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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Tips to Help Manage Migraines

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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.

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Ocular Migraine Prevention

The first step to preventing migraines is to avoid triggers. These often include: Stress Smoking High blood pressure Hormonal birth control pills Exercise Bending over High altitude Dehydration Low blood sugar Excessive heat Although dietary triggers – such as caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners -- can cause other types of migraines; they seem less likely to trigger ocular migraines. Medications can...

Read the Ocular Migraine Prevention article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 19, 2014
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