How Are Migraines Treated
Migraines that are severe, frequent or accompanied by neurological symptoms are best treated preventively, usually with a combination of dietary modification, lifestyle changes, vitamins and daily prescription medications. Most of our best preventive medications are often used for other medical purposes as well the majority are blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or epilepsy medications. Individual headache attacks are best treated early, often with one or more of the following types of medications: triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , anti-emetics , and sometimes narcotics or steroids.
Migraines typically last a few hours to a couple of days and respond well to specific treatments. However, in some patients, the migraine is particularly severe and long-lasting and may even become chronic, occurring continuously for weeks, months or even years. If improperly managed or left untreated, intermittent migraines may essentially transform into a chronic daily headache, with continuous and smoldering symptoms that periodically erupt into a “full-blown” migraine. This condition is extremely difficult to treat.
At the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical center, we have expert physical therapists, nutritionists and psychologists who work closely with our neurologists to help manage patients with frequent migraines. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques are available to complement our standard medical treatments.
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.
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,
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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Use A Book As A Pillow
To ease a tension headache originating in the suboccipitals small muscles connecting the neck and the back of the head lie on your back with your head on a book or telephone directory, like a pillow, advises osteopath Christian Bates, of the Perrymount Natural Health Clinic .
He says: Adjust the edge of the book so it lays on the knobbly part on the back of your head. Now tuck your chin down towards your chest. This can lengthen and stretch these small tight muscles and bring headache relief.
Establish A Calm Environment As Soon As Your Migraine Starts
Most migraine sufferers have identifiable triggers. These are the earliest signs of an impending attack and are the top things to avoid when you’re establishing your initial treatment plan. Triggers vary from one person to the next, but they can include anything from stress and dehydration to changes in barometric pressure to an irregular sleep schedule or too much caffeine .
It’s best to take steps to avoid these whenever you can, but if your migraine has already been triggered, you’ll need to take care of yourself until the attack has passed. The first thing you can do to rid yourself of the migraine is to establish a calm environment. Turn off the lights in your bedroom, draw the curtains, and try to relax or sleep if you can, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Dab some peppermint oil on your temples and forehead, and silence any loud notifications from your phone to ensure you’re not disturbed while you’re resting.
Some people have a sensitivity to sounds, and in these instances, it’s best to avoid music when creating a calm environment. If you can tolerate sounds during your migraine, play calming music or ambient noises on a low volume while you’re laying down.
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Limit Or Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is one of the most commonly reported migraine triggers.
One study found that alcohol was reported to trigger migraines in 34% of participants. Red wine was reported to trigger migraines in 19.5% of participants, but white wine was only reported in 10.5%.
Red wine appears to have a greater effect on women Twenty-two percent of women in the study reported red wine as a trigger compared to only eight percent of men.
How Does Alcohol Cause Headaches and Migraines?
- Alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels and increases blood flow. One study found that vasodilators such as blood pressure medications can cause headache symptoms .
- Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the production of urine. This extra loss of fluids and electrolytes causes dehydration, which can cause or progress headaches .
How Prevalent Are Migraines
Migraines are about three times more common in women than men, and may affect more than 12 percent of the U.S. adult population. Migraines often run in families, and can start as early as elementary school but most often in early adulthood. They often fade away later in life, but can strike at any time. The most common cause of recurring, disabling headache pain, migraines are also the most common underlying cause of disabling chronic, daily headache pain. While migraines are the No. 1 reason that patients see a neurologist, most cases are handled by primary care physicians.
Things that can make the headaches more likely to occur include:
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Watch For Weather Changes
Weather changes can cause migraines in different people.
One study found that weather affects headaches in 50.6% of participants . Of 77 participants, 33.7% were sensitive to temperature and humidity, 14.3% to changing weather patterns, and 12.9% were sensitive to barometric pressure.
Another study of 100 people found significant weather sensitivity in small subgroups . But there wasnt a significant association in the entire 100 participants. The researchers argued that weather cannot be used to predict migraine attacks in the general population of people with migraines.
Keep track of weather changes and your migraine attacks to find your weather sensitivity. If you find that certain weather can trigger your migraines, avoid stressful activities that day. For example, save your intense workout or workload for another day.
How To Get Rid Of Migraines
As of now, there is no cure for migraines.
“There is no specific cure for migraine, but the condition can be managed with taking the right medications and having a healthy lifestyle just as in other chronic conditions,” says Ahmed.
Here are a few ways to treat them:
1) Take riboflavin or magnesium supplements. “Some supplements including vitamin B-2 and magnesium have been shown to be beneficial in preventing migraine,” says Ahmed. A 2018 review published in the journal Headache foundthat those who took 600mg of magnesium reduced the occurrence of migraines. And taking 400 mg of riboflavin has been shown to by about 2 per month.
2) Keep stress to a minimum. Stress can be a significant trigger. “Stress releases many chemicals in the brain that can either trigger migraine or make migraine worse. During stressful times, chemicals including epinephrine and cortisol are released into the blood. And as stress from the work week subsides and the chemicals decline, people may experience a weekend headache sometimes referred to as a ‘let-down migraine’, says Ahmed.
3) Get a prescription for medications. Migraine medications are divided into two different categories: abortive and preventative, says Jay.
You can also try the latest treatment approved in May 2018 by the FDA. Erenumab blocks a molecule called calcitonin gene related peptide , which is elevated in patients who have migraines and is self-injected once a month.
