Home Remedies To Ease A Headache Or Migraine Attack
Many headache symptoms can be at least partially alleviated without medication. Here are some tips for homemade headache and migraine relief:
Apply an ice pack to your head and neck. Cold compresses on the head and neck are a common home remedy to ease the pain of a migraine attack. Some people also find it helpful for tension headaches. To avoid skin injury, wrap the ice or cold pack in a cloth and apply it for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Apply heat to the head, neck, or hands and feet. Applying heat may help relieve a tension headache or dull the pain of a migraine attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Use a heating pad set on low, a hot-water bottle, a warm compress, or a hot towel. A hot bath or shower may also be helpful, or simply run warm water over your hands and feet.
Have a big glass of water.Dehydration can trigger a migraine attack or lead to a nonmigraine headache, says the National Headache Foundation. Replacing the liquids your body needs may help to relieve the pain.
Practice a relaxation technique. Meditate, breathe deeply, and try to visualize a peaceful image. “Various relaxation techniques can significantly help patients who suffer from ‘muscle contraction’ headaches,” says Rozental.
Give yourself a massage. Massage eases muscle tension, and sometimes helps to reduce headache pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck, and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck.
Migraine Relief Pressure Points
With acupressure, pain is said to be controlled by applying pressure on select points on the body to stimulate the release of endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers. So is acupressure one of the ways to get rid of a migraine? The jury is still out. But wrist-based acupressure can help combat a common migraine side effect: nausea, according to a 2012 study in the journal Neurological Sciences, noting that almost half of migraine sufferers reported nausea relief after 60 minutes of wearing Sea-Bands, with that number bumping to 84% at hour four.
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Treatment Of Acute Migraine Headache
BENJAMIN GILMORE, MD, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California
MAGDALENA MICHAEL, MD, Mountain Area Health Education Center, Hendersonville, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Feb 1 83:271-280.
Patient information: See related handout on this topic at .
Migraine headache is one of the most common, yet potentially debilitating disorders encountered in primary care. Approximately 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men in the United States have migraine headaches, and 51 percent of these persons report reduced work or school productivity.1 Patients typically describe recurrent headaches with similar symptoms, and approximately one-third describe an aura preceding the headache.1 This article reviews treatment options for acute migraine headache.
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Useful Yoga Poses For Headache Relief
- The Standing Forward Bend helps to stretch the entire range of muscles in the spinal column, enhancing blood flow throughout the nervous system, and helping to alleviate the levels of stress in the body.
- The Bridge Pose helps to lift the heart to a position above the head, which can help to increase blood flow to the brain. This also eases tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back.
- The Childs Pose helps to activate various pressure points with the forehead touching the ground. It also helps to open up the spine, leading to a greater sense of relaxation in the upper body, and can ease the throbbing pain in the side of the head.
These three simple yoga can help set you on the path towards building a regular routine to help you manage the symptoms of migraine headache more effectively.
Ultimately, people who have migraine problems need to battle this condition for their entire lives. But thats not to say they necessarily need to suffer from them the whole way. Yoga & meditation can very much be part of the best treatment for migraine relief, and can provide people with a natural and sustainable solution, to ensure that the condition does not hamper their daily lives in any way.
Prescription Painkillers For Frequent Tension Headaches
Indocin , an NSAID that is available only by prescription, is usually used for arthritis, but can also be very useful as a headache treatment, Dr. Rozental says. Indomethacins downside is that it is among the drugs most likely to cause gastric irritation as a side effect, including stomach ulcers and bleeding. It can also harm kidney function if taken at high doses or chronically.
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Relieve Pressure On Your Head
A hat, headband, helmet, glasses, goggles, or ponytail that is too tight can cause a headache. Similarly, if they are worn for a long time, they can constrict the blood vessels in your head.
One study of 93 women found that loosening hair can relieve migraine pain almost instantly . Four women relieved their migraine pain immediately, 32 women within half an hour, and 5 women within an hour.
