Your Best Tips for Migraine Management
We all know there is no “one size treats all” approach to migraine management, but sharing personal tips and tricks can often be helpful. At Migraine.com, we’re typically in the position of offering opinions from our incredible team of patient advocates and physician experts. Recently we decided to see what advice YOU – our community – had to share. So we asked our Facebook followers, “What's the best ‘migraine advice’ you've ever received?”
While the number one comment was “decapitation” (something we would not recommend!), we did receive an incredible number of helpful suggestions that we want to share.
Various treatments for migraine relief
Many community members found relief with specific medications ranging from preventative treatments, prescription abortives to over the counter pain medications. Others noted that getting off medications – either because of medication overuse headache or hormonal problems (specifically with birth control) - helped their migraines.
A variety of complementary/alternative or natural remedies were mentioned including chiropractic treatment, melatonin for sleep, peppermint oil, massage, acupuncture, magnesium, vitamin B2, lavender oil, apple cider vinegar, and Vicks rub…just to name a few. Although several comments cited caffeine as a great way to treat an attack, an equal number suggested removing caffeine from the diet altogether.
Community's best migraine advice
So what’s the best “migraine advice” you’ve ever received? Take a look at the list from our community below and share your own advice in the comments:
- Wishing it isn’t [a migraine] isn’t going to change that you are having a migraine – Take your medication NOW
- Take something the minute you feel a migraine starting – Treat early!
- Take an anti-nausea medication along with your migraine medication
- Don’t wait until the bright sunlight starts to bother you
- Try tinted sunglasses for fluorescent lighting
Get enough rest during an attack
Know your triggers
- Tracking, tracking, tracking. Knowing your triggers is so important
Get the right treatment
- Consult a true migraine specialist
- It’s a serious medical issue, get serious medical treatment
- If a doctor makes light of your suffering, get another doctor
Stick to a schedule and practice good sleep hygiene
- Eating and sleeping regularly
- Don’t watch a lot of TV before going to bed
- Take your migraine preventives at the same time every day
Find the right support system and be supportive of others
- Read the journey of other people so I don’t feel so alone
- If the people around you won’t support you, surround yourself with those who will
- Stay away from people who make your blood pressure rise
- As a parent: love your kid through it
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t let others bother you
- Don’t worry about what other people think when I need to just take care of myself
- Learning not to buy into the stigma society puts on us. We are not lazy. We are sick.
Avoid strong smells
- Let people know if something scented they consistently wear is one of my migraine triggers
- Clean with natural products (no scented anything)!
Practice relaxation techniques
- Imagine the pain as a big button. Then with each breath out, try to get the button to go down a little. If it goes back up, do not panic. Just keep trying.
- Take 15 minutes a day to meditate and let go of all the stress
- Reminding myself it’s temporary allows me to rest
- Breathe through the pain and recall a pleasant memory
- [Listen to] low soothing music to relax
Check for other underlying conditions
- Once I treated my anxiety my migraine frequency decreased
- I found out I had Chiari Malformation… my migraines are almost nothing now.
- [Allergy testing] showed issues with food I didn’t know I had
Evaluate your diet
- Consider avoiding common migraine triggers – gluten, MSG, aspartame, tyramine
- Paying attention to how the things I eat make me feel
- Go gluten free and don't eat refined sugar…I've changed my diet and my migraines have been reduced by about 40%
- Eat clean
Heat or cold therapy
- Take a hot bath/shower (“hot bath followed by cool air”)
- My PCP once told me to heat my feet and freeze my head….I couldn’t help but laugh, but sometimes it works
- Brush my teeth in cold water
- Ice cream headache!
Take care of yourself
- Walk daily (at least 30 minutes)
- Stay hydrated
- Quit smoking
- Enjoy the good days while you don’t have a migraine!
- “The Migraine Brain”…AWESOME book! I cannot recommend it enough!
- Listen to your body – learn your signs, warnings, and symptoms. Act quickly and aggressively. JOURNAL.
As always, talk to your doctor before trying any new treatments or migraine preventive methods. Please share your "migraine advice" in the comments!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?