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While migraines are most common in adults, it is also a condition that does affect children. Some studies have estimated the prevalence of childhood tension-type headache at 26%, and childhood migraine at 24%. While these migraine-conditions can present similarly to classic migraine, children are more likely to experience symptoms of ‘abdominal migraine’ or ‘cyclical vomiting syndrome.

Vertigo is a condition that causes an external sensation of spinning. This is far more prevalent in adults than children. When it does occur in children, it is often due to a virus or infection affecting the inner ear and causing dysfunction of the vestibular organs.

Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal Migraines typically affects children between 3 and 10 years old. They classically involve bouts of moderate-severe abdominal pain that can last up to 72 hours. As well as experiencing this abdominal pain, a sufferer may experience headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation or vomiting. Given the broad of symptoms, and the difficulty that children tend to report their symptoms accurately, generally means that abdominal migraines go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

While similar to Abdominal Migraines, Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome typically involves intense bouts of nausea and vomiting, that can last up to 10 days. Abdominal pain is also experienced, but the most significant symptoms are nausea and vomiting, as well as diarrhea in some cases. These episodes can be regular, with latent and symptom-free periods between each bout. Again, the similarity in these symptoms to other conditions often leads to it being misdiagnosed.

Why might children be experiencing these conditions?

Childhood migraines have traditionally been classed as ‘primary headaches’, which suggests that there is no known cause. However, more modern research shows that dysfunctions in the upper cervical spine leading to a sensitised brainstem may be the underlying cause of these conditions. If this is found to be the case, then there is a safe, non-invasive, and medication-free treatment available!

If you think that this might be the case for you or your child, then give our amazing team a call on 1800 HEADACHE (43 23 22), or book online at