Imagine your head spinning out of control with no immediate relief remedy available at hand. This form of moderate to severe type of headache, characterized by pain on one side of the head, is referred to as migraine. This is a form of chronic illness which is unilateral and is pulsating in nature, lasting up to 72 hours or more. The root cause of migraine is unknown to doctors, with analgesics being its only remedial action. There are various symptoms to watch for, that can call for an immediate action for a person suffering from this form of headache. For instance, an aura which occurs right before the headache begins or any form of neck stiffness or dizziness or feeling of being nauseated amongst many other symptoms. A variety of actions can be taken to prevent such headaches, depending upon the intensity of a migraine headache. At times, necessary lifestyle changes can also be made to reduce or eliminate the triggers.
1. Use an ice pack
In a normal scenario, blood vessels tend to get expanded during a migraine attack, causing pressure on the nerves. The dilated blood vessels become swollen with blood and the nerves start sending pain signals. Usage of ice pack can help to compress blood vessels, placing them to normal size. For this remedy, take a soft chilled ice pack and wrap it in a cloth like towel. Hold it against your temples and forehead and keep placing this pack in different positions for few seconds. Follow this strategy on each, temple and forehead. Repeat this technique for up to three minutes to relieve migraine pain. If you are unable to arrange for an ice pack, you may use an ice cold can of soda. Another ice remedy for migraine is ice pads. They provide a soothing relief lasting up to 4 hours. These pads do not require any refrigeration. Those suffering from frequent migraines can carry this ready remedy with them at all times. One can use this effective technique by simply removing the pad from its cover and apply the pad on the back of the neck.
2. Relaxation techniques
Migraine can be caused due to increase in stress levels in one’s body and any form of meditation could help release the stress, thereby relieving one from a migraine attack. You may opt for techniques like yoga or going for a walk or a gentle massage. Yoga also involves stress reducing poses which help prevent migraine. Yoga lifestyle encourages plenty of sleep which decreases the risk of suffering from a migraine headache. You might also want to go for an acupuncture session. Creating an optimal environment during a migraine attack coupled with a massage helps to alleviate pain and is also known to decrease the duration or intensity of pain. Massage tends to relax the tension caused in the muscles due to severe pain. Mild compression around the trigger points like neck and shoulders can significantly reduce pain.
3. Eliminating migraine causing foods
Some foods are known to trigger a migraine headache while you could also be allergic to some foods personally. Foods which are higher in salt content or high in caffeine have been proven to cause migraine. Some foods which lead to an irritable bowel movements or are tough on the intestines like particular form of lentils are also known to cause migraine. Consumption of certain dairy products like cheese or chocolates has also been linked to outbreak of migraines. However, intake of foods like salmon, spinach, ginger or mushrooms is known to prevent such headaches. To know which foods you are allergic to, maintain a diary and record your daily diet for a period of minimum two weeks. After two weeks, look at your dairy to link your eating habits with recurring migraine. Then restrict those food items from your diet to await positive results.
4. Prevent migraine by using henna
Using the concentrate of dipped henna flowers in vinegar by rubbing them against the forehead can help as a pain reliever during migraine headaches. This provides instant relief from the discomfort caused by headache. One could also use a pack of henna paste to get relief from a migraine attack. It is known as a very effective remedy in curing migraine headaches. The ideal prevention technique would be to treat your migraine early or the onset of an attack by keeping a watch at the common causes or triggers.
5. Acupuncture and acupressure
Acupuncture is a process where fine needles are inserted at multiple body pressure points. This therapy is considered to be more effective than drugs in relieving migraine pain. It also helps relieve nausea caused during or before a migraine attack. The needles help in relaxing the nervous system to stimulate the release of endorphins, the hormone responsible for generating natural feel-good chemicals in the brain. They are found around the central pain pathways. Uplifting the mood, these hormones help to relieve stress. Acupuncture helps people suffering from a debilitating migraine condition. It also helps in prevention of such headaches thereby reducing the need of painkillers. Self massage and acupressure also known to aid in reducing migraine related headache. Remember that two crucial areas for acupressure are the web between your forefinger and thumb and under the bony ridges behind the neck. You should use both thumbs to apply pressure at this place.
6. Darkened room
Bright lights tend to aggravate the throbbing pain caused during migraine. Opting to leave a brightly lit room and move to a dark room can help lessen the pain and also prevent a moderate intensity pain to elevate towards a severe attack. Therefore, in order to prevent a severe migraine spell, choose to move towards a dark room as soon as you experience any form of migraine attack symptoms. Even with a mildest symptom of migraine coming, avoid flickering or bright lights. A bright room can cause unwanted distress during a migraine spell. The scientists believe that blocking the lights through the eye’s retina can help in reducing the pain. If the situation does not allow you to find a suitable dark room, you may wear sunglasses in normal light or even while being indoors.
7. Follow a schedule
If you are a migraine patient, follow a particular routine. Early to bed, early to rise approach will work here. Establish consistent sleeping patterns. Try to focus on your daily routines and make a note of any change in routine and migraine patterns. There is a high possibility that these two have a link. Many migraine sufferers are found to be more vulnerable to this form of headache if their sleeping schedules are disrupted. Keeping the watch at the sleeping cycle may help prevent or reduce number of migraine attacks.
8. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners or various forms of preservatives or processed foods tend to cause chemical reactions within the brain and the blood flow, which cause such headaches. Sugar free drinks and foods are also often the reason for frequent migraine spells. For some people, an ingredient known as aspartame (excitotoxins) found in artificial sweeteners or preservatives tends to trigger migraine. Migraine patients are also advised to cut back on processed foods such as sandwich meat or bacon. Such foods contain nitrates, which have been proven to prompt migraine headaches. Similarly, aspartame has a link with the biochemical serotonin, which pedals everything from appetite to tempers to sleepiness and is often the cause of such unbearable headaches. Consequently, folks suffering from migraine are recommended to avoid intake of such foods and drinks to lessen frequent migraine attacks. In case you are the one who cannot do away with your favorite aspartame sweet drink or food, try using a natural sweetener like stevia to maintain the taste and simultaneously kill the migraine trigger.
9. Use of chamomile
Chamomile, a flowering plant belonging to the daisy family is also known to prevent frequent and severe migraine attacks. This strong antispasmodic herb serves as a wonderful preemptive strategy to control the severity of the pain. To take benefit of this remedy, drink a cup of chamomile tea immediately when you experience any migraine symptom. It helps to reduce pain and relieve discomforts caused due to this form of headache. It is best suited if you take it prior to a severe headache.
You may visit a health care provider to discuss your condition and look for solutions. A health care specialist will guide you on how to prevent or cure such headaches. The specialist may also suggest you to consume some special pain killers or take some specific precautions to help you reduce your pain or any form of discomfort caused due to migraine. There are various over the counter drugs also available to reduce the throbbing pain caused due to migraine. Such medication is generally advised to be ingested as soon as any forms of symptoms are experienced to prevent a severe headache. Regular follow up checkups are also advised to diagnose and prevent any severe complications arising from such debilitating headaches.