If you suffer migraine attacks, you know just how painful and debilitating they can be. When the headache sets in, all you can think about is finding relief. Unfortunately, migraines can persist for days and can be so severe that you may need to go to the emergency room (ER).
But there are things you can do to lessen the intensity of migraine attacks. Here are some tips on how to manage migraines:
Rest in a Dark, Quiet Room
Once the migraine headache starts, finding a quiet, dark room where you can rest is key. This will help minimize the amount of light, noise, and movement, all of which can worsen a migraine.
Try a Cold or Warm Compress
Applying a cold or warm compress to the head, temple, and neck areas can help to reduce pain and muscle tension. You can also use a bottle of hot water or ice pack wrapped in a towel.
Massage Your Neck and Temples
Gently massaging your temples and neck can help improve blood circulation and relieve tension headaches. Whole-body massage may also help promote overall relaxation, reduce stress, and ease headache-related pain.
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of migraines, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even in the absence of a migraine. Water is always the best choice, but you can also drink herbal teas, vegetable juices, or fruit juices. Avoid caffeinated beverages, as they can worsen dehydration.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help ease muscle tension and promote overall relaxation. These techniques can be particularly helpful in managing stress-related migraines.
Regular low-impact exercises have been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Exercising helps improve blood circulation and mood – effectively reducing stress. It is, however, worth noting that strenuous activities or intense exercises can trigger a migraine attack.
Watch Your Drinking
Alcohol has certain compounds that can trigger migraines in some people. In addition, alcohol can cause dehydration, which can also lead to migraines. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Limit Caffeine Intake
While a cup of coffee now and then may be harmless, excessive caffeine intake can disrupt brain chemistry and lead to migraines. If you are prone to migraines, it’s best to limit your caffeine intake or avoid it altogether.
Get Enough Restful Sleep
Lack of sleep can trigger migraines, which in turn makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep – creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. This means getting enough sleep is a crucial step in managing migraines.
Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you are having trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques like stretching and meditation before bedtime.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced diet is essential for overall health, but it can also help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines by supplying the body with vital nutrients. Avoiding trigger foods, such as those high in salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners, and aged cheese, can also help prevent migraines.
If you experience persistent migraine attacks, it is incredibly important to seek treatment from a qualified healthcare provider before it becomes a chronic problem. There are many effective medications available that can help prevent or lessen the impact of migraine attacks, including over-the-counter pain relievers, triptans, antidepressants, and dietary supplements.
The Bottom Line
Migraines can be crippling, but with medication and a few minor lifestyle changes, finding relief is possible. If you’re having trouble managing your migraines, talk to your doctor or pain specialist about the best treatment options for your situation.