Common Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about migraine in children & what we do. 

Migraine is a neurological condition that occurs in about 1 in 10 children and even more adults. It presents in symptoms such as  headache, abdominal pain, nausea or light sensitivity.  Additionally, it impacts a person’s daily life, social and emotional wellbeing. That’s why current professional standards recommend a multidisciplinary treatment approach. 

Unfortunately, yes. About 1 in 10 school-aged children have migraines. Often it is undiscovered because migraine presents differently in children than it does in adults. For children, the main symptoms often include stomach pain and nausea. If you are worried about your child’s symptoms, it is best to see your GP or a specialist.

Specialists recommend to keep a migraine or headache diary because it helps to:

  1. Spot patterns and potential triggers
  2. Doctors to assess which strategies help
  3. Support the right diagnosis & treatment plan
  4. Your child to gain a sense of control 

For more information, check out our blog about migraine diaries

Psychological therapies (e.g. relaxation, hypnosis, coping skills training, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioural therapy) may help young people manage pain and its disabling consequences. Especially cognitive behavioural therapy may reduce pain frequency in children with migraine.

Cognitive behavioural therapy, also called CBT, is a talking therapy. CBT teaches you how emotions, thoughts, behaviours, and physical sensations are interlinked. CBT is proven to be an effective way to prevent migraine in children.

There are a lot of different symptoms associated with migraine and it varies for every person. 

For children, common symptoms are:

  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting 
  • and head pain.

Multidisciplinary migraine management follows the bio-psycho-social model of chronic pain management. This means that we are looking not only at physical symptoms but also the impact migraine has on our social and emotional wellbeing.

The approach includes (but not limited to): 
– Pharmaceuticals (acute, and if necessary, preventative)

– Lifestyle adaptations (diet, exercise, stress, sleep)

– Behavioral & coping techniques (Cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation)  

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