According to The Migraine Action Association, migraines are the most common neurological condition in the developed world. Migraines are far more intense than everyday tension headaches. They are characterized by periodic, throbbing pain that starts on one side of the head. Migraines are often accompanied by nausea and blurred vision, and can last anywhere from several hours to several days. There is no cure for migraines, but there are several natural and cost-effective treatments that can help ease migraine symptoms.
Dehydration is a main cause of headaches, so it is essential to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated throughout the day can help boost energy and reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. Keeping a water bottle around will help remind you to drink more often.
Exercising regularly offers numerous health benefits, such as increased energy, improved mood, and reduced stress. Yoga, swimming, and cycling are all excellent low-impact work outs that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Herbal therapies are an alternative to medication that can be helpful in treating migraines. Valerian and skull cap are beneficial herbs that can help relieve headaches. Herbal treatments can be taken in capsule form or drank as a tea for migraine relief.
Excessive stress is primary cause of headaches, so it is important to manage it. Meditating, getting a massage, or listening to soothing music will help ease prevent migraines.
Getting some fresh air can be very helpful in easing migraines. If it is sunny outside, make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, as the bright light may intensify migraine symptoms.
Take a few minutes to lie down in a dark, quiet room to lessen migraine symptoms - bright lights and loud noises typically worsen symptoms. Try putting a damp cloth or ice pack on your forehead or the back of your neck to ease the pain.
Getting adequate amounts of sleep every night is essential to preventing migraines. The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Taking a warm bath or reading before bed can help you fall asleep. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, and turn off all screens.
Over the counter painkillers - like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin -can be useful in relieving migraine pain. If you are not experiencing any relief from these drugs, talk to a doctor about a stronger prescription. It is helpful to take the medication immediately when you feel any migraine symptoms coming on - that is, during the aura phase - as they take a while to start acting.
Migraines affect approximately 36 million Americans on a daily basis. Women are five times more likely to be affected by migraines than men. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and can be debilitating. These featured treatment methods can be useful when used in combination with each other. If migraines worsen or persist, it is recommended to visit a doctor.
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Migraines - Causes. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/migraine/pages/causes.aspx
- Office on Women's Health. (2012). Migraine fact sheet. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/migraine.html#n