Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity.
Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. It is, however, believed to be a neurovascular disorder. A total of 160 questionnaires were analysed. Headaches were reported by 80% of subjects, with 49% of respondents reporting headaches during competitive match play and 60% during training.
There was no significant difference between the footballers and the community sample in the number of headaches ever; however, they did report more headaches in the three months before the survey--that is, during the competitive playing season. In the footballers, 22% of headaches conformed to the strict IHS definition of migraine headaches. When the relaxed definition of "footballer's migraine" was used, 34% of headaches met these criteria. Footballers were at significantly increased risk of footballer's migraine than community controls.