Community Views: 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 health leaders – both people with migraine and their healthcare providers.

Recently we decided to see what advice you – our community – had to share. So we asked our Facebook community: “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, such as preventive treatments, prescription abortives, and 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 migraine attacks.

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:

Treat early

  • 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 antinausea medication along with your migraine medication.

Wear sunglasses

  • Don’t wait until the bright sunlight starts to bother you.
  • Try tinted sunglasses for fluorescent lighting.

Get enough rest during an attack

  • Sleep, sleep, sleep and don’t get up until it’s gone.
  • Stop trying to persevere through it. If it doesn’t respond quickly, sleep through it.
  • Rest in a dark room.

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

  • Eat and sleep 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

  • I 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

  • I don’t worry about what other people think when I need to just take care of myself.
  • Learn not to buy into the stigma society puts on us. We are not lazy. We are sick.

Avoid strong smells

  • I 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.
  • I pay 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 percent.

Heat or cold therapy

  • Take a hot bath/shower (“hot bath followed by cool air”).
  • My doctor once told me to heat my feet and freeze my head….I couldn’t help but laugh, but sometimes it works.
  • I brush my teeth in cold water.

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!

Educate yourself

  • The Migraine Brainawesome 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!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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