Migraines are tough, but you can learn ways to help manage them. From medications, to alternative treatments, to new methods to ease stress and relax, try these tips to keep the pain at bay.
Follow your migraine treatment plan. Don’t take medications your doctor didn’t order.
Relieve emotional stress. Take time to unwind and step away from stressful situations. Learn skills that can calm you, like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
Lower physical stress. Proper rest and sleep will help you relax and face a new day. If you sit for long amounts of time, get up and stretch often. Relax your jaw, neck, and shoulders.
Exercise regularly. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
Keep a routine. Eat meals and snacks at about the same times during the day. Go to bed and wake up at the same times.
Quit smoking. It can bring on migraines and make any headache, especially cluster headaches, worse. Ask your doctor how to stop.
Know your triggers. Keep a diary to learn what sets off your headaches. Avoid these things when possible.
Practice prevention. If you get headaches around you menstrual period, take preventive medication when your time of the month is near. Your doctor may also prescribe it if your headaches are frequent or severe.
There are also organizations and support groups that may be able to help.
About 1 out of 8 Americans has migraines. They usually begin during the teenage years. After puberty, migraines are more likely to affect girls and women.
Experts still aren't sure what causes these headaches. But they seem to involve a wave of unusual activity in brain nerve cells, along with changes in blood flow in the brain.
Though migraines can trigger severe pain in the head, they aren't simply headaches. They often also cause other uncomfortable symptoms, such as: