11 Migraine Remedies to Manage Symptoms and Relieve Pain

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People who suffer from chronic migraine are all too familiar with the intense pain that can make them want to shut themselves inside a dark room. Migraines can be triggered by factors such as changes in barometric pressure or weather, emotional stressors like anxiety or depression, dehydration, and certain foods.

What to do if You Experience a Migraine?

Firstly, lifestyle or behavioral changes can be beneficial. Reducing screen time, increasing physical activity, avoiding dietary triggers, and getting enough sleep can relieve migraines. However, managing stress is equally important, so consider dimming the lights or applying a cold washcloth to your forehead if the pain becomes unbearable.

However, what works for one person might not work for you. To make suitable adjustments, it’s best to examine your individual lifestyle and the frequency of your migraines.

According to specialists in this field, some effective migraine remedies that may help you get back to a normal way of living without or with fewer migraines include:

1. Cold Compress Your Forehead

When your head is throbbing, consider applying a cold compress, such as an ice pack or a cold washcloth, to your forehead or the area of pain. Ice can alleviate throbbing discomfort. Alternatively, some people find that heat is more effective in relaxing muscles that may be causing pain during a migraine. During a migraine attack, you can use either technique, but do not carry on applying a cold compress or heating pad for longer than 15 minutes.

2. Avoid Using Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Using OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin too frequently can increase the frequency of migraines. Limit the use of these pain relievers to no more than two days a week to avoid rebound or medication overuse headaches, which can turn episodic migraines into chronic migraines.

3. Keep the Lights Dim

Bright lights, as well as loud noises, can provoke a migraine. It can be beneficial to go inside a dark, quiet room. Installing blackout curtains in your home can also help. If you’re sensitive to light (a condition known as photophobia), even looking at your phone or computer screen can trigger a migraine. Using anti-glare screens can provide relief.

4. Be Mindful of What You Drink

Water is essential, and drinking it throughout the day is recommended. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine suggest:

  • 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for men.
  • 91 ounces (2.7 liters) for women.

Be cautious with beverages like coffee, soda, and alcohol, and find out what quantities suit you. Beer and wine, especially red wine, can trigger migraines for some. Excessive caffeine consumption can also trigger a migraine, but typically, up to one cup of coffee (100-150 milligrams of caffeine) per day is tolerated.

5. Pay Attention to Dietary Triggers to Avoid

What you consume can affect your migraines. Avoid common trigger foods such as:

  • Processed foods
  • Greasy, fried foods
  • Aged cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Fermented or pickled foods.
  • Artificial sweeteners.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in “Chinese food.”
  • Sulfites in salad bars, red wine, and dried fruit.
  • Nitrates in deli meats.

Your doctor might even suggest an ‘elimination diet’ to identify any delayed food sensitivities, including gluten.

6. Eat Small Portions Frequently

If you’re searching for natural remedies for migraines, a good starting point is your diet. Eating small, frequent meals helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, aiding in migraine control. Try following a mainly Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, beans, fruits, lean proteins like free-range chicken and turkey, and healthy fats such as wild salmon, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

7. Get Enough Good Quality Sleep

Struggling to get quality sleep each night? According to research, sleep disorders like insomnia, teeth grinding, and restless legs syndrome can impact the quality and quantity of your sleep, leading to more frequent migraines.

Aim for the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Consider reducing screen time before bed and establishing a routine, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.

8. Manage and Reduce Stress

While stress is a natural part of life, making lifestyle changes to manage stress can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. It is recommended that you learn meditation techniques, such as mindfulness and mantra meditation. Diaphragmatic breathing and the 4-7-8 breath technique are also effective in minimizing stress on the body.

You can also consider massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, and biofeedback, which can also provide migraine relief. If you choose these methods, consult a trained integrative functional medicine physician who can personalize a therapy plan based on your health history and physical examination. For optimal results, choose a provider experienced in identifying the root causes of migraines. 

Functional integrative medicine examines each patient’s underlying causes and personalizes their treatment. Although there may be a genetic predisposition for migraines, addressing each person’s unique external triggers can improve the severity and frequency of their headaches.

9. Exercise Regularly

Although it’s not recommended to exercise during a migraine, regular physical activity can help reduce migraine symptoms. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that help combat pain. Whether you choose walking, yoga, or swimming, any form of exercise can be beneficial.

10. Take Only Prescription Medications

For severe migraines, you may need rescue medications that halt a migraine after it has started or preventive medications that keep migraines at bay. Prescription options include triptans, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, calcitonin gene-related (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs. Treatment options can range from daily oral preventive medication to monthly migraine injections. Botulinum toxin and neuromodulation are some effective options as well. 

11. Eat Enough 

Consult your doctor about potential nutritional deficiencies. There is a connection between cellular mitochondrial energy production and migraines. Supplements like CoQ-10, vitamin B2, and magnesium are helpful in migraine prevention and treatment. If you’re taking supplements, discuss them with your doctor.

Among minerals, magnesium can also help reduce migraine auras, which are sensory, motor, and speech symptoms that often serve as warning signs of an impending migraine. Taking magnesium during an aura can protect against it.

Herbal remedies like butterbur and feverfew may also aid in migraine management. Butterbur is effective for seasonal allergies, and feverfew—an herb that prevents blood vessel dilation—can help reduce migraines.

The first step to effectively treating migraines is to discuss them with your doctor. Discuss the frequency and severity of your migraines with your primary care provider. If there are concerns about secondary causes, you may need to see a headache specialist or a neurologist to determine the next steps. Once you find the right treatment, stick with it, as relief should follow. If you adhere to a proper treatment regimen, you could see a change in headache frequency within a few months.

Infusion Therapy for Migraines

Infusion therapy has also been found to be beneficial in migraine management. If you are looking for a good IV clinic in Bengaluru for specialized migraine management then Ensocure Integrated Medicine can help you. Talk to us about your migraine problems and our neurologist will find a solution.

www.ensocure.com-iv infusion therapy for migrsine

There are many new migraine treatments available. Whether you’re looking for home remedies for migraines or working with your doctor to find the proper medication, these remedies can effectively alleviate your migraine symptoms.