How to take away a migraine: Top 14 Best Migraine Hacks for Pain Relief
Migraines: Simple steps to head off the pain
Migraines: Simple steps to head off the pain
Migraines cause pain as real as the pain of injuries — with one difference: Healthy habits and simple nonmedical remedies sometimes stop migraines before they start.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Medication is a proven way to both treat and prevent migraines. But medication is only part of the story. It’s also important to take good care of yourself and understand how to cope with migraine pain when it strikes.
The same lifestyle choices that promote overall good health can also reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.
Combining medication with behavioral measures and lifestyle can often be the most effective way to handle migraines.
Find a calm environment
At the first sign of a migraine, take a break and step away from whatever you’re doing if possible.
- Turn off the lights. Migraines often increase sensitivity to light and sound. Relax in a dark, quiet room. Sleep if you can.
- Try temperature therapy. Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck. Ice packs have a numbing effect, which may dull the sensation of pain. Hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles. Warm showers or baths may have a similar effect.
Drink a caffeinated beverage. In small amounts, caffeine alone can relieve migraine pain in the early stages or enhance the pain-reducing effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and aspirin.
Be careful, however. Drinking too much caffeine too often can lead to withdrawal headaches later on. And having caffeine too late in the day may interfere with your sleep, which can also affect migraines.
Migraines may keep you from falling asleep or wake you up at night. Likewise, migraines are often triggered by a poor night’s sleep.
Here are some tips to encourage sound sleep.
- Establish regular sleep hours. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day — even on weekends. If you nap during the day, keep it short. Naps longer than 20 to 30 minutes may interfere with nighttime sleep.
Unwind at the end of the day. Anything that helps you relax can promote better sleep: listen to soothing music, soak in a warm bath or read a favorite book.
But watch what you eat and drink before bedtime. Intense exercise, heavy meals, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can interfere with sleep.
- Minimize distractions. Save your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. Don’t watch television or take work materials to bed. Close your bedroom door. Use a fan to muffle distracting noises.
- Don’t try so hard to sleep. The harder you try to sleep, the more awake you’ll feel. If you can’t fall asleep, read or do another quiet activity until you become drowsy.
- Check your medications. Medications that contain caffeine or other stimulants — including some medications to treat migraines — may interfere with sleep.
Your eating habits can influence your migraines. Consider the basics:
- Be consistent. Eat at about the same time every day.
- Don’t skip meals. Fasting increases the risk of migraines.
- Keep a food journal. Keeping track of the foods you eat and when you experience migraines can help identify potential food triggers.
- Avoid foods that trigger migraines. If you suspect that a certain food — such as aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine or alcohol — is triggering your migraines, eliminate it from your diet to see what happens.
During physical activity, your body releases certain chemicals that block pain signals to your brain. These chemicals also help alleviate anxiety and depression — and these two conditions can make migraines worse.
Obesity also increases the risk of chronic headaches. Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet can provide additional benefits in managing migraines.
If your doctor agrees, choose any exercise you enjoy. Walking, swimming and cycling are often good choices. Just remember to ease into exercise gradually, as very vigorous exercise may trigger migraines.
Stress and migraines often go hand in hand. You can’t avoid daily stress, but you can keep it under control to help manage your migraines:
- Simplify your life. Don’t look for ways to squeeze more activities or chores into the day. Instead, find a way to leave some things out.
- Manage your time wisely. Update your to-do list every day — both at work and at home. Delegate what you can, and divide large projects into manageable chunks.
- Take a break. If you feel overwhelmed, a few slow stretches or a quick walk may renew your energy for the task at hand.
- Adjust your attitude. Stay positive. If you find yourself thinking, “This can’t be done,” switch gears. Think instead, “This will be tough. But I can make it work.”
- Enjoy yourself. Find time to do something you enjoy for at least 15 minutes every day. It could be playing a game, having coffee with a friend or pursuing a hobby. Doing something you enjoy is a natural way to combat stress.
- Relax. Deep breathing from your diaphragm can help you relax. Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes every day. It may also help to consciously relax your muscles, one group at a time. When you’re done, sit quietly for a minute or two.
Keep a migraine diary
A diary may help you determine what triggers your migraines. Note when your migraines start, what you were doing at the time, how long they last and what, if anything, provides relief.
Until recently, avoiding migraine triggers was considered the best advice. But new research suggests this may actually increase sensitivity to potential triggers.
A more useful approach may be to gradually expose yourself to triggers, and learn to cope with these headache triggers by using behavioral management techniques. These may include identifying and challenging negative thoughts, relaxation training, and stress reduction. More research is needed to understand if and how this approach is more effective in managing migraines.
Strive for balance
Living with migraines is a daily challenge. But making healthy lifestyle choices can help. Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain.
Sept. 22, 2020
- Jameson JL, et al., eds. Migraine and other primary headache disorders. In: Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 20th ed. McGraw Hill; 2018. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- Headache: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Headache-Hope-Through-Research. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- Smith JH. Preventive treatment of migraine in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- Your guide to healthy sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/all-publications-and-resources/your-guide-healthy-sleep. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- Jahromi SR, et al. Association of diet and headache. Journal of Headache and Pain. 2019; doi:10.1186/s10194-019-1057-1.
- Cutrer FM, et al. Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of migraine in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- 3 tips to manage stress. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/3-tips-to-manage-stress. Accessed Aug. 11, 2020.
- Martin, P. Behavioral management of the triggers of recurrent headache: A randomized control trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2014; doi:10.1016/j.brat.2014.07.002.
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How to Get Rid of a Migraine in a Pinch: 5 Steps for Emergencies
Remember these five steps for emergency Migraine treatment: Cold + Heat + Inhale + Liquids + Lights Off. CHILL. Just chill.
Picture this: you’re away for the day in a hot air balloon with your family. Bright sun, a loud engine, the smell of exhaust, a jerking ride in the wind – just the day your kids dreamed of.
Suddenly, you feel a Migraine attack coming on. You dig through your backpack – and no meds. Short of bumming two aspirin from a fellow tourist, what can you do? How to get rid of a Migraine fast before it’s in full swing?
5 Tips for Instant Migraine Relief
The next time you find your brain scrambling to think straight, just remember to CHILL. This acronym makes it easy to remember proven ways to get rid a Migraine:
- Lights Off.
These 5 tips for instant Migraine relief give you the best chance for keeping that baby Migraine attack from turning into a roaring beast.
Order is not as important as speed – the faster you act to reduce your controllable triggers and symptoms, the better chance you’ll have of intercepting a full-blown Migraine attack before it starts.
How to Get Rid of a Migraine Fast with the CHILL Method
You aren’t at your best when a Migraine attack hits. The beginning of an attack brings exhaustion, difficulty thinking, and anxiety. It can be tempting to panic and give in to the fear – especially if you don’t have your abortive meds in reach.
Panicking will make only make it worse – I know from experience. Your breathing becomes more shallow when you’re stressed, kicking your nervous system into fight-or-flight mode and depriving your brain of the oxygen it needs.
You don’t have to remember how to get rid of a Migraine fast, just remember to CHILL.
C – Cold
Apply cold or ice packs to your head and neck. Or in a pinch, a can of cold soda. Any waitress or food service worker can get you a plastic bag with ice, or find a vending machine for a can.
Apply to the back of the neck and the forehead. This keeps your blood vessels from inflaming and causing pain. I’ve even been given ice packs while at the ER, proof that ice is one of the best ways to get rid of a Migraine.
H – Heat
Heat up your hands and feet to keep the blood flowing. Run your hands under warm water.
Find the closest restroom and wash your hands until they are warm again. Even your feet can go under the faucet if that’s at all practical.
I – Inhale
Breathe fresh air deeply. Get away from smells and smoke and get the coolest, freshest air you can find.
Inhale slowly for 8 counts; hold for 8 counts; exhale slowly for 8 counts. Repeat up to 10 times. This gets more oxygen to your brain.
L – Liquids
Drink at least 16 ounces of water, as much as you can handle. There’s a good chance you’re dehydrated, a controllable Migraine trigger, and this alone can resolve it.
If water isn’t available, Gatorade or Powerade is a good substitute, but soda, coffee, and tea aren’t. Because of the high sodium and caffeine levels in these drinks, they actually further dehydrate you.
