June is “Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM)” in the United States – an opportunity to generate public awareness about migraine and other types of headache. The awareness campaign aims to push against the structural stigma that significantly impacts people living with migraine every day and build a stronger community of patient advocates. Recognized as the second leading cause of disability, migraine impacts about 1 billion people worldwide.

Reports suggest that about 16 million people with migraine in the United States remain undiagnosed. Approximately, 400,000 Americans experience cluster headaches, recognized as one of the most painful diseases a person can have. The right combination of medications along with key lifestyle changes may help reduce the symptoms to a great extent.

Accurate and timely documentation is vital for appropriate patient care and timely reimbursement for providers. Neurologists or migraine specialists treating this painful condition can utilize the medical billing and coding services from a reputable and professional provider for accurate claim submissions.

Sponsored by the National Headache Foundation (NHF),the 2022 observance is the perfect occasion for the migraine community to champion advocacy and research, build community and raise awareness about migraine. Through this campaign, migraine and headache patients are encouraged to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment and understand the current treatment modalities available.

Typical symptoms include – severe pain on one side of the head, nausea and vomiting, swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light or sound, visual disturbances, pain or irritation behind the eye, loss of appetite and feeling very warm (sweating) or cold (chills). Often, these symptoms cause patients to withdraw from their daily lives.

Others may refrain from identifying themselves as a migraine patient, due to stigma surrounding the disease and a lack of compassion surrounding its symptoms. In addition, several factors like genetics, environmental factors, sleep changes, hormonal imbalances (in women), stress, physical conditions and usage of certain medications can trigger these symptoms.

The observance aims to reduce the stigma associated with the condition. Providing educational resources is the first step towards reducing the stigma of migraine.  In fact, more than 50 percent of people with migraine go undiagnosed. Diagnosis of this condition begins with a detailed physical and neurological examination.

To identify the causes of severe pain and other related symptoms, tests like CT scan and MRI scan will be performed. Treatment for this condition depends on the type of migraine, intensity and frequency of symptoms (like how often pain attacks occur and how long they last). Common treatment methods include medications like – pain relievers (over-the-counter medicines), narcotic opioids and anti-nausea drugs. Preventive medications include – antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, botox injections and blood pressure-lowering medications.

Self-help remedies like – regular body exercise, practicing relaxation techniques, maintaining a complete sleeping and eating schedule and drinking plenty of fluids can help manage this condition in a better manner. Migraine specialists/ neurologists treating patients must correctly document the diagnosis and other treatment modalities using the right medical codes. Outsourcing billing and coding tasks to a reputable medical billing and coding company can help physicians ensure the use of the correct codes for their billing purposes.

ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes for Migraine and Headaches

  • G43 Migraine
  • G43.0 Migraine without aura
    • G43.00 Migraine without aura, not intractable
    • G43.01 Migraine without aura, intractable
  • G43.1 Migraine with aura
    • G43.10 Migraine with aura, not intractable
    • G43.11 Migraine with aura, intractable
  • G43.4 Hemiplegic migraine
    • G43.40 Hemiplegic migraine, not intractable
    • G43.41 Hemiplegic migraine, intractable
  • G43.5 Persistent migraine aura without cerebral infarction
    • G43.50 Persistent migraine aura without cerebral infarction, not intractable
    • G43.51 Persistent migraine aura without cerebral infarction, intractable
  • G43.6 Persistent migraine aura with cerebral infarction
    • G43.60 Persistent migraine aura with cerebral infarction, not intractable
    • G43.61 Persistent migraine aura with cerebral infarction, intractable
  • G43.7 Chronic migraine without aura
    • G43.70 Chronic migraine without aura, not intractable
    • G43.71 Chronic migraine without aura, intractable
  • G43.A Cyclical vomiting
  • G43.B Ophthalmoplegic migraine
  • G43.C Periodic headache syndromes in child or adult
  • G43.D Abdominal migraine
  • G43.8 Other migraine
    • G43.80 Other migraine, not intractable
    • G43.81 Other migraine, intractable
    • G43.82 Menstrual migraine, not intractable
    • G43.83 Menstrual migraine, intractable
  • G43.9 Migraine, unspecified
    • G43.90 Migraine, unspecified, not intractable
    • G43.91 Migraine, unspecified, intractable

The history behind MHAM campaign dates back to 1970 when the National Headache Foundation (NHF)was established.

NHF has been a pioneer force in the field of migraine advocacy. Later in 1990, the NHF started a campaign for headache – initially as “National Headache Week” – to spread awareness on migraine disease and headache disorders. Later, it was in 2011 the week-long observance was officially renamed and changed to –“Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM)”. Finally, the U.S. Federal Government officially recognized National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month as a National Health Observance in June 2018.

Over these years, the campaign has evolved and grown into a month-long support activity focused on reducing the stigma and better understanding the headaches and migraine attacks. The theme for 2022 observance is – “Advocate for Treatment Access”.

The theme is focused on advocating for better access to treatments, headache medicine training for healthcare providers, and equal access to healthcare. Throughout MHAM 2022 campaign, the prime focus will be on the ongoing advocacy work that aims to remove barriers to therapies and care to alleviate symptoms, and eliminate the stigma surrounding headache diseases. In addition, it also ensures that marginalized communities have access to the right tools to manage migraine and headache, cluster headaches, and other conditions.

Throughout the month of June, a full line of advocacy events (including patient stories, dozens of live and virtual advocacy events, informative blog programs) and the recognition of seven observance days will take place. Each observance day will represent an important topic being addressed within the migraine and headache community. For the 2022 National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM), the following seven days will be observed as special recognition days –

  • June 1 – Headache at Work
  • June 6 – Veterans with Headache Diseases (D-Day)
  • June 7 – Remembrance Day (Honoring Those We’ve Lost to Headache Diseases)
  • June 19 – Disparities in Headache (June teenth)
  • June 20 – Headache Diseases and Men (Father’s Day)
  • June 21 – Shades For Migraine
  • June 29 – Chronic Migraine Awareness Day

Purple is the official color for the MHAM campaign. People can participate or show their support for migraine patients by wearing purple or changing their social media profile to purple color. As part of the campaign, a wide range of activities including webinars, community walks, training sessions, volunteer campaigns and fundraising events will be arranged across the country. In addition, people suffering from migraines or any other kind of headaches can share their story via social media platforms and how it is like to live with this neurological disorder. They can use hash tags #MigraineAndHeadacheAwareness Month or #MHAM on social media.

Participate in National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) Campaign this June! Help eliminate the stigma associated with migraine by sharing your experiences and reading the experiences of others.