Serena Williams knows the pain of migraines and, as she recently revealed, the additional challenge of feeling like you just have to challenge them. Even during the high stakes tennis games, Williams felt that she had to go through her migraines.
“Migraines are not a knee injury – something you can’t physically see,” said Williams, who is also the new spokesman for the migraine drug Ubrelvy People. “You can’t really say, ‘Oh, Dad, I have a migraine. I will stop playing. ‘People say, “I don’t see any swelling. I don’t see bruises. Tough it out. ‘I got used to playing with the pain. ”
She also said she hesitated to mention her migraines when a match didn̵
Williams said she has been dealing with the “debilitating, throbbing pain” of migraines since her 20s. And as anyone with migraines can tell you, these aren’t average painful headaches. Migraine is a neurological disorder that causes severe pain for hours or days, which is often accompanied by other symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms may include sensitivity to noise, smells, and light, as well as nausea and vomiting. Many people continue to experience fatigue, dizziness, and continued sensitivity to light and noise after the end of the migraine, SELF explained earlier. For some, the symptoms of a migraine actually begin with an “aura,” which can cause visual changes, language difficulties, or tingling on your skin about 30 minutes before the headache occurs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
But even with such symptoms, many people with migraines feel like they just have to assert themselves, which sometimes delays their diagnosis and treatment. For example, said Williams she that sometimes she “had to wait until my migraine was bad”. Why? On the one hand, she is busy juggling “countless responsibilities”. But she also says: “I was just tough and tried to deal with the pain … And sometimes I waited too long and it was too late. So I would suffer longer. “
Migraines can be triggered by a lot of different factors, which can be different for each person. Some of the most common factors are changes in sleep, hormonal changes, alcohol and caffeine, as SELF explained earlier.
For Williams, the stress of her many duties (including taking care of her 2-year-old daughter) combined with the stress of the global pandemic led to her getting more migraines during quarantine. Indeed, she said People that she got migraines almost every day. “I was dealing with a lot of stress and unknown factors and things that I wasn’t used to,” she said. “And I think that contributed to my migraine attacks and made them more common.”
Treating migraines usually begins by identifying your personal triggers. This could include some lifestyle changes, such as: For example, making sure you get enough water, stick to eating and bedtime routines, and develop stress reduction strategies, says the Mayo Clinic. But many people need medication to really get their symptoms under control. This includes both fast-acting medications that need to be taken for migraines and long-term preventive medications to reduce the frequency of your headache.
If you get a headache that appears particularly severe or common, or that prevents you from doing normal activities, talk to your doctor about the possibility of migraines – especially if you find that you are sensitive to light or noise during your headache react. Whether you’re a 23-time glam slam tennis champion or not, you deserve relief.