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The Benefits of Tracking Your Migraines

We know what you’re thinking—being forced to think about migraine headaches all the time would be your least favorite pastime. Looked at another way, the quote, What gets measured gets managed,” can be applied to our healthcare. If you want to manage your migraine attacks, you should look at the benefits of tracking your migraines.

Man logging migraines on his phone.

Why Should I?

If you need motivation to begin tracking your migraines, think of it as a puzzle to help identify your triggers and find the best treatments. If you need more motivation, consider that this tool is incredibly important when it comes to obtaining insurance coverage for many migraine medications.  Without a migraine calendar, many migraine patients run the risk of having their medications denied by their insurance provider.

It will be a proactive tool that can be shared with Puget Sound Neurology to help with pain management and help you to make informed choices.

Important Information You Can Learn

By keeping a migraine tracker you can find out:

  • What increases your migraine pain or what decreases it.
  • If the meds you are taking are actually working.
  • If there are themes of patterns to your headaches.
  • Location, intensity, frequency, duration of your migraine attacks.
  • Triggers of your migraines.
  • If particular changes to your diet or environment are working.

Non-negotiable Recordings

Note info about your first migraine. Length of time, severity of pain, and if you had any pre-migraine symptoms are a good place to start.

Ongoing attacks: how often, time of day, day of the week, beginning and ending time, what you were doing when it started, if you do anything to try and stop it, and if it worked. 

Sense symptoms:

Physical: what does it feel like, what part of your head hurts, description of pain?

Visual: are there flashing lights, blind spots in our vision?

Auditory symptoms: ringing in your ears, sensitive to loud noise?

Sense of touch: numbness, tingling?

There’s An App For That

There are several apps to track your migraines if you use your smartphone most of the time.

Manage My Pain: Track, analyze, and monitor your pain (managemypainapp.com)

PainScale – Pain Tracker Diary on the App Store (apple.com)

Migraine Buddy | Your Personal Migraine Tracking App (migrainebuddy.com)

Of course, you can do the tracking in a notebook or printing out a migraine diary like this one: HEADACHE-DIARY.pdf (headaches.org)

Whatever format you choose, pick one that you WILL use.

Take some control back in your life.

Contact Puget Sound Neurology at (253) 284-4488 to schedule a consultation in Tacoma, WA or if you have questions on migraine tracking.

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