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Drink The Right Amount Of Water
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches and migraines .
In one small study, 40% of respondents reported that insufficient fluid intake possibly caused their migraine attacks .
In another study, researchers reasoned that headache pain comes from the meninges and that dehydration could prolong migraine attacks and lead to impaired concentration and irritability .
For example, one study found that even mild dehydration may change how people think and feel . Dehydration can make your migraine symptoms feel worse than usual.
Drinking more water for migraines is a low-risk, low-cost remedy. It can relieve headache symptoms in most dehydrated migraine sufferers within 30 minutes to 3 hours .
To stay hydrated, drink at least one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. Also, eat plenty of liquid-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Drink water consistently throughout the day. If you have a migraine, sip water slowly to avoid an upset stomach. Or, suck on ice chips.
Also, avoid foods or beverages high in sodium or caffeine as well as alcohol.
What To Do When You Have A Headache That Won’t Go Away And How To Tell If It’s A Migraine
When one of her bad migraines hits, Jacqueline G. can’t do anything but lie down in a dark room and wait for the waves of pain to recede. “It’s completely debilitating,” says the 73-yearold, who has been plagued by severe migraines since her 20s. “The nausea comes on right away, and then I can’t keep anything downeven crackers or ice. And it can last from early morning to 12 at night.”
Migraines are a particularly disabling form of headache because they launch a four-tiered attack:
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- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
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Find Your Migraine Pressure Points
Acupressure is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that energy flows through meridians in your body. Physical pressure is applied to acupressure points to clear blocked energy flow in these meridians.
Besides the anecdotal evidence that acupressure helps with migraines, there is conflicting scientific evidence. Nevertheless, some studies show that acupressure can help reduce migraine-associated nausea .
Watch this short video below to find your migraine pressure points. Start with light pressure and avoid areas with open cuts, redness, or swelling .
How To Get Rid Of A Period Headache
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Tip #4 Use Ice Or Heat
An ice pack may help relieve some pain, especially when used while lying down in a dark, quiet room. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on your forehead or neck for no longer than about 15 minutes at a time. A cool cloth also works instead of ice.
Alternatively, you may find that a heating pad or warm bath works better for relieving your discomfort. Be careful not to fall asleep while using a heating pad.
Migrastil Migraine Stick Roll
Another roll-on option, the Migrastil Migraine Stick boasts over 550 5-star reviews on Amazon, giving an indication of how happy customers are with the product. It sports a mix of lavender, spearmint and peppermint therapeutic-grade oils, which work together to provide relief from tension and migraines. When migraine pain first appears, the handy roll-on can be applied to your temples, forehead or the back of your neck to help prevent further distress. The carry-friendly size also makes it perfect for keeping in your wallet, pocket or purse for whenever you need it.
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More Menstrual Migraine Prevention Tips
A few other things you can try at home to prevent menstrual migraines:
- Exercise every day. Moderate exercise, like a walk, bike ride, or swim, could help you have fewer migraine headaches and make them less intense. Be careful not to work out too hard, though. Sometimes strenuous exercise can trigger migraines.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. A lack of rest can set off migraine attacks.
- Relax. Stress leads to migraine for many people. Try techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation to take the pressure off.
- Watch what you eat. Avoid foods that trigger your headaches. Some foods that are common migraine triggers include: chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, processed meat, and cheeses.
- Graze throughout the day. Hunger can give you headaches. Eat several small meals and snacks instead of three big ones.
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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Migraine Causes And Triggers
Experts believe that migraines are a genetic disorder, but migraines can be caused by the following:
- Stress and Anxiety
Who Is at Risk of Migraine?
As you can see in the data above, women have at least twice the risk of a migraine. You are also at greater risk if you have a family history of migraines or you have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, or epilepsy .
Health From The Sun Migrasoothe Roll
By applying this MigraSoothe Roll-On to your pressure points, youll enjoy a calming effect upon your mind, body, spirit and those pesky migraines, too. The refreshing and relaxing experience is a result of the included peppermint and lavender oils. Together these oils promote head and neck comfort and provide pleasant aromas. This roll on is also a handy size for keeping it on you at all times, so MigraSoothe makes an easy, soothing treatment whenever a migraine occurs.
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How To Prevent Migraines
The best way to manage migraines is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some important ways to do it:
- Keep track of what triggers your migraines so you can avoid those things in the future.
- Get regular sleep, 7 9 hours each night.
- Eat a consistent, healthy diet.
- Get regular exercise, but avoid sudden and intense exertion.
- Avoid stress as much as you can, and use stress-management techniques when you need to.
- Practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Follow your doctor-prescribed medication regimen.
- Consider holistic treatments like acupuncture or biofeedback.
Cut The Caffeine Amount
Caffeine not only causes sleep deprivation like insomnia, but it also causes a headache if it is taken in large amounts. Though it is an irony that caffeine provides pain relief as long as it is consumed in a small amount, but as soon as you will increase the dose it is going to provide you more pain. Hence, it is really very important to consume it in a limit. Dont increase the limit as it harmful for the health.
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How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Naturally
Have you ever had a migraine headache? If you have, you know how painful one can be, and if you havent, 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 . 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.
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 dont need to become just a normal part of life. And even if youve had headaches for years, its not too late to change things.