Migraine is a complex and debilitating disorder that is broadly recognised by its characteristic headache. However, given the wide array of clinical presentations in migraineurs, the headache might not represent the main troublesome symptom and it can even go unnoticed. Understanding migraines exclusively as a pain process is simplistic and certainly hinders management. We describe the mechanisms behind some of the most disabling associated symptoms of migraine, including the relationship between the central and peripheral processes that take part in nausea, osmophobia, phonophobia, vertigo and allodynia. The rationale for the efficacy of the current therapeutic arsenal is also depicted in this article. The associated symptoms to migraine, apart from the painful component, are frequent, under-recognised and can be more deleterious than the headache itself. The clinical anamnesis of a headache patient should enquire about the associated symptoms, and treatment should be considered and individualised. Acknowledging the associated symptoms as a fundamental part of migraine has permitted a deeper and more coherent comprehension of the pathophysiology of migraine.