L – Lights Out
If a dark room or shade isn’t available, shade or cover your eyes. Again, this protects you from light and visual disturbances which can add to your activated triggers. Photophobia, or sensitivity to light, is a very common Migraine symptom. With photophobia, light actually hurt and it makes Migraine pain worse.
I learned how to get rid of a Migraine attack in an emergency in part from Dr. James Dougal, then-chief of emergency medicine at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport
. I had the good fortune to be on a flight from Chicago to Atlanta a decade ago with Dr. Dougal when a massive attack came on and I found myself scrambling to think of how to get rid of a Migraine fast.
He sat down next to me and, with the flight attendant’s help, knocked it out with a combination of Cold (bags of beverage ice), Inhalation (You wondered what those oxygen masks were really for?) and Liquids (LOTS of water). I ordained him a miracle worker.
Since then, I’ve added Heat and Lights Out to my preferred ways to get rid of a Migraine. whenever possible. He taught me that it is possible to use non-medicinal methods in certain circumstances to stop a Migraine attack that’s already underway.
Pack A Migraine Emergency Kit
Now I keep a Migraine Kit that includes two instant cold packs that I can carry on a plane or slip in a day pack, perfect for emergency migraine treatment on the go. They last twice as long as ordinary ice packs, too.
I also keep earplugs, an eye mask, lavender essential oils, my meds, and ginger candies in my kit. Ginger helps calm my stomach and lavender helps calm the rest of me.
One note about the use of caffeine in beverages, chocolate, or Excedrin Migraine. If your Migraine attack was triggered by dehydration then coffee, tea, and soda will make it worse, not better. Further, the caffeine and Excedrin Migraine puts you at risk for a rebound cycle that will produce the same symptoms 8-24 hours later.
It’s best to stick with plain water when treating an attack. Or choose a drink that will soothe your stomach, like peppermint tea.
How to get rid of a Migraine fast? Try to CHILL before you pop a pill.
Remember these 5 tips for instant Migraine relief, and you’ll be feeling better in no time: cold, heat, inhale, liquid, and lights off. Replace panic with CHILL,
Updated May 2020
Treating Migraine Headaches: Some drugs should rarely be used
Treating Migraine Headaches: Some drugs should rarely be used
Migraine attacks can last for hours—or even days. They can cause intense pain, nausea and vomiting. They can make you sensitive to light or noise and they can affect your life and work.
To treat migraines, you may be given a prescription for an opioid (narcotic) or a barbiturate (sedative) called butalbital. These are pain medicines. But you should think twice about using these drugs for migraine. Here’s why:
These drugs can make headaches worse.
Using too much pain medicine can lead to a condition called medication overuse headache (MOH). Two kinds of pain medicine are more likely to cause MOH:
- Drugs containing opioids—such as codeine (Tylenol-3 and generics), morphine (Statex and generics), Hycodan (5 mg) or oxycodone (Percocet and generics).
- Drugs containing butalbital (Fiorinal, Pronal, Trianal and generics).
They are not as effective as other migraine drugs.
There are other drugs that can reduce the number of migraines you have and how severe they are—better than opioids and butalbital. Even in the emergency room—where people with severe migraines often ask for opioids—better drugs are available, including triptans.
They have risks.
Opioids and butalbital can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly. People who use high doses for a long time may need to be in the hospital in order to stop using them.
Opioids, even at low doses, can make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Other side effects include constipation and nausea. Using them for a long time can lower your sex drive and cause depression and sleep problems.
Which drugs are good for migraines?
If you have migraine attacks, try one of the drugs listed below. They all work best if you use them when the migraine is just beginning.
- Start with a non-prescription pain drug like acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If these are not helpful, you can try other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), some of which need a prescription, like diclofenac potassium and naproxen sodium.
- If these drugs do not help, or your headaches are more severe, try one of the prescription migraine drugs called triptans, such as sumatriptan (Imitrex and generic).
- If a triptan is helpful but not as effective as you would like, you may combine a triptan with an NSAID (take them simultaneously).
If the above options are not helpful, you can try dihydroergotamine nasal spray (Migranal). This drug works even better as an injection (Dihydroergotamine AMP and generic). You can do the injections yourself once you are trained.
- If you have a lot of nausea with your attacks, all of the above medications can be combined with an anti-nausea medication, like metoclopramide.
If you have migraines often, or if they are very severe, ask your doctor about drugs to prevent headaches.
When are opioids or butalbital useful for migraines?
Your doctor may suggest an opioid if none of the treatments listed above help, or if you have bad side effects.
It is not clear if butalbital should be used at all for treating migraines. If your doctor prescribes butalbital for your migraines, ask why. And ask if there are any other drugs that would work instead.
Limit the use of all pain medicines.
- Do not use prescription pain medicine for headaches for more than nine days in a month.
- Do not use non-prescription pain medicine like acetaminophen or NSAIDs on more than 14 days in a month.
How to manage migraines:
Some migraines can be managed without drugs. Talk to your doctor about how to:
Avoid triggers. These are things that bring on your headaches. Common food triggers are chocolate, cheese, alcohol, foods with MSG, and meats with nitrates (such as some processed meats). Other common triggers are strong smells, bright light, skipping meals, and smoking.
Reduce stress. Stress can bring on migraines. Try doing activities to help you relax, such as meditation, walking or swimming, yoga, tai chi, or stretching exercises. If you feel anxious or depressed, ask your doctor to help you treat these conditions or refer you to a psychiatrist for treatment.
Get regular sleep and exercise. Too much or too little sleep can lead to migraines. Aim for seven to eight hours a night, with a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Physical activity, such as walking or swimming, can also help prevent obesity, a risk factor for migraines.
Control symptoms. When you get a migraine, lie down in a quiet, dark room if you can. Put a cold cloth or compress over your forehead, massage your scalp, or press on your temples. Drink plenty of water, especially if you have vomited. It is helpful to take medications as early as possible
Keep a headache diary. This can help you figure out what your triggers are and keep track of the medicines you use. Write down:
- When the pain began.
- What you were doing before the pain began.
- What you ate and drank in the 24 hours before the headache.
- The medicine and dose you used to treat the pain and when you took it.
- How well your headache attack responded to the medication.
Visit www.migrainecanada.org for more information.
6 Tips to Get Rid of a Headache Naturally
- Which headache remedy works best for you will depend on the type of headache you have.
- For example, if you have a tension headache, you should try meditating or a breathing exercise.
- Other headache remedies include trying acupressure, drinking water, and taking vitamins.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
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Many people turn to over-the-counter pain medications to get rid of a headache, but it can be possible to relieve a headache without medication.
For example, relaxation techniques, acupressure, or warm compresses are all home remedies that can help combat headache symptoms and give you some relief.
Here’s what you should know about headaches and how to treat the symptoms naturally.
What is a headache?
A headache is when you feel pain in the head or face. There are different types of headaches with varying causes, such as:
- Tension headaches often feel like a dull, aching head pain and tightness across your forehead. These are often caused by stress.
- Migraine headaches feel like intense throbbing in one part of the head. These can also be caused by stress or by strong stimuli in your environment, like bright lights and intense smells.
- Cluster headaches often manifest as intense pain behind the eye and are similar to migraine headaches.
- Sinus headaches often feel like pressure around your forehead, cheeks, and eyes. This is usually a sign that you have some nasal or sinus congestion, and may be a sign of a sinus infection.
The following are some simple strategies you can try at home to help relieve these types of headaches:
1. Use a cold or hot compress
For headaches with radiating pain that starts in one area and spreads to another, like migraine headaches, cold compresses can be placed over the spot from which the pain originates, says Michael Devine, MD, internal medicine doctor and geriatrician with Devine Concierge Medicine, a primary care practice in Philadelphia.
Cold temperatures have a numbing effect, which can dull the pain. They can also constrict the blood vessels, which may help relieve migraines. You can make your own cold compress by placing a damp towel in the freezer for about 10 minutes. An ice pack would also work.
Heat is better suited for tension headaches, Devine says, which often manifest as dull, aching head pain and a feeling of tightness across your forehead.
Tensions headaches are typically caused by stress and relaxing stiff neck and shoulder muscles can help relieve this type of headache. For example, heat packs or a hot towel can be draped over the neck and shoulder muscles to help relax the muscles.
2. Try acupressure
Acupressure is the act of applying firm pressure to certain parts of the body for one to two minutes at a time.
Pressure points for migraines: A guide to getting relief through acupressure
This is most helpful at the back of your neck or base of your skull, and helps relax tension in the stabilizer muscles located in the neck that are often affected in tension headaches, Devine says. You can do this yourself at home. For example, you can follow these steps from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:
1. On your left hand, find the space between the base of your thumb and index finger. This space is known as pressure point LI-4, or Hegu.
2. Using your right thumb and index finger, press down on this point. Slowly move your thumb in a circle as you apply pressure. You should be firm, but don’t hurt yourself.
3. Find the same space on your right hand, and with your left thumb and index finger, repeat this process for another five minutes.
3. Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques — like yoga,
, and breathing exercises — can also be helpful in managing certain headaches, especially cluster headaches.
Cluster headaches, which often manifest as intense pain behind the eye, can often be relieved with deep breathing exercises, Devine says. For example, you can practice a breathing exercise known as rhythmic breathing by taking long, slow breaths and slowly counting to five as you inhale and exhale.
In addition, tension headaches and migraine headaches are often related to stress, Devine says. Yoga and meditation can be particularly helpful with these types of headaches because they can help relax the body and reduce stress over time.
Note: For more information, learn about how to perform breathing exercises for relaxation. You can also follow our beginners guide on how to meditate.
4. Improve your diet
Foods containing phenylalanine and tyramine may increase the frequency of migraine headaches for some people.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid often found in:
- Artificial sweeteners
- MSG and nitrate-containing foods like processed meats and hot dogs
Tyramine is a compound produced by the breakdown of amino acids and is often found in:
- Smoked or fermented foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Strong or aged cheeses, like parmesan and blue cheese
To prevent headaches, Devine suggests eating three to four small meals throughout the day instead of one to two large meals. Foods rich in protein and dietary fiber, like almonds and cherries, may also help ward off headaches.
5. Stay hydrated
Drinking more water — and less dehydrating beverages, like alcohol or coffee — can also help prevent headaches.
Devine recommends drinking an 8 to 16 ounce glass of water every two to three hours when you start to notice a headache coming on, as migraine headaches often respond well to this approach.
Quick tip: Read more about how much water you’re supposed to drink each day for optimal health.
In addition, caffeine could be a possible headache culprit, especially if it’s something you used to consume regularly but then stopped or cut back. Caffeine is tricky because it can help certain headaches, like migraines, but drinking too much of it can also lead to dehydration, which can also cause headaches.
Alcohol can also be a migraine trigger, especially if you are stressed or anxious, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Alcoholic beverages can also dehydrate you and cause a headache the next day.
6. Take vitamins or supplements
There are many vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies that can alleviate or prevent headaches, especially migraines.
Devine says these natural remedies work to relieve headaches by improving your circulation, acting as an anti-inflammatory, bringing more oxygen to your tissues, providing muscle relaxation, or offering direct pain relief.
For example, Devine recommends the following:
- Coenzyme Q10
When to see a doctor
While home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help with headaches, Devine recommends working with your doctor to determine and treat the underlying cause of recurring headaches.
Migraine and tension headaches, for instance, are often caused by a lack of adequate sleep, stress, poor circulation, eye-strain, allergies, and poor dietary habits.
If you experience frequent headaches severe enough to disrupt your life, then you should visit a primary care doctor or neurologist who can diagnose and treat conditions that may be contributing to your headaches.
Overall, to combat frequent tension headaches or migraines, Devine recommends getting six to eight hours of sleep a night, consuming at least 64 ounces of water a day, exercising for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
With these home remedies, you may be able to quickly relieve or even prevent headaches naturally. But if you consistently suffer from headaches or migraines, you should check in with your doctor, who may prescribe you medication or work with you to make lifestyle changes.
14 Home Remedies for Migraine Prevention: Sleep, Vitamins and More | Cove
One in seven people suffer from migraine—that’s one billion people globally. That would probably lead you to think that there’d be a cure by now. Or, if not a cure, a treatment that works 100% of the time. While we wish that was the case, it’s unfortunately not. And that’s because migraine is so personal, meaning there’s no one treatment plan that works for everyone.
Plus, while pain relief medication can help you during migraine attacks (and preventive treatments can decrease the number of attacks you get), there will still be times when neither work as well as you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Rather, it means you can turn to home remedies.
Of course, just typing “migraine home remedies” into Google turns up a ton of ideas and it can be hard to figure out which ones are good… and which ones are simply not. That’s why we did the hard work for you and made a solid list of home remedies that are actually proven to work.
Here are some of the best preventive home remedies to reduce your migraine frequency (because life would be easier if you weren’t dealing with a severe headache several times a month).
Magnesium is a vitamin present in common foods like nuts and leafy greens. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is found in foods like eggs, dairy, nuts, and fortified cereals. In one study, reports The Migraine Trust, 61.3% of the participants taking B2 had 50% fewer attacks in a three-month period.
Although strenuous exercise can be a trigger for some people, there is also research to show that exercise can help prevent attacks.
An article in the medical journal, Current Pain and Headache Reports, reviewed several studies that found a connection between exercising and reduced migraine frequency.
Interestingly, exercising itself doesn’t actually treat migraine directly—instead, it can help you reduce stress (a migraine trigger). And, as any doctor will tell you, the more you exercise, the healthier you feel.
Along the same lines, yoga might also be able to help prevent migraine headaches by reducing your stress levels and improving your circulation. Get the full scoop on the benefits here.
Acupuncture, a practice in traditional Chinese medicine that involves placing small needles at certain points across your body, may help prevent migraine attacks too, according to a study in the medical journal CMAJ. Another similar option is acupressure. While there’s less research backing up its efficacy, it’s pretty risk-free to try during a migraine attack to see if it helps.
The relationship between sleep and migraine is complicated, with both too little and too much sleep sometimes triggering attacks. When it comes to preventing attacks, though, practicing what The Migraine Trust calls “sleep hygiene” can help. Sleep hygiene includes adopting habits like going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, spending as much time in natural light during the day as possible, and avoiding screens in bed (which, we know, is easier said than done).
This one is obvious, but we had to include it because it’s one of the simplest measures to take. Understanding your triggers (more on that here) will help you to avoid them.
While some triggers might be obvious (loud music), others might be more subtle, such as figuring out which foods can set you off. If you’re having trouble pinpointing one specific thing, it could be because you’re sensitive to histamines or nitrates in foods—and those, unfortunately, show up in a lot of popular foods.
Nitrates, for example, appear in processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, lunch meat, pepperoni, states the Cleveland Clinic. And a study in the American Society for Microbiology found that people with migraine might not be as good at breaking down nitrates.
On the flip side, eating certain foods might help. The journal Environmental Nutrition points out that diets high in omega-3 and omega-6 (found in healthy fats, like salmon and vegetable oil), and in leafy greens can help with migraine.
Since there are so many possible food triggers, your doctor might suggest you follow an elimination diet to help uncover which foods are triggering your attacks.
Preventive treatments typically work better as long-term practices, but what home remedies can you try during an actual migraine attack to relieve your headache pain (besides taking over-the-counter medications)?
Hydration never hurts. In fact, The New York Times reports on a study that showed drinking more water helps both with the duration and severity of migraine attacks.
Caffeine can help stop a migraine after it starts. That’s because it affects blood flow in your brain (and blood flow issues could be what causes attacks). It addition, states the National Headache Foundation, it can also make certain pain relief medications more effective,
But, you should know that an article in The Journal of Headache and Pain warns that it’s easy to get too dependent on caffeine, and when that happens, drinking less of it can cause withdrawal headaches.
Sufferers on a Migraine.com forum report that when they rub peppermint oil into their temples, it can stop a migraine as it’s starting. Others swear by lavender essential oil. While there’s no concrete science behind this, it might be worth a try based on all the anecdotal evidence (assuming, of course, that strong scents won’t trigger headaches for you).
A piece of advice that people with migraine often pass along to one another: Apply different variations of heat and cold to your body. A common method is to put your feet in hot water or under a heating pad, and put an ice pack around the base of your neck and your temples.