This ponytail headache is believed to be caused by pericranial muscle fascia and tendon traction. The researchers stated that Distinguishing intracranial from extracranial headache is essential in diagnosis and treatment.
What they mean is that you should determine if your headache is caused by pressure on your head before you treat your migraine.
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Who Is At Risk For Migraines
About 12% of Americans get migraines. They can affect anyone, but you are more likely to have them if you
- Are a woman. Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines.
- Have a family history of migraines. Most people with migraines have family members who have migraines.
- Have other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.
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Can Estrogen Levels Cause Headaches
Estrogen dominance is the most common cause of hormonal headaches. This can occur when there is an excess amount of estrogen in your system either because you are making too much, not eliminating it effectively, or are being over exposed to xenoestrogens.
It can also happen if you’re not ovulating or not making sufficient progesterone.
Estrogen dominance is referred to as estrogen excess in medicine and is a diagnosable condition. Sometimes doctors will say they do not believe in estrogen dominance, but this is often because they are not testing correctly or familiar with the diagnosis .
Working with a hormone expert can help you identify the source of your headaches and support you in relieving them for good.
Finding your root cause is important to understand if something bigger is at play.
Ok, so finding the root cause is important and sure Ibuprofen and Tylenol are bad, but when theres pain, whats a girl to do?
Magnesium May Reduce Migraine Frequency And Intensity
In a meta-analysis published in 2016 in Pain Physician, oral magnesium was shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. There was also evidence that intravenous magnesium could help reduce the severity of an acute migraine attack within 15 to 45 minutes.
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Migraine And Other Vascular Disease
People who suffer from migraine headaches are more likely to also have cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease . Reliable evidence comes from the Women’s Health Study, which found that migraine with aura raised the risk of myocardial infarction by 91% and ischemic stroke by 108% and that migraine without aura raised both risks by approximately 25%. Migraines during pregnancy are also linked to stroke and vascular diseases. A 2017 analysis of the Women’s Health Study found that women who experience migraine headaches, particularly migraine without aura, may be at increased risk for hypertension. Compared with women without a history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with aura had about a 9% increased risk for hypertension while those who experienced migraine without aura had about a 21% increased risk.
Migraine with aura for women in midlife has a statistically significant association with late-life vascular disease in the cerebellum. This association is not seen in migraine without aura.
What Are The Causes Of A Migraine
Migraines arent the same as other types of headaches. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease in which there is an interplay between the pain neurons in the brain and the blood vessels.
Migraines can be set off by different stimuli, foods, and conditions. These triggers vary from person to person, with the most common including:
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Calm Yourself To Treat Migraine
During migraine headaches, a person becomes sensitive towards light. To treat this problem, find a place for yourself, far from the noise and lights. Relax in a dark and quiet room. Try to sleep, this will help you to calm your senses. Moreover, you can tie a cloth around your forehead to relieve the pain. The best way to get rid of the pain is do not think about the pain. If possible, make yourself so busy that you do not find time to remember the pain. However, do not exhaust your body.
Transformed Migraine/medication Overuse Headache
In some patients, migraine progresses to chronic migraine. Acute overuse of symptomatic medication is considered one of the most important risk factors for migraine progression. Medication overuse headache can occur with any analgesic, including acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. In addition, Bigal and Lipton identified the following associations of medication with progression to chronic migraine :
Opiates – Critical dose of exposure is around 8 days per month the effect is more pronounced in men
Barbiturates – Critical dose of exposure is around 5 days per month the effect is more pronounced in women
Triptans – Migraine progression is seen only in patients with high frequency of migraine at baseline
In the study, the effect of anti-inflammatory medications varied with headache frequency. These agents were protective in patients with fewer than 10 days of headache at baseline but induced migraine progression in patients with a high frequency of headaches at baseline.
