Tips to Manage Your Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are tough, but you can learn ways to 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 stretches of time, get up and move around 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 on a set schedule.
  • Quit smoking. It can bring on migraine headaches 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 your menstrual period, take preventive medication when your time of the month is near. Your doctor may also prescribe it if your headaches happen often or are severe.

You can also reach out to organizations and support groups that may be able to help. Other people with migraine headaches can offer other tips on how to deal with your symptoms. See if you can find some that meet in your area or online.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephen D. Silberstein, MD on August 09, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Mount Sinai Hospital. “Managing Your Migraines.”

American Family Physician. “Migraine Headaches: How to Deal With the Pain.”

Mayo Clinic. “Migraines: Simple steps to head off the pain.”

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