Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on February 17, 2020
Cool It Down
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Put an ice pack on your forehead, scalp, or neck to get pain relief. Experts aren't sure exactly why it works, but reducing the flow of blood might be part of it. You can also try a frozen gel pack or a wash cloth that's been rinsed in cold water.
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You don't need a prescription to get painkillers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You can also buy migraine remedies that have a combination of pain relievers.
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It's an ingredient in coffee and some other foods and drinks, and it may give you some mild relief. It could also help your body absorb some migraine drugs faster. But go easy. You can get dependent on your caffeine jolt, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms like fatigue and more headaches.
A Dark, Quiet Room
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Bright light and loud noises can make your headache worse. So find a spot away from the action and pull down the shades when you've got a migraine. It can help speed up your recovery.
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Don't try it when you're in the middle of a migraine attack, because it can make you hurt more. But when you feel well, a regular workout can prevent headaches. It makes your body release endorphins, chemicals that fight pain. It also eases stress and helps you sleep better.
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You find this mineral in dark-green veggies, whole grains, and nuts. It won't help while you're having a migraine, but some studies show it could prevent one. You can also take it in pill form, but always check with your doctor before you take supplements.
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Get some regular shut-eye to help stave off migraines. Too little -- or too much -- can trigger headaches and lower your threshold for pain. Aim for 7 to 8 hours each night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
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Exercise that gets your heart pumping can prevent migraines, but it can also be a headache trigger for some people. This activity, though, with its slower movements, is a safe alternative. Research shows that regular yoga sessions cut the number of attacks you get and make them less intense when they do happen.
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It's also called riboflavin, and you can find it in milk, cheese, fish, and chicken. You can also take it as a pill. Studies show it may help you prevent migraines.
Manage Your Triggers
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Your migraines are sometimes set off by the food you eat or the conditions around you. Find out what brings on your pain and avoid it. Some common trouble spots on the menu are red wine, aged cheese, and cured meats. Bright lights, staying at a high altitude, and strong odors can also be issues.
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People have used this plant for years to treat pain. Does it work to prevent migraines? When researchers looked at all the evidence, they found that taking the extract reduced the number and intensity of headaches for some people.