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What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
Acute Treatment For Cluster Headaches
Given the severity and also the relative brevity of cluster headaches, acute treatments need to work quickly to relieve the pain and suffering caused by them. According to neurologist and headache expert and researcher Peter J. Goadsby, MBBS, writing for the American Headache Society, effective acute treatments for cluster headaches include:
- Inhaled oxygen
- Injected dihydroergotamine
- Topical lidocaine nasal drops
Another option, the drug Emgality , was approved in 2019 to treat cluster headaches, becoming the only drug specifically approved for this type of headache. Its also approved for the prevention of migraine attacks.
When used to treat cluster headaches, Emgality is self-administered using three, 100-milligram prefilled syringes, which are taken one after the other at the start of a cluster period and then every month until the end of the cluster period.
Emgality belongs to a class of drugs known as calcitonin gene-related peptide antibodies. Drugs in this class are either targeted against CGRP receptors or against CGRP itself.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Migraine
Individual migraines are moderate to severe in intensity, often characterized by a throbbing or pounding feeling. Although they are frequently one-sided, they may occur anywhere on the head, neck and face or all over. At their worst, they are typically associated with sensitivity to light, noise and/or smells. Nausea is one of the most common symptoms and it worsens with activity, which often results in patient disability. In many respects, migraines are much like alcohol-related hangovers.
Migraine pain can be felt in the face, where it may be mistaken for sinus headache or in the neck, where it may be mistaken for arthritis or muscle spasm. Complicating the diagnosis of migraine is that the headaches may be accompanied by other “sinus like” symptoms, including watering eyes, nasal congestion and a sense of facial pressure. Most patients who think they have sinus headache in fact have migraines.
In up to 25 percent of patients, the migraine headache pain may be preceded by an aura, a temporary neurological syndrome that slowly progresses and then typically resolves just as the pain begins. While the most common type of migraine aura involves visual disturbances , many people experience numbness, confusion, trouble speaking, vertigo and other strokelike neurological symptoms. Some patients may experience auras without headaches.
What Are Additional Symptoms Of A Migraine
Some people have additional symptoms before or after a migraine starts. These symptoms are called auras and can include:
- Numbness or a feeling of pins and needles in your arms, legs, fingers, or face
- Problems with your vision
- Trouble speaking
- Weakness or difficulty moving your arms, legs, or face, although this is rare
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Works For Mild Migraines: Otc Pain Relievers
If your attacks dont keep you from your everyday activities, and you experience vomiting once in every five attacks or less, then inexpensive over-the-counter pills like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen may act as migraine remedies. What helps migraines? OTC products that contain a blend of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine were found to relieve pain 20 minutes faster than ibuprofen.
If My Headache Isn’t Going Away Should I Get Tested For Coronavirus
Headache is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . A February 2020 report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, from early in the pandemic, found that of 55,924 people confirmed to have the disease, 13.6 percent had a headache.
Theres no treatment for COVID-19, but the same OTC pain relievers that help with other types of headaches may alleviate headaches caused by this disease. does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen for people with COVID-19.)
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, the CDC recommends calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home, the CDC notes.
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Try A Different Temperature
There are two tried-and-true methods that most of us turn to when facing an injury and its pain: hot or cold therapy. While it might seem odd to consider placing an iced or heated pack on your head, it can make all of the difference in just a few minutes.
As Stress Knots and the Mayo Clinic both recommend, simply choose which works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax, and pain will lower. If you choose icy cold, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling.
Try out one of these headache hat or other ice pack headbands â keep the included ice pack in the freezer so it’s cold when pain strikes. If heat works for you, try this moist heat headache wrap or eye mask.
Image via Shutterstock
Restoring Balance To Bodily Systems
Systems in our bodies are very intricately connected, and sometimes, even the slightest of imbalances can be a migraine trigger for some people. The cardiac system is especially delicate, and there are a number of different congenital as well as lifestyle factors that could cause disruptions in its regular function.
These disruptions can in turn affect overall circulation, restricting the proper flow of blood to the brain, resulting in migraines. In some instances, simple yoga postures can prove to be the best treatment for migraine. They help to strengthen the cardiovascular and circulatory systems in the body, restoring their regular balance, and provide tangible migraine relief.
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