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.
There's no relief like stopping a migraine before it happens. Several drugs can help prevent pain. Among your options:
Beta-blockers. These relax your blood vessels. You can try as propranolol (Inderal) and metoprolol (Toprol).
Calcium channel blockers. These include dilatizem (Cardizem) and verapamil. They reduce the narrowing of your blood vessels.
Tricyclic antidepressants. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor).