Migraines: A Big Problem for Young Dancers
Migraines: A Big Problem for Young Dancers Does your young dancer complain about headaches multiple times per month? If so, you may not be alone. Migraine headaches are well known to affect adolescent girls at much higher rates than boys. The hormonal changes that a young lady goes through as their body develops can take some of the blame, but just blaming hormones can be a bit short-sighted.
Chronic Migraines May Start in Childhood A chronic migraine problem can be easily missed while your child is growing up. Headaches are a common reason that kids use to avoid going to school, or performing activities that they don't want to do. It's also hard to tell if a child is experiencing a general tension headache or a more complex neurological disorder like a migraine. It's an important thing to recognize because 10% of school-aged kids suffer from migraine headache, and many will carry this illness into adulthood. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines in children tend to have less severe head pain, and most cases don't have the visual disturbances associated with a migraine aura. These are the most common cues that adults use to determine if they have a migraine, but it's harder to elicit this data from children. Things to look out for:
Lack of appetite
Fatigue and withdrawl from fun activities
Sensitivity to light and sound
Hours of lethargy
Proper Treatment for your dancer For many children, there are simple lifestyle changes that can help reduce the impact of migraines. These include:
Sleep is the most important factor
Avoiding strong odors
Reducing screen time
Looking for food triggers - chocolate, soda, artificial sweeteners are common triggers When those don't help, it's likely a case that should be evaluated by your doctor. Patients with chronic migraine problems tend to be more sensitive to other problems later in life. Chronic migraine patients have worse outcomes when it comes to head injury, which is always a small risk in the dancing community. They also tend to be more affected when they are involved in car accidents which can affect anyone and everyone. An assessment by the pediatrician and neurologist is warranted for preventitive medications, but doctors want to use caution because of the risk of rebound headaches. There's also some drugless options.