Some people report the exact opposite can be helpful, and swear by heating pads on their neck, warm cloths across their faces, and even standing in hot water in the shower.
The National Headache Foundation recommends being careful with temperature treatments. Leave cold packs on for 15 minutes at a time and take a 15-minute break before reapplying, don’t fall asleep with heating pads on, and make sure showers aren’t so scalding that they burn you.
And, according to National Headache Institute, using cold packs on your head works best for people who get a type of migraine with visual aura symptoms, while heat is more likely to work on other kinds of non-migraine headaches.
Strong smells are a common migraine trigger, and avoiding them once you feel a migraine coming on might be helpful. This sensitivity is known scientifically as “osmophobia.” The American Migraine Association states that strong odors, like perfumes, pungent foods, gasoline, and other chemical smells, can make a migraine attack worse once it’s started.
One of the simplest ways to treat your own migraine is probably something you do already, without needing to be told. Since a common migraine symptom is sensitivity to bright lights and sounds, going into a dark, quiet room to rest can be helpful. Conveniently, you can also put other home remedies to use at that time, say, using cold packs or napping.
There’s not much research in reputable journals to prove that music can cure migraine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. On this Quora thread, migraine sufferers weigh in on the benefits of listening to certain types of music to ease attacks, and in a Reddit forum people with migraine weigh in on the ways high-frequency and low-frequency sounds can affect your brain, and treat attacks. You can pull up free anti-migraine playlists if you want to give it a try.
Ginger is a common home remedy often used to treat upset stomachs, reports Oncology Nurse Education. If you get nausea with your attacks, or if nausea is a side effect of your migraine medication, ginger might help soothe your stomach. You can easily find fresh ginger and ginger tea in the grocery store, or find ginger powder or capsules at a health store.
Finding an effective migraine treatment is all about figuring out what works for you. Often times, by combining prescription medication with home remedies, migraine sufferers are able to find some relief.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash.
6 tips for headache relief
It is common for adults to experience the tight aching pain of a tension headache occasionally. According to the World Health Organization, about 50 percent of all adults have regular headaches. They can slow you down or even stop you in your tracks. The pain can be intense or a dull ache and last a few hours or up to a couple of days. Regardless of your exact symptoms, you want relief.
Here are six things that you can do to help lessen your headache intensity or frequency. As a bonus, these tips also help other health conditions as well including heart disease, depression, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
1. Exercise regularly
You know that exercise is good for your body but it also is good for your brain. Exercise is the best lifestyle change you can make to significantly reduce your headaches. It is a natural stress reliever that lowers the tension that can trigger headaches and releases feel-good endorphins that block pain signals to the brain. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week or 150 total minutes per week to experience the full benefit.
2. Limit caffeine
Some over-the-counter headache medications include caffeine, and it is true that a small amount can help stop your headache. However, heavy caffeine use could be causing your headaches. Too much raises your blood pressure and can trigger a headache. Soda and energy drinks can be particularly bad. Any reduction in caffeine can help, so aim for no more than one cup of coffee or tea a day.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Some people with chronic headaches or migraines have found relief by changing their diets, specifically to eliminate specific foods. For some, a specific food may trigger a headache; for others, certain chemicals in foods can create a trigger load that can reduce the threshold for developing a headache. After eliminating potential trigger foods for a period of time, you can slowly reintroduce them one at a time. Some common foods to consider eliminating include highly processed foods, caffeine, chocolate, aged cheeses, processed meats that are high in nitrates, high-sugar foods, gluten and alcohol.
Some people find that moving their diet away from processed foods to whole made-from-scratch foods have made a big difference in their headaches. In addition, you may find that a daily multivitamin and supplements of riboflavin and magnesium help with headaches.
4. Avoid substances
It’s no secret that alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs affect your brain. Many people who have chronic headaches or migraines are sensitive to alcohol. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day if you are woman or two drinks a day if you are man. If you smoke, quit.
Sleep is essential to our well-being, and getting an adequate amount can help your headaches. You may find that you don’t need the recommended full eight hours per night, but it is important that you get enough to feel like you are functioning well.
Avoid over- or under-sleeping, as this can trigger migraines. If you have been told that you snore, talk to your doctor about sleep apnea, which also can trigger headaches.
6. Get a life
Stress can make your head hurt, so find something you enjoy doing that reduces stress and gets your creative juices going. Headaches are more likely to occur when you are stressed, so do what you can to keep your stress level under control. Take the time to indulge in taking care of yourself, whether that is going to an activity or staying at home. If you aren’t recharged by hanging out with others, then have something at home that helps you get in sync with yourself again.
Talk with your primary care provider if you have headaches occurring a few times per week, are debilitating, last more than one day or interfere with your daily activities, such as missing work or life activities.
Kerri Crank is a nurse practitioner in Neurology in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
For the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a non-patient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
How to Get Rid of a Migraine & Migraine Symptoms
Have you ever had a migraine headache? If you have, you know how painful one can be, and if you haven’t, chances are someone you know has. Given how debilitating migraine symptoms can be, anyone affected wants to know how to get rid of a migraine.
Estimates show that 6 percent to 18 percent of the adult population suffers from recurrent migraines (about 6 percent of men and up to 18 percent of all women). Women get migraines about three times more often than men, and surveys show that more than on in four women will have at least one severe migraine attack at some time in her life. (1)
For many people, migraines start in their teenage years and continue throughout their 20s and 30s. Roughly 10 percent of teenagers experience frequent migraines, especially during puberty due to hormonal changes. “Chronic migraines,” meaning those that cause attacks on more than 15 days per months, affect about 2 percent of the total population and peak in adults between their 30s and 40s.
Although migraine headaches do tend to run in families and have a genetic component, certain lifestyle choices can greatly impact how often and severely someone suffers from attacks. Migraines — and also other common types of tension headaches that affect up to 90 percent of people from time to time — don’t need to become just a “normal” part of life. And even if you’ve had headaches for years, it’s not too late to change things.
Wondering how to get rid of a migraine without the use of prescription medications? Natural remedies for headaches and migraines include adjusting your diet to avoid trigger foods, preventing nutrient deficiencies and learning to manage stress more effectively. Read on to learn exactly how to get rid of a migraine naturally.
How to Get Rid of a Migraine Naturally
There are many options for how to get rid of a migraine, and different things work for different people. Try the following ways for how to get rid of a migraine to see what works best for you.
1. Foods that Help Migraines
Foods that can help prevent or treat migraines include the following:
Nuts, seeds and wild-caught fish, such as salmon or sardines, help control blood flow and lower inflammation.
Organic, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
These foods are high in magnesium and other key electrolytes, which are especially important for controlling blood flow and muscular functions, along with preventing an electrolyte imbalance. They also provide antioxidants that help decrease inflammation, counteract effects of toxin exposure and balance hormones.
Some of the best sources include spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, dates, bananas and sweet potatoes.
Clean, Lean Protein Foods
These include grass-fed beef and poultry, wild-caught fish, beans and legumes.
Foods with B vitamins
Some research suggests that people with migraines could benefit from consuming more B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 (riboflavin). (2) Sources of riboflavin include organ meats and other meat, certain dairy products, vegetables like green leafy veggies, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds.
2. Foods to Avoid that Make Migraines Worse
Some researchers believe that up to 40 percent of migraines could be avoided if people improved their diets and avoided triggers. A poor diet, high in things like processed grains and sodium, is one of the biggest triggers for migraine symptoms. Foods that can make migraine headache pain worse include: (3, 4)
- Added sugar
- Refined grain products
- Conventional dairy products
- Aged cheeses
- Pickled or cured fish
- Breads or pastries made with gluten and yeast
- Red wine and other types of alcohol (especially when consumed in large amounts)
- Chocolate (contains a chemical called phenylethylamine that sometimes causes blood flow changes that trigger headaches)
- Caffeinated drinks (for some people, about one cup of coffee or tea daily can help headaches, but withdrawal or drinking more are usually problematic)
- Eggs (especially if someone has an unknown allergy)
- Artificial food additives and artificial sweeteners, including aspartame
- Flavor enhancers and preservatives in packaged foods, including MSG
- High amounts of sodium, especially when coupled with low intake of other electrolytes
- Very cold foods
- Nitrates found in processed meats like hot dogs, cold cuts, salami, bacon and ham
- Fried foods and fast foods, especially those made with MSG (such as Chinese food)
- For some people, certain types of beans and legumes (including lima beans and snow peas, which contain natural amine chemicals)
Other dietary tips for how to get rid of a migraine include avoiding extreme dieting or skipping meals, preventing dehydration, avoiding drinking too much caffeine throughout the day, and maintaining normal blood sugar levels by eating something balanced every few hours (especially if you’re diabetic).
