By and large, 35 million Americans suffer from migraines — severe throbbing, pulsing headaches usually followed by nausea, vomiting, irritation to light and sound that can persist from four hours to several days. Migraines can be severely debilitating and are considered one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
Knowing and avoiding your triggers and following a basic lifestyle routine (going to sleep at the same time every night, staying hydrated, getting regular physical activity, and eating on time) can help prevent migraines. It’s also important to be aware of your warning signs during the preliminary phase of migraine. These may include fatigue, food cravings, struggle concentrating or reading, and sensitivity to lights.
However, once you’re hit with a migraine, you can take medication to ease the pain, and apart from taking medicines, you may need to give some home remedies a try.
Tips to Relieve Migraine Pain:
Rest in a quiet, darkroom.
Countless people with migraines complain of sensitivity to light and sound, also known as photophobia. It is advisable to make your room dark and quiet to be able to sleep better. Although every headache experience is different, and some may not respond to sleep, the chemicals released in your brain during sleep may help ease the pain. If you’re receptive to sounds, blocking them out can help.
Use a hot or cold compress
As per the National Headache Foundation, often, migraine sufferers get comfort from applying ice and heat packs. Lay the compress over your forehead or the back of your neck. Ice can produce a numbing effect. It detracts the brain from migraine pain. By using a compress, you’re stimulating other nerve endings where you are placing the compress. A hot compress can relax tense muscles. A warm bath or shower may help as well.
Smell some lavender
Breathing the aroma of lavender can significantly reduce the pain and help you relax. Try sipping on some lavender tea or adding lavender essential oil in your bath or inhale it for quick relief. Just add 2 drops of oil to 2 cups of hot water. Then, inhale the vapors. You can also try to massage a few drops into the skin. A study published in European Neurology assessed the effectiveness of lavender essential oil in individuals going through a migraine. In the trial, those who inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes stated a more significant reduction of headache severity than those who did not.
Get Some Caffeine
Have some coffee, tea, or something that has a little caffeine in it. If you get it shortly enough after the pain starts, it could relieve your headache pain. It can also cause over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen to work better. Avoid drinking too much because caffeine withdrawal can cause its own type of headache.
Learning how to calm yourself when you’re in the middle of a headache can help with the pain. Try stretching, yoga, meditation, muscle, and relaxation techniques. You can speak to your doctor regarding physical therapy if you have muscle spasms in your neck.
Chewing gum can hurt not only your jaw but also your head. The same is true for biting your fingernails, lips, the inside of your cheeks, or handy objects like pencils. Dodge crunchy and sticky foods, and make sure you take small bites every time you eat. If you have the habit of grinding your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. This may be effective in curbing your early-morning headaches.
Ease Pressure on Your Scalp or Head
A ponytail that is too tight could potentially cause a headache. Such headaches are referred to as external compression headaches and can also be brought on by wearing a cap, headband, or even swimming goggles that are too tight.
Keep yourself hydrated
Lack of hydration can easily trigger migraines and headaches, and it only takes minor dehydration to bring on a headache.
You should always make sure to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Severe dehydration may be treated with an oral rehydration solution to replace missing electrolytes.
Drinking water throughout the day and maintaining a nutritious diet usually is enough to stay amply hydrated.
Lack of sleep and excess sleep can increase the chances of migraine headaches.
Getting 7–9 hours of routine sleep every night can help to decrease stress and prevent migraines.
Acupressure is a process of applying pressure with the fingers and hands to particular points on the body to ease pain and other symptoms. Acupressure is a reliable alternative treatment for somebody in distress from chronic headaches and other conditions. Acupressure may also help relieve migraine-associated nausea.
Add magnesium to your diet.
Headaches and migraines are often linked with magnesium deficiency. Studies indicate that magnesium oxide supplementation can prevent migraines. It may also prevent migraines that are menstrual-related.
You can eat foods that contain magnesium, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and oatmeal.
Talk to your doctor about migraine medication.
There are many FDA-approved migraine medicines you can buy over-the-counter at the drugstore, including Excedrin Migraine (including acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine) and Advil Migraine (which contains the NSAID ibuprofen). If those don’t do the trick, talk to a doctor as soon as you feel your migraine coming on.