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How To Control Migraine Pain

Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

Headache Treatments : How to Control Migraines Naturally

Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
  • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
  • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
  • Smoking.

Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.

If medicine is essential, your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol.

In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicine or triptans may be prescribed.

Speak to a GP or your midwife before taking medicine when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019 Next review due: 10 May 2022

What Is A Period Headache

There are different types of headaches, depending on the cause and symptoms. Let’s break down how different types of headaches are categorized.

Tension headache:

This is the most common type of headache affecting 80% of Americans. It’s often caused by stress, dehydration, or exhaustion. Tension headaches usually cause a pressing or tightening pain on both sides of the head.


This is an intense, throbbing headache that affects 29.5 million Americans. Women in particular are affected, as about 75% of people who get migraines are female. Migraines can cause pain on both sides of the head, but one side, usually in the temple or behind the eye.

Menstrual migraine:

A menstrual migraine or period headache is a type of migraine. It occurs anywhere from two days before to three days after your period begins and may last until your period is over.

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Chronic Migraine And Pain Management

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Speaking as a caregiver for someone who has suffered about 10 years living with chronic migraine, I have seen actions, or more to the point, inaction from more doctors than I care to count.

It makes me question the oath doctors take when they begin their careers. There seems to be a philosophy that since there is no clear cut diagnosis or specific set of medically testable or provable things that cause some individuals migraines, then either the patients are making it all up, or that it simply cannot be as bad as they would lead the doctors to believe. This thinking leads to problems for the patient.

How To Cope When One Of Your Migraine Triggers Is Stress

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To say that dealing with the chronic pain of migraine is a challenge is an understatement. Those challenges are magnified when stress is one of your migraine triggers. Stress can cause migraine, chronic pain creates more stressand so the cycle continues. And, to add insult to injury, if your body is accustomed to constant stress, a weekend off can result in a let down migraine when your stress abruptly lowers. Not exactly a win-win for those living with migraine.

The migraine brain is vulnerable to change such as sleep and stress, and is, therefore, best kept stable, says Peter Goadsby, M.D., Ph.D., who specializes in the treatment of headache disorders at UC San Francisco Medical Center.

In addition to finding a doctor, keeping a headache diary, and finding the proper medication, one of the most effective things you can do to control migraine is to reduce your stress, which sounds easy, right? Wrong. So, in our busy lives, how can we better manage the stress associated with migraine? Here are a few tips on how to do this.

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Prevent Needless Sufferingvia Education Andevidence Based Information

This course is designed to give you clarity, confidence, knowledge and control over your migraine attacks.

Youll learn how you can really live your life, rather than just survive between migraines. Youll discover just how capable you are of achieving your goals – leaving desperation, confusion, fear, anxiety and despair way behind.

Apply A Warm Or Cold Compress To Your Head Or Neck

Place a warm or cold compress across your forehead or the back of your neck.

Many of my patients prefer a cold compress, says Lawrence C. Newman, MD, director of the division of headache at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and a board member of the American Migraine Foundation.

Cold can have a numbing effect. It distracts the brain from the migraine, says Good. Youre stimulating other nerve endings where youre putting the compress.

To protect your skin, keep a cloth between your skin and an ice pack, and if you use a commercial cold pack, make sure there are no leaks where chemicals could escape and potentially harm your eyes, according to the University of Michigan Health.

Some people may prefer a warm compress, Dr. Newman says. Heat can help relax tense muscles. You may also try taking a warm bath or shower.

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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

  • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
  • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
  • Your headache comes on suddenly.
  • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

  • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
  • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

Why Do You Get Menstrual Migraines

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Throughout your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels fluctuate in order to prepare your body for pregnancy. During your period, your estrogen levels are at their lowest. Estrogen plays a role in how sensitive you are to pain, so when estrogen levels are lower, you may feel more pain in the form of migraines, cramps, and back pain.

These hormone level fluctuations may help explain why migraines are more common in women than they are in men.

It can be hard to identify whether a migraine you experience during your period is actually a menstrual migraine, or if it’s a migraine happening during your period. However, it was observed in one study that patients with menstrual migraines tend to experience more symptoms associated with migraines for a longer period of time, and have a worse experience overall.

We asked Dr. Sara Crystal, Neurologist and Medical Director at Cove, about why women get migraine attacks around their period.

Dr. Crystal said,

“The worsening of migraine is probably related to the drop in estrogen levels that occurs about 2 days before menstruation. Estrogen has a role in the perception of pain.”

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Do Any Home Remedies To Treat Migraine Work

You cant relieve a migraine attack instantlyif only! But many people use home remedies in addition to their OTC or prescription medications to help make the pain more manageable.