3. Supplements for Migraines and Headaches
If you suffer from migraines or other types of headaches often, you can likely benefit from taking the following supplements: (5)
- Omega-3 fish oils: Some studies have found that omega-3 supplements can help decrease severity and frequency and migraines. (6)
- Vitamin B2
- 5-HTP: An amino acid that can help improve serotonin levels and lower frequency and severity of pain.
- Feverfew: An herb that helps reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and headache symptoms, including pain, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.
- Kudzu extract: An herbal treatment with over 70 phytochemicals or phytonutrients.
- Melatonin: Can help improve sleep quality when used in moderation.
- Capsaicin cream: Apply a small amount of capsaicin cream to the inside of your nostril, or use a nose spray containing capsaicin, which works by blocking nerve pain signals. (7)
- Medicinal mushrooms
4. Essential Oils for Treating Headache Pain
Essential oils have a variety of uses, and you can add essential oils to the list for how to get rid of a migraine. They’re natural painkillers, help lower stress or anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, help balance hormones, and lower muscular tension.
Essential oils can be applied to the painful side of the head, neck and elsewhere to soothe muscular tension and stress. You can also numb any pain directly by applying several drops of an oil to a heated towel (or simply use a heating pad or ice pack applied to the head and neck for about 15 minutes at a time).
Essential oils for headaches include:
Peppermint: Reduces pain and inflammation. Works by having a natural cooling effect on the skin, inhibiting muscle contractions and stimulating blood flow around the head when applied topically.
Lavender: Soothes stress and anxiety. Can improve sleep quality, decrease muscular tension, and has natural antidepressant and sedative qualities.
Eucalyptus: Improves blood flow, is uplifting, helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful substances, and reduces high blood pressure and pain.
Frankincense: Lowers inflammation and has numerous benefits for improving overall immune function, anxiety and hormonal balance.
Rosemary: Reduces pain through regulating blood flow, helps decrease withdrawal symptoms of caffeine or medications, aids digestion, and soothes an upset stomach.
5. Other Options for How to Get Rid of a Migraine
Every person is unique when it comes to migraine triggers. Experts believe that people with migraine symptoms likely have overly sensitive central nervous systems that respond strongly to triggers in their environments. It might help to keep a journal or log of your migraine symptoms so you can draw conclusions about what your personal triggers might be.
- Do certain foods make your migraines worse or better?
- Do you have an attack following exposure to loud noises?
- Might you be overworking your eyes through exposure to glare from the sun and other artificial light-producing stimuli (such computer screens which are tied to headaches)?
- Does caffeine, alcohol or drug withdrawal play a role in your migraines?
- Do you feel better when you sleep in different positions? For example, does sleeping on your back or side help reduce attacks?
- Are symptoms worse when you haven’t slept seven to nine hours per night?
- Is dehydration involved in your headaches?
- Do you notice worsened symptoms following weather changes, such as humid temperatures and increased pressure?
Research shows that several things that can trigger migraines or make headache pains even worse include physical stress placed on the body (such as overtraining or suddenly increasing physical activity too much), getting poor sleep and being under a lot of emotional stress. Being in a highly stressful situation, whether physically or mentally, affects blood flow and can contribute to expansion/contraction of blood vessels that reach the head. Try natural stress relievers to help reduce stress.
Try Mind-Body Practices
Biofeedback therapy, meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, massage therapy and other relaxation techniques that link the body and mind are beneficial for any sort of headache pains. These can help reduce muscular tension, improve blood flow, control blood pressure and manage the body’s “fight or flight” stress response. Use these practices to scan your body and check yourself for signs of clenched muscles, including in your neck, jaw or shoulders.
Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep and anxiety are capable of triggering migraines by raising inflammation and affecting hormone levels. (8) Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but be careful not to overdo it since research shows that sleeping too much might make migraines worse, especially if you don’t stick to a usual sleep/wake schedule.
Research suggests that one risk factor for migraine attacks is going through hormonal changes, such as puberty, prior to a woman’s period, pregnancy or menopause. Surveys show that young women often have their first migraines once they start having their menstrual cycles. Migraines are also common during the first trimester of pregnancy and when a woman is dealing with PMS. Ways to help balance hormones naturally include eating a healthy diet, using adaptogen herbs, exercising in a moderate way, getting enough rest and avoiding chemical toxins.
In general, exercise is helpful for preventing headaches because it lowers stress, helps balance hormones, improves sleep quality and helps lower inflammation. However, because some people find that increasing activity suddenly can worsen migraines, track your own biofeedback and symptoms. Aim to keep up with a regular exercise schedule that includes a combination of at least 30–60 minutes of aerobic and resistance training five days a week. Keep in mind, however, that it’s best not to try and exercise during a migraine or beforehand if you feel an attack coming.
Conventional Migraine Treatments
Studies suggest that natural, non-drug strategies can play an important role in managing migraines and also preventing complications. However, migraine symptoms are commonly managed with medications that might work immediately to help reduce pain and inflammation but aren’t dependable long term. Drugs used to control migraines include: (9)
- Triptan medications (drugs used almost exclusively for migraines)
- Painkillers, including ibuprofen and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Anti-nausea medications
- Sleep aids and anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, including beta blockers (used to alter neurotransmitter levels)
- Calcium-channel blockers
- Sometimes anti-seizure medications to control nerve signals
However, if you’re wondering how to get rid of a migraine without taking drugs, try the natural remedies listed above.
What Is a Migraine?
A migraine is a type of headache that causes pains that are moderate to severe. Unlike tension headaches, which usually affect the entire head or neck, migraine pain is unique because it tends to occur on only one side of the head (although it can also affect both).
Migraine symptoms include pulsing or throbbing pain that lasts for several hours or even days, usually coupled with vision changes and increased sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting during migraine attacks, disturbances in sensations, lack of coordination, trouble sleeping, and mood swings.
Unfortunately, migraines can take a serious toll on someone’s quality of life, causing anxiety over future attacks and contributing to missed days at work. Many migraine patients report that at least several times per year they aren’t able to attend work or school due to having trouble concentrating and can’t speak or operate normally following an attack for hours.
What causes migraine headaches? Some people report that their migraines symptoms get worse when they suddenly increase physical activity, are exposed to bright lights and loud sounds, or spend too many hours in front of computers and electronic devices. But the underlying causes of migraines include:
- High levels of inflammation, which affect nerves in the brain and blood vessels
- A poor diet and nutrient deficiencies
- Changes in neurotransmitter levels, including low serotonin levels and high levels of “stress hormones” like cortisol
- Chronic stress (including feeling overly anxious, busy or rushed, and nervous)
- Hormonal changes
- Dysfunction in the brain stem due to injury or past illnesses
- A lack of sleep
- Eye strain due to high amounts of light exposure
- Poor posture that affects the spine
- Other health conditions that affect the neck or spine, including TMJ
- Reactions to medications (including those that affect nerves, hormones and blood pressure)
- Family history and genetic susceptibility
Precautions When Treating Migraines
If you’ve been struggling with severe headaches for some time, look out for changes in how often and how severely you have symptoms to check for patterns and changes (especially if you’re over 40). Sometimes severe migraines that come on suddenly can point to a worsening or underlying health condition, so always talk to a professional if you notice any of the following symptoms for the first time:
- Headaches that are very sudden and intense, stopping you in your tracks.
- Very stiff neck, fever, mental confusion and dizziness.
- Headaches accompanying mild seizures, double vision or fainting.
- Severe headaches after trauma or an injury.
- Headaches that last more than several days and are unexplained. If your migraines don’t seem to coincide with any triggers or other health conditions, especially if you’re older 50, seek professional help.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of a Migraine
- Migraines are severely painful headaches caused from a series of neurological events that trigger head pains, sensitivity to light and sound, vision changes, and sometimes digestive upset.
