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Teenagers & Parents

Migraine Help For Teens & Parents 

Nearly 10% of teenagers in the U.S. live with migraine [1]. Migraine attacks are common, but there is currently no cure for them. Since migraine is a debilitating neurological disorder, attacks make it difficult to engage in normal daily activities. 

Many teens miss days at school or social activities due to migraine attacks, head pain, vomiting, or other associated symptoms [2]. It can be challenging for teens to study and maintain friendships when they constantly deal with migraine pain. 

Parents of teens with migraine may feel frustrated at the lack of effectiveness of some at-home remedies or the side effects of common prescription drugs. Teens with other medical conditions may not be able to take certain medicines. Some may not want to deal with the side effects common to taking drugs.
For a drug-free migraine treatment alternative, ask your adolescent’s doctor about Nerivio, a drug-free, Remote Electrical Neuromodulation (REN) wearable for migraine treatment and prevention. It is FDA-cleared for patients 12 years of age or older, it is discreet, easy to use, and allows your teen to feel in control of their treatment.

How to Spot the Symptoms of a Teenager’s Migraine

Many of the migraine symptoms teens experience are similar to those adults have. In addition to mild to severe throbbing headaches on one side of their head or on both sides, teens may experience vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, or neck pain, during the time of the headache.

Some teens may experience aura before the headache strikes (Aura Phase), including visual disturbances, like seeing flashes of lights or zigzags. They may also feel a tingling sensation in their body [3]. Not all adolesents experience aura.

Head pain may follow warning signs (Prodrome Phase) like neck stiffness, fatigue, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, irritability, mood swings. Other warning signs may include cognitive impairment, sensitivity to smell, nausea or vomiting, yawning, dizziness or vertigo, or food cravings [4].

Following the migraine headache (Postdrome Phase), some teens experience a hangover-like mental fog, inability to concentrate, depressed mood or euphoric mood [5].

Migraine attacks in teens are typically briefer than those in adults [1]. Some teens experience abdominal migraine. Rather than a pain in their head, it causes a dull, itchy sensation in their abdominal area. During an abdominal migraine, they may experience nausea, drowsiness or fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, or paleness of skin.

What Causes Migraine in Teens?

Teen migraine causes can vary from person to person. For some, it may be hormone related. As hormone levels change throughout puberty, teens, and especially teenage girls, may experience more headaches [7].

The causes of migraine in teenage girls are often hormone related. A decrease in estrogen levels a couple of days before the beginning of a monthly period is a common cause for menstrual migraine. Causes of migraine attacks in teenage boys might be hormone related if they have higher-than-normal estrogen levels in their bodies. Other common causes for migraine in teens are genetic predisposition and other physiological causes [8].

Stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, skipping meals, too much caffeine, caffeine withdrawal, motion sickness, weather changes, alcohol, or certain foods are all possible triggers that might increase the probability for a migraine attack, and the severity of the attack [9]. Teens may also experience a migraine after consistently getting too much screen time on phones, laptops, TV, or gaming devices.

Quick Reference for Common Causes and Triggers of Teenage Migraine

Changes in hormone levels during puberty


  • Too much screen time and electronics
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of sleep
  • Caffeine
  • Missing a meal
  • Motion sickness
  • Trigger foods

Migraine Relief for Teens

Each teen experiences migraine differently and finding relief may seem elusive.

Parents may wonder what the best migraine treatment for their teenager is. While at-home remedies like breathing exercises, drinking plenty of water, engaging in mild exercise, and getting plenty of sleep may help ease or prevent symptoms, you can also ask your teen’s doctor about safer, drug-free alternatives like Nerivio [10].

Nerivio offers adolescents ages 12 and up a discreet and drug-free option to treat and prevent migraine. An open-label clinical study demonstrated that the incidence of device-related adverse events is very low, supporting Nerivio’s safety and tolerance. Nerivio works safely and effectively by activating natural pain pathways to inhibit migraine and associated symptoms.

This app-controlled, wearable is suitable for self-use at school. Your teen can go about their daily routine while wearing Nerivio discreetly under a shirt or jacket. Always consult with your healthcare provider to determine if Nerivio is the right option for your teen.

Parental Support For Teens with Migraine

Young people who struggle with migraine regularly may not know what it is to experience a pain-free life.

Migraine attacks affect teens’ social lives and abilities at school. Parents should know that migraine attacks are not their teen’s fault. Migraine attacks may be genetic and increase during puberty due to hormonal changes. Attacks might be triggered by lack of sleep, diet changes, and other issues that are common during these ages.

The best thing a parent can do for teenagers struggling with migraine is to show support. Let them know you understand what they are experiencing and that you are actively looking for resources to help them. It’s not about making the teen try harder to overcome the symptoms. It’s about helping them find the best treatment that works for them, giving them relief and freedom from their pain and other symptoms, without introducing unbearable side effects.

Consult your teen’s healthcare provider about Nerivio.



  1. American Migraine Foundation. (n.d.). Pediatric migraine. 
  2. American Migraine Foundation. (2018, March 15). Understanding Pediatric Migraine.
  3. American Migraine Foundation. (2023, March 01). Understanding Migraine With Aura.
  4.  American Migraine Foundation. (2022, March 17). Migraine Prodrome: Symptoms and Prevention.
  5. American Migraine Foundation. (2018, February 22). Migraine Hangover. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/migraine-hangover/
  6. Mayo Clinic. (2021, July 02). Migraine.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201
  7. American Migraine Foundation. (2019, March 21). Migraine Through A Woman’s Life.
  8. The Migraine Trust. (n.d.). Genetics and migraine.
  9. American Migraine Foundation. (n.d.). Top 10 migraine triggers.
  10. American Migraine Foundation. (2022, August 4). Migraine Home Remedies.

Safety Information

It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before taking any action based on the information above. This content does not constitute medical advice or a recommendation.

Nerivio is an FDA-cleared, drug-free therapy for acute and preventive treatment of migraine with or without aura in patients 12 years and up. It is a prescription use, a self-administered device for use in the home environment at the onset of migraine headache or aura for acute treatment, or every other day for preventive treatment.

Nerivio should not be used by people with uncontrolled epilepsy, an active implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker, hearing aid implant, or any implanted electronic device. Such use could cause electric shock, electrical interference or serious injuries or medical conditions.”

For full user instructions and safety information, please see the Nerivio User Manual.
Talk to your doctor to see if Nerivio is right for you.