Its important to have a plan in place, even when you dont have a migraine headache. This can just outline what youll do whenever you feel one coming on because early management can help squash your symptoms before they become debilitating. Keeping your medication handy in multiple places can be invaluable. Then consider trying these pain relief strategies:

  • Rest in a dark, quiet room. This can be beneficial because movement, light, and sound can be particularly unpleasant when youre in the throes of a migraine attack.
  • Treat it like an injury. Applying a cool compress can help numb the pain in your head, Dr. Csere says: But some people prefer warmth, so if youve tried cool compresses and it doesnt help, warm ones may. Thats because warm temperatures may help relax tense muscles in the head, neck, or shoulders, easing any pain that may be associated with that tension.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Becoming dehydrated can make you feel much worse.

Predisposing Factors And Triggers

Contrary to popular belief, predisposing and trigger factors are of limited importance in migraine, and their role is often overemphasized. An important exception is menstruation, as some womens migraine attacks are exclusively or frequently menstruation-related. True trigger factors are often self-evident. Moreover, aggravating factors should not be conflated with predisposing factors. The former worsen headache during migraine attacks , whereas predisposing factors increase susceptibility to the development of a migraine attack .

Nevertheless, if predisposing and trigger factors can be correctly identified and subsequently avoided , some headache control might be achievable without further intervention. For instance, lifestyle changes can benefit patients with poor sleep quality or physical fitness, though any changes should not result in unnecessary avoidance behaviour, which can itself damage quality of life.

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Relieve Migraine Unbearable Pain

Those who are familiar with the terrible migraine headaches know what kind of pain it is. Migraine headaches are not a common headache Which is due to a decrease in a crocin or saridanei Migraine is a type of neurological problem This can lead to severe headaches as well as nausea, intolerance to light and sound, pain in the eyes, and even pain in some parts of the mouth such as the jaw. The pain lasts from a few hours to about three or four days.

Rest In A Quiet Dark Room

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Many people with migraine report sensitivity to light and sound, which can make headaches worse. According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, the pain caused by light can be traced to a group of light-sensing cells in the eye called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells , which help maintain sleep-wake cycles and pupil response to light. In rats, these cells converge on brain cells that transmit pain.

Exposure to light activates the ipRGC cells and the pain-transmitting cells, and the cells remain activated for several minutes. The researchers theorize that that mechanism could be the reason headache pain gets worse in the light and improves 20 to 30 minutes after being in the dark.

Go to a room thats dark and quiet, and you may be able to sleep, Dr. Good says. Not all headaches respond to sleep, she notes, but the chemicals released in your brain during sleep may help ease your pain. Also, she says, if youre sensitive to sounds, blocking them out could help.

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Can Stress Cause Migraines

Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses not major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.

Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Being active
  • Doing relaxation exercises
  • Getting enough sleep

Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.

Migraine Pain Management At A Glance

Migraine Pain Management is a topical remedy from extracts of naturally grown herbs that cures migraines and headaches. It has two main active ingredients Iris Versicolor and Natrum Muriatinum. Versicolor is the compound that is said to be the active agent that relieves pain from shooting and chronic headaches. The Natrum Muriatinum works to relieve migraine pains. It is also said to contain French Lavandula Super and Rosemary Verbenone Oil that gives the soothing effect and lipophilic feeling when applied.

Migraine Pain Management uses a homeopathic treatment which seeks to stimulate the body by improving immunity and fighting diseases. The formula is well researched and backed by various world bodies on their effectiveness. Forces of Nature uses certified organic farming methods and extensive tests are carried out to eliminate any levels of toxins that may be present in the herb during harvest.

It is a gel-like product that is applied by gently rubbing it on the temple and back of your neck as required. Should not be used by children under the age of 2 years.

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What Does Migraine Pain Management Do

Migraine Pain Management is a highly rated pain reliever from migraines and headaches that are said to work very fast. Iris Versicolor is the primary ingredient that is said to be responsible for bringing down shooting pain from chronic headaches and migraines. It also has Rosemary Verbenone Oil that is said to give the soothing effect. It is said to be effective in the following conditions.

Migraine Pain Management is to be applied externally and should not be rubbed near eyes. The indications on the product package advise one to discontinue using the product if after 7 days no improvement in alleviating pain due migraine. Not to be used on damaged or wounded skin. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not use Clear Pain Management. Only to be used by Adults and children under the ages 2 should consult a physician before using.Apply on the temples and at the back of your neck as required. Rub it gently into the applied area for an effective outcome.

How Are Migraines Diagnosed

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To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:

  • Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
  • Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
  • Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
  • Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
  • Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
  • Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
  • Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
  • Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
  • Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.

Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.

What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:

Eat regularly and do not skip meals.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
  • Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.

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What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain

For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:

  • aspirin
  • acetaminophen
  • an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • ketoprofen

People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.

If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.

When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

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Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

  • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
  • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
  • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
  • You have pain around the eye or ear
  • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
  • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
  • You have a headache with convulsions
  • You have a headache after a blow to the head
  • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot

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