- Causes of migraines include inflammation, high amounts of stress, nutrient deficiencies, nerve damage, hormonal changes and genetic susceptibility.
- If you’re wondering how to get rid of a migraine naturally, try managing stress, altering your diet, getting enough sleep and rest, avoiding triggers, and dulling pain with essential oils and/or heat and ice.
Read Next: Feverfew: The Natural Headache Reliever that May Fight Cancer
90,000 How to relieve a migraine attack at home
“He knew what her migraines were: they were terrible. They distorted her face and turned her into a sweaty, gelatinous, puffing, grinning lump of pain ” 1 , – this is how John Steinbeck tells about the illness of his heroine. Unfortunately, for many, these words are not just an excerpt from the novel Lost Bus, but a description of regularly recurring episodes from their own lives. Migraine affects 1 billion people worldwide 2 .
Something About Disease
Migraine – is a chronic neurological disease, manifested by periodic attacks of excruciating headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photo and noise phobia . The predisposition to the disease is transmitted genetically 3 . Usually the disease begins to manifest itself in childhood 4 . In adulthood, migraine attacks often cause a decrease in working capacity: in this state, only 10% of patients are able to work fully 5 .
The Diary of Headache will help in correct diagnosis and selection of effective treatment.
How to treat migraine
Since the patient feels absolutely normal outside the attacks, he usually wants to know how to relieve a migraine attack, what migraine pills to buy.However, doctors believe that pills alone are not enough .
Complex treatment is necessary : you need to exercise, monitor diet, control factors contributing to the development of a migraine attack (triggers 6 ). Physiotherapy can also be helpful 7 .
If the attack has already begun …
- Provide yourself with peace, stop any work, especially physical work.
- Refresh yourself or drink something sweet, if your condition allows.
- Take a warm shower or bath with dim lighting. Many patients find that water helps to relax.
- Retire to a dark, well-ventilated room.
- Gently massage the temples, forehead, neck and shoulders.
- Put a cold compress on your head and lie down.
- Take your migraine medicine 8 .
Do not self-medicate! Medicines should be selected by the doctor, taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient.
They usually recommend:
- combined analgesics;
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
IMPORTANT! It is better to drink drugs for migraine at the first signs of an approaching attack 9 , then they act faster.
But be careful: excessive use of analgesics can provoke the development of chronic headache 10 . To avoid this, remember the rule:
It is highly undesirable to take medications more often or in higher dosages!
What can be used besides medicine?
Now more and more attention is attracted by non-pharmacological methods for the treatment of migraine, in particular transcranial magnetotherapy.
Exposure to a pulsed magnetic field through the walls of the skull on the brain makes it possible to relieve headaches quite quickly: if you use the apparatus at the first signs of an impending attack, it will take only 20 minutes. The emergence of small devices on the market makes it possible to use this method of treatment independently at home, and if an attack occurs on the road or at work, you can take a pill: magnetotherapy is quite compatible with medications. In addition, there is evidence that a course of transcranial magnetotherapy can reduce the number of seizures.
Migraine treatment can be very effective. The main thing is to choose the right method.
2 https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/#:~:text=Nearly%201%20in%204%20U.S.,ages%20of%2018%20and% 2044
Amelin A.B. 45 topical questions about migraine. SPb-M., 2019.C.4.
European principles of managing patients with the most common forms of headache in general practice / T.J. Steiner et al. Practical guide for doctors; translated from English by Yu.E. Azimova, V.V. Osipova; scientific edition of V.V. Osipova, T.G. Voznesenskaya, G.R. Tabeeva. – Moscow, LLC “OGGI.RP”, 2010. – 56 p. P.41.
5 https: // cyberleninka.ru / article / n / profilaktika-i-lechenie-migreni / viewer
7 Artemenko A.R., Kurenkov A.L., Belomestova K.V. Classification, diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine: a review of new data // Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry. S.S. Korsakov No. 11, 2013. pp. 91–96.
8 https: // migrainehelp.ru / article / vsyo-o-pristupe-migreni
9 Migraine in men: symptoms and treatment
10 European principles of managing patients with the most common forms of headache in general practice / T.J. Steiner et al. Practical guide for doctors; translated from English by Yu.E. Azimova, V.V. Osipova; scientific edition of V.V. Osipova, T.G. Voznesenskaya, G.R. Tabeeva.- Moscow, LLC “OGGI.RP”, 2010. – 56 p. P.23.
13 Artemenko A.R., Kurenkov A.L., Belomestova K.V. Classification, diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine: a review of new data // Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry.S.S. Korsakov No. 11, 2013. pp. 91–96.
How to deal with migraines at home
Women are more susceptible to the disease. Migraine is not life-threatening, but it causes a lot of trouble for the patient. A severe headache, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and photophobia, knocks a person out of a rut and makes him unable to work.
The mechanisms of development of this type of headache are not fully understood, but effective methods of treatment already exist. You should not give up and let the disease take its course. Migraine should be treated!
Migraine is an independent disease, it is not associated with damage to the nervous system. If the examination of patients reveals any pathological changes, it is quite possible that under the guise of a migraine there is a life-threatening disease that requires urgent care.
Particular attention should be paid if the following symptoms are present:
- Headache occurs for the first time (especially in adolescents and the elderly).This could be a sign of a brain tumor
- Intense headache comes on suddenly. This happens when a vessel ruptures in the lining of the brain
- Headache is combined with lethargy, drowsiness, blurred vision, poor understanding of speech, weakness in the limbs. Such symptoms suggest a stroke
- Severe headache accompanied by fever. Here you must not miss a dangerous infectious disease – meningitis
If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.The address of our clinic: St. Petersburg, st. Bolshaya Raznochinnaya, 27 m. Chkalovskaya
The main factors that increase the risk of disease – hereditary predisposition and fluctuations in the level of sex hormones in the body.
Migraine is characterized by attachment of attacks to provoking influences – triggers. They can be high nervous loads, rest after hard activity, violation of the diet, the use of certain foods (cheese, chocolate, canned food, etc.)), alcohol intake and many other factors. In women, seizures may be associated with the menstrual cycle.
Approximately half of migraine sufferers 2–3 hours before an attack have precursors – irritability, decreased mood, physical activity, increased appetite. One third of patients have an aura 10-30 minutes before an attack (translated from Greek it means “breath”). Flashes of light, sparkles, a shining crescent, and other figures appear before the eyes. In some patients, there is a tingling sensation or numbness on the skin of the face or hand.Some people find it difficult to speak. The cause of the aura and precursors is a violation of blood circulation in the brain.
Then an attack of one-sided headache begins. The pain is intense, often pulsating, may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, phobia and sound, increases with physical and emotional stress. The attack lasts from four to 72 hours (an attack longer than 72 hours is called “migraine status”). Then the headache goes away, but fatigue persists for some time.Until the next attack, the patient can forget about the migraine. But sooner or later the period of remission ends, and the disease again makes itself felt.
The diagnosis of migraine is based on the results of a survey and examination of the patient. If a patient consults a doctor during an attack, then external signs such as redness or blanching of half of the face may testify in favor of migraine. In the intervals between attacks, the symptoms of the disease do not appear, and the doctor has to be content with the patient’s history – his story of his suffering.To date, there are no objective research methods that reliably confirm the presence of migraine. On the contrary: if in the course of the study a pathology is found that can cause a headache, this indicates against migraine.
Let’s move on to treatment issues. The causes of migraine have not yet been finally established, but there are a lot of people who want to treat this disease. Quite often there are announcements from various manufacturers and healers about new miracle methods and miracle cures.Do not give in to such admonitions! Only a neurologist can effectively treat migraines.
The specialists of the Department of Neurology have many years of successful experience in the treatment of migraines. At the first stage, measures are taken to relieve pain, and further treatment is aimed at preventing seizures. The method of treatment of migraine with botulinum toxin has proven itself. Hardware methods are used (for example, interstitial electrical stimulation of VTES), as well as manual techniques, including the treatment of headaches with osteopathy.
