If you or someone you know has ever been diagnosed with a complex migraine, you have some bad news coming: Such a migraine doesn’t exist.

The International Classification of Headache Disorders recognizes more than a dozen different types of migraines and migraine symptoms, but you won’t spot the word “complex” or “complicated” among them. Despite that, many migraine sufferers are given that vague, unhelpful diagnosis. Unfortunately, a diagnosis of “complex migraine” tells you less about your migraine than it does about your doctor.

How Are Migraines Diagnosed?

Despite the fact that over 23 million people suffer from migraines, this headache disorder is still extremely poorly understood. For this reason, many doctors are ill-equipped to diagnose migraines beyond simply identifying them as such. Correctly identifying and interpreting the specific symptoms and causes of a patient’s migraines is a daunting task, and many healthcare professionals are not equipped to handle it.

When it comes to actual migraine diagnoses, there are plenty of different ones. About one third of migraines are preceded by an “aura,” which is a word used to refer to visual or sensory warning signs of an oncoming migraine. Migraines with aura and migraines without aura are different diagnoses and can be treated differently. If the symptoms that make up the aura originate from the brainstem, such as vertigo, tinnitus, or double vision, such a migraine may be diagnosed as a migraine with brainstem aura. Some people even experience migraines with auras that are not accompanied by headache pain. Migraines that recur with extreme frequency may be diagnosed as chronic migraines, and retinal migraines are migraines that affect eyesight.

Finding the Causes of Migraines

If all of that sounds complicated, try looking into what causes migraines! The research on the cause of migraines is all over the map, and it seems like every day scientists are discovering new strange connections between migraines and exercise , migraines and diet, or even migraines and spinal cord injury. The actual mechanism of how migraines work is still largely a mystery to the medical community, although there are plenty of theories.

Did you know that one of the things that can cause migraines and headaches is TMJ ? This jaw joint imbalance can put pressure on the nerves and muscles in your head, resulting in tension headaches, which have been known to trigger migraines. TMJ may also trigger trigeminal nerve stimuli that cause migraines.

If you suffer from migraines and have been unable to pinpoint the cause or find an effective treatment, it could be that TMJ is the root of the problem. TMJ treatment has been shown to be effective in preventing migraines caused by the disease. Check out our list of common TMJ symptoms and see if they sound similar to your experiences.

If you suffer from migraines in or around Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry online to schedule an appointment. Our experienced TMJ dentists may be able to solve the puzzle that your doctor couldn’t.