Migraine is a recurrent pulsating headache that can last for 3 hours to days. It is often accompanied by light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. According to the American Migraine Foundation, there estimated number of Americans suffering from migraines is around 36 million; most of them are women.
The exact cause of migraines is still unknown, although studies suggest it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Migraines may also be induced by certain triggers, such as hunger, fatigue, stress, and intense/poor lighting. Some also claim that tyramine, a substance found in chocolates and cheeses, is a dietary trigger.
Stress is often followed by a headache. While you can’t completely avoid a headache, there are ways to keep it under control. Stress management is one of the best pain management.
Use time wisely
Create a daily, monthly, and yearly to-do list in your professional, personal, and social aspects. This way you are unlikely to miss out on important things. Delegate the tasks that others can do better. Break up larger tasks to avoid burn out.
Know your goals
Determine your priorities and focus your energy on achieving them rather than having too many goals.
Take a break
Information flow that exceeds 3 hours can be stressful. This is why movies do not usually run for more than 3 hours. Prevent headaches and renew your energy by taking a walk, stretching muscles, and practicing deep breathing.
Practice Smart Eating Habits
Eating habits have a huge influence on a person’s overall health.
Schedule your meals and strive to eat at the same time every day. This helps regulate the blood glucose level, and can even contribute to weight loss.
Don’t skip your meals
Your brain is deprived of macronutrients during fasting, which can lead to migraines.
Keep track of your consumption
Take note of what you eat and when the migraines attach. This can help you identify dietary triggers. Once identified, remove them from your diet and observe if the migraines come back.
Get nutrition counseling
You will be asked to take some laboratory tests to determine your individual nutritional needs. With the right nutrition plan, your migraines can be reduced.
Create a Calm Environment
Adjust your activities and environment at the moment you can feel the migraines coming.
Move to a darker room or turn off the lights.
Light sensitivity is believed to be increased by migraines.
Use temperature therapy.
East the pain by applying a hot or cold compress to your head and neck. Hot packs can relax the muscles and reduce tension, while cold packs can dull the pulsating pain. You may also take warm or cold showers.
Drink some caffeine.
Unless you’re sensitive to caffeine, drink some mildly caffeinated beverage to relieve migraines. This stimulant can also enhance the painkilling effects of aspirin, acetaminophen, and others. Keep your consumption minimal to avoid withdrawal headaches.
Get Quality Sleep
Migraines can prevent you from getting quality sleep and poor sleep can also cause migraines—it’s a vicious cycle!
Establish your bedtime
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Take naps, but them short. Naps that exceed 20 minutes may ruin your sleeping hours.
Put yourself in the right mood
Do relaxing activities before your bedtime. Take a warm bath, listen to pacifying sounds, or read a book.
Unwind at the end of the day
Anything that helps you relax can promote better sleep: listen to soothing music, soak in a warm bath, or read a favorite book.
Avoid heavy meals or eating caffeinated, sugary, or spicy foods at least 3 hours before going to bed. Also, do not perform heavy exercise, watch TV, or use the computer.
Make your bedroom as pacifying as possible. Put away your phone, computer, and paperwork.
Review your medications
If you’re taking certain medications and have problems falling asleep, speak with your doctor about it. Some medications contain substances that interfere with sleep.
Choose aerobic exercises because exertion can sometimes trigger migraines
Regular aerobic exercise promotes blood circulation to the brain and reduces tension. It also stimulates the release of hormones that are believed to be “natural painkillers”.
However, you must consult your doctor first to identify the most suitable physical activities for you.
When to Visit a Doctor
Watch out for pattern changes in your migraine attacks. You should go to the emergency room immediately if any following accompanies the headache:
- An abrupt, debilitating pain
- A headache with fever, weakness, stiff neck, double vision, seizures, and mental confusion
- A headache that happens after an accident that caused head or neck trauma
- A headache that worsens after a sudden movement, exertion, or coughing