The address of our clinic: St. Petersburg, st. Bolshaya Raznochinnaya, 27 m.Chkalovskaya
The effectiveness of treatment depends largely on the patient. It is important to follow these simple guidelines:
- Increasing physical activity, physical education
- An attempt to identify provoking factors (for example, certain foods) and means to prevent an attack (for example, exposure to cold water on the head). Using the findings in everyday life
- When an attack is approaching – immediate administration of the prescribed drug, since an attack can disrupt its absorption
- Attempting to fall asleep in order to relieve pain
- Taking analgesics (especially combined drugs) no more than 2-3 times a week, otherwise the headache can become chronic
- Keeping a diary – recording in it all the moments associated with headaches and the use of drugs.The information entered in the diary will help the neurologist diagnose and prescribe treatment
In the fight against migraines, it is very difficult to win a complete victory. But controlling this disease, reducing the frequency and severity of attacks, and improving the patient’s quality of life is quite achievable. Do not delay your visit to the doctor! Call us!
The address of our clinic: St. Petersburg, st. Bolshaya Raznochinnaya, 27 m. Chkalovskaya
90,000 10 Ways to Get Rid of Migraines Without Pills | Healthy life | Health
It makes sense to use analgesics and antispasmodics at the very beginning, before the onset of severe pain.But, as a rule, taking any pills is carried out already at the peak of pain, which is ineffective. Therefore, prevention is of great importance in the process of combating migraine. Here are 10 ways to get rid of migraines without pills:
1. Understand the reasons
If you are already suffering from migraine attacks, doctors advise keeping a diary. For several weeks, it is necessary to keep records to identify the pattern – after which the head begins to severely hurt. Usually a migraine attack provokes smoking, great physical activity, stress, sleep disturbance.The harbingers of migraines can be neck pain or dental problems.
2. Eat regularly
Migraine headaches can result from a drop in blood sugar levels, as this results in the release of glucose into the bloodstream and an increase in blood pressure. To avoid this, you need to eat every four hours. Eat more fruits and vegetables, low fat yoghurts and cheeses. But white bread, cakes, sugary drinks and other goodies will have to be abandoned.
3. Refuse coffee
Consuming large amounts of caffeine can narrow the blood vessels around the brain, resulting in migraines.More than 300 mg of caffeine per day can cause such problems – that’s about three cups of coffee. If you can’t give up coffee, try switching to decaffeinated coffee. By the way, chocolate also contains caffeine, but is safer.
4. Exclude food additives
Migraine can also be caused by food additives, such as sodium glutamate, which is found in some cheeses and canned meats, sugar substitutes, various dyes used for carbonated drinks and marzipan, sulfites contained in wine, and sodium benzoate – it is contained in shrimp, margarine, soft drinks and sweets.
5. Chew ginger
Raw ginger root can relieve the nausea and digestive problems that often accompany migraines. Ginger also blocks the effect of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain and thus lead to migraines.
6. Increase serotonin levels
Studies have shown that people suffering from migraines have low serotonin levels. Therefore, they should eat protein-rich foods such as chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy, bananas, beans, dates, oats, rice, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
7. Drink water
Dehydration disrupts the functioning of the body as a whole, but this is especially reflected in the brain, since the tissues surrounding the brain are mainly composed of water. When they lose fluid, they shrink, resulting in a painful sensation. Therefore, doctors recommend drinking one to two liters of water per day to reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of attacks.
8. Drink vitamins
Australian scientists have shown that vitamin B can relieve their migraine attacks.2,000 mcg of folate, 25 mg of vitamin B6, and 400 mcg of vitamin B12 can reduce the frequency and severity of pain. And introducing these vitamins into the daily diet can reduce the disability due to migraines by 50%.
9. Saturate the body with magnesium
Lack of magnesium leads to decreased blood flow to the brain and low blood sugar, which in turn causes migraine attacks. To get magnesium back into your body, eat leafy vegetables, mashed tomatoes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, peas, potatoes, and oats.
10. Do yoga
Yoga soothes, relieves stress, relieves pain. Some postures relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
How is migraine different from headaches?
Headache. How to relieve an attack and prevent the development of migraines?
Date of publication: .
Dozens of different diseases and conditions can cause headaches.However, most often we are faced with the so-called tension headache, which occurs due to muscle or emotional overload.
This headache is often referred to as “normal” or “simple”.
An attack of tension headache can begin with mild pain in the temples or, conversely, “creep” from the back of the head. Such pain begins as pulling, aching. Then she strengthens or squeezes the entire head with a hoop.
As a rule, the pain is constant, not pulsating, of moderate severity.It is unpleasant to endure it, but it cannot be called unbearable.
To cope with a headache that occurs after stress or increased physical activity, you can apply a few simple techniques.
Ventilate the room well or, if time and weather permit, go for a walk in the fresh air;
What folk remedies will help get rid of a headache?
Lie down, close your eyes. Sometimes a quarter of an hour in silence and darkness is enough for the attack to pass;
Self-massage the head.With light stroking movements, walk from the forehead to the back of the head, from the crown to the ears, from the crown – down to the neck, massage it, and then slowly stroke the temples;
Make a cold compress: add a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil to a bowl of cold water, wet a small towel, wring it out and place it on your forehead and temples.
If the pain persists and is interfering with your normal functioning, you can take a pain reliever.
Tension headache is a fairly harmless phenomenon.However, headache can also occur for a more serious reason.
So it is often a symptom of hypertension, arterial hypotension, renal and endocrine pathology, diseases of ENT organs, eyes, a manifestation of depression. Quite often, headaches are combined with disorders in the cervical spine.
It is impossible to let the headache take its course. If you have it regularly, you should definitely consult a doctor and get tested.
Drink alcohol.Its relaxing effect is just an illusion. It dilates blood vessels, and at first the pain really recedes, but then comes back again with a vengeance.
Smoking. Nicotine causes a sharp spasm of blood vessels, from which the pain becomes even more intense.
Apply ice to the head. Although different types of headache feel different from each other, the person himself is far from always able to accurately understand its cause.
Curbing migraines: how to treat headaches
And if cold treatment does not harm with tension headache, then with pain caused by high blood pressure, it can worsen the condition.
Take a second analgesic pill if the first does not work. A persistent headache may indicate a serious illness, so in this case, you need to see a doctor.
To reduce the risk of headaches:
- When working at the computer, take a break every half hour, rest your eyes. Exercise 5-10 minutes per hour. For example, while sitting in a chair, straighten up, bring your shoulder blades together, tighten your back muscles and stay in this state for 5 seconds.Repeat 5-6 times;
- Be in the fresh air more often, take walks for at least half an hour a day.
- Lie down and get up at the same time.
- Do not get carried away with bacon, sausages and other cold meats, cheese, yoghurts, chicken liver, red wine, nuts. These products contain substances that provoke headaches.
Neurologist UZ 10 GKB Kalupina I.G. 90,013 90,000 causes of migraine, home treatment and prevention
October 26, 2020, 19:00
Surely everyone has at least once in their life faced a migraine.It is difficult to endure such a headache, so it is very important to know how to relieve an attack and quickly get rid of a migraine without medication at home.
Symptoms of a migraine
To get rid of a migraine as quickly as possible, it is important to understand that you have a migraine, and not a regular headache. Severe throbbing pain localized to the watery part of the head is a clear sign of migraine. Attacks of this disease are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, poor tolerance to loud sounds and bright light.After the headache subsides, weakness, lethargy and drowsiness appear. People usually sleep for long periods of time to recuperate after a migraine attack.
What Causes Migraine Headaches
Migraine attacks always have provoking factors, and they are individual for each person. Migraines can be caused by:
- Stress, extreme fear or negative emotions.
- Nervous and physical stress.
- A sharp change in the weather.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages, especially champagne, beer or red fortified wine.
- Nutritional factors – eating chocolate, cheese, nuts or fish.
- Changes in hormonal levels – taking oral contraceptives, phases of the menstrual cycle.
- Blinking or too bright light.
- Loud noise.
- Inhalation of odors irritating the respiratory tract.
How to treat migraines
Treatment for migraine attacks is usually complex and includes:
- Sleeping in a quiet, darkened room;
- use of pain relievers and hypnotics;
- contrast shower;
- hot foot baths, hot tea or coffee;
- tight head pulling, cold compress on the forehead;
- Self-massage or head massage from the forehead to the back of the head.
