrent, with some people experiencing multiple episodes a month or even more.3 They can also be episodic, occurring just once or a few times a year.3 In addition, migraine attacks can be triggered by certain activities, such as stress, lack of sleep, drugs or food.4

The pattern of migraines can vary from person to person, but some common patterns have been identified. One common pattern is that of ‘episodic’ migraines, where an attack occurs infrequently and with some regularity.3 Other common patterns include ‘chronic’ or ‘overuse’ migraines which can occur daily or multiple times a week.3

Finally, a relatively new phenomenon, known as ‘transformed migraines’ have been reported by a small percentage of migraine sufferers.5 Transformed migraines are attenuated versions of migraine headache attacks, with reduced or milder symptoms that still have the characteristics of a migraine attack.5

In conclusion, the pattern of migraine occurrence can vary greatly from person to person. However, several common patterns have been identified, including episodic, chronic or overuse, and transformed migraines. Through understanding these patterns, clinicians can more effectively diagnose and treat patients with this condition.


1. World Health Organization. “Headache Disorders.” https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/...

2. American Migraine Foundation. “Migraine.” https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understand...

3. National Headache Foundation. “Classifying Migraine.” https://headaches.org/2005/04/05/classifying-migr...

4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Migraine Triggers.” https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/all-disorders...

5. Sacco S, Tfaily S, et. al. “Transformed Migraine: An Update.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5626445/.