Home remedies for migraines
- Citrus ointment. Take 1: 4: 1.5 orange peels, cinnamon and cardamom and mustard oil. Chop the ingredients, stir, add the mustard oil and refrigerate. During a migraine attack, lubricate the nasal mucosa with ointment. This will increase cerebral circulation and relieve headaches.
- Butter. Melt the butter. During a migraine attack, lubricate the nasal mucosa and head with warm ghee at the site of pain legalization.This will help relieve the headache quickly.
- Mint tea. Pour 2 table. tablespoons of dry or fresh mint with a glass of boiling water, let it brew for 15-20 minutes, strain and take 3-4 times a day for migraines.
- Ginger. Peel the ginger root and cut into small pieces. Add chopped ginger to boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain, add lemon or honey to taste and drink like tea.
- Lavender oil .Dissolve one teaspoon of lavender oil in three glasses of boiling water and inhale for 15 minutes.
These affordable ways will help you quickly get rid of migraines without medication and regain your well-being. And there will definitely be harm from them!
The opinion of the editorial board may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.
How to relieve a migraine headache
A headache is an unpleasant thing, and a migraine can permanently disable anyone. Anyone who has ever experienced all the delights of this state with a shudder thinks about the resumption of symptoms.Unfortunately, this is a chronic disease and it is hereditary. There are various reasons for the onset of migraine, but the method that would finally get rid of this painful condition has not yet been invented. There is only prevention that can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.
This is what this article is about.
Migraine (French from Old Greek. in both) half of the head.At the same time, there are no serious head injuries, stroke, brain tumors, and the intensity and pulsating nature of the pain is associated with vascular headache, and not with tension headache. Migraine headache is not associated with an increase or sharp drop in blood pressure, an attack of glaucoma, or an increase in intracranial pressure (ICP).
Unfortunately, I myself encounter this unpleasant phenomenon several times a year. The causes can be different – from lack of sleep (or too long sleep), drinking and excessive physical and mental activity, ending with a sharp change in weather conditions.I just belong to the number of “meteorological” people.
To my great happiness, I very rarely experience strong and prolonged seizures (maximum 2-3 times a year), which really interfere with my life and work, but when this happens, I want to switch off for a while and wake up only then, when this whole nightmare is over. But even these few hellish hours a year are enough for me to start looking for ways to deal with them.
Let’s start with the standard preventive methods that any person who respects themselves and their health should do anyway:
- Avoid stress.
- Establish and maintain a sleep schedule, sleep in a dark and quiet place.
- Eat right and avoid foods that cause migraines (chocolate, pastries, red wine, coffee in large quantities). Eat regularly and avoid skipping meals.
- Go for a massage.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Drink small amounts of caffeinated beverages.
As far as food is concerned, I will not recommend drugs, as in this case a doctor must prescribe them (especially if you have other health problems).I can only say that citramone helps me, as it contains a small amount of caffeine.
Coffee. If we talk about simpler products, then at the beginning of an attack … a small cup of coffee can help you. It sounds a little paradoxical, but since migraines are not caused by pressure drops, drinking coffee in small quantities is possible and even necessary.
Ginger. Ginger is also good for relieving headaches. And if you consider that it is also an excellent prevention of colds, then it would not be superfluous to add ginger tea with apples and cinnamon to your diet.
Cayenne pepper. In this case, both the food option of adding it to dishes and the option of using an ointment based on it is proposed (there are quite a few warming ointments based on cayenne pepper in pharmacies). Just apply quite a bit to your temples and massage lightly. And don’t forget to wash your hands well afterwards!
Mint and lavender. These herbs are also used to prevent migraine headaches. Peppermint is a sedative, and lavender helps relieve inflammation in blood vessels and relieves spasms in the muscles of the neck and around the eyes.In this case, it is recommended to make lotions with warm bags of dried lavender flowers (sold in pharmacies).
Vitamins. Certain vitamins, as a prophylaxis, also help fight migraines. These are riboflavin, magnesium and vitamin B6. You can take these drugs only after consulting your doctor.
Ice. Cold lotions help some people. Just take an ice pack and place it on your forehead. It is recommended to use a thin towel as an interlayer.Another option is to make an ice bath for your palms or fingers (if hard to endure). In the tub, clench and unclench your fists – it works the same way as a cold compress on your head.
Finger acupressure. Massage of the temples, neck and shoulders also helps to cope with headaches. If you can cope with the temples on your own (just put three fingers to the temples and massage them with light pressure), then it is better to provide a specialist with a massage of the neck and shoulders.
Soothing Tea Recipes
Lavender Tea. Pour 200 ml of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried lavender flowers and leave for 15 minutes. Then you filter the tea, add honey and enjoy the unusual taste.
Ginger, mint and cayenne pepper tea. To make this tea, you will need 2 teaspoons of dry mint, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger. Boil 2 cups of water, add mint, ginger and cayenne pepper, and leave for 15 minutes.Then filter the mixture and add honey and lemon to taste. This tea is a great way not only to get rid of headaches, but also to arrange easy prevention of colds.
Hope these tips will help you cope with your headaches and your preparations for the New Year holidays will go smoothly!
Don’t get sick!
“How to help yourself with a migraine?”
A migraine attack comes suddenly – like a bolt from the blue. Anything can provoke it: food, coffee, alcohol, smell, stuffiness, stress, etc.e. An anesthetic pill may not always be on hand. In such cases, you can try to relieve the attack yourself by working on biologically active points on the body. Doctor-osteopath and neurologist Alexander Ivanov talks about how to do this in his new article for BUSINESS Online.
METHODS OF SELF-MASSAGE ACCORDING TO DOCTOR IVANOV
So, today in the article we will talk about self-help methods for migraines. I will share with you my own express technique for relieving headaches.
The express method is based on self-massage of biologically active points in the projection of the neck. I also give two exercises aimed at improving the mobility of the occiput, the first and second cervical vertebrae, which enhances the venous outflow from the head and relaxes the dura mater.
BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE POINTS IN MIGRAINE
1. Point number one is located in the projection of the first cervical vertebra, in the place where the head passes into the neck exactly in the middle. This point is responsible for the state of the dura mater (the lining of the brain and spinal cord), which is involved in the development of migraine.
2. Points number two and three are located just below and on the sides of point number one – this is the projection of the vertebral arteries. These points are responsible for blood flow to the skull.
3. Points four and five are located under the mastoid processes of the temporal bone, just below points two and three behind the auricles (see photo). These points are responsible for the venous outflow from the skull.
MASSAGE OF BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE POINTS
Before acting on the points, you need to prepare the neck.To do this, make several stroking movements from the back of the head to the base of the neck from top to bottom. Then you need to grind the place of massage, for this, firmly press your palm to the skin of the neck in the area of \ u200b \ u200bthe transition to the back of the head and rub it until hot. Then we proceed to active kneading of the points. Variants are possible.
Option number one . You consistently press on points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 with your thumbs and hold each of them for 60–90 seconds until relaxation and warmth appear.
Option number two . You consistently massage each point for 60 seconds, making circular movements with your fingers, as if screwing into the point until you feel a slight soreness.
After completing the massage of the points, you should also make light stroking movements in the neck area.
After self-massage, I recommend performing several exercises aimed at improving movement in the area of the first and second cervical vertebrae.
EXERCISE NUMBER ONE “NECK RETRACTION”
To carry out this exercise, stretch your chin forward, while trying to make the movement occur strictly in one plane – horizontal. Then reverse the movement, pulling your chin inward. We do it slowly and smoothly. In some cases, a crunch may appear during this movement – this indicates that there is a block in the atlanto-occipital junction.
EXERCISE NUMBER TWO “RETRACTION OF THE NECK IN A CIRCLE”
We do everything the same as in the first exercise, only with the chin we now describe the arc: first clockwise, then counterclockwise. We carry out several movements slowly and smoothly until the movement in this segment improves.
Contraindications may apply, consult your physician before performing.
Ivanov Alexander Alexandrovich – Candidate of Medical Sciences, osteopath, neurologist, naturopath, member of the Russian osteopathic association, popularizer of a healthy lifestyle and a conscious approach to health.