6 Signs that a Migraine Is Coming (and What to Do About It)
When a migraine hits, it disrupts every aspect of your life. The debilitating pain makes it hard to get through the day, often leaving you in a dark room as you are waiting for the throbbing to pass.
Every patient is unique, making it hard for doctors to understand the exact cause of migraines. If you’ve visited multiple doctors and tried various treatments without results, it might be time to talk to a medical specialist. Instead of simply hiding the symptoms, our team takes a proactive approach to help you get to the root cause of your migraine issues.
Through this process, our goal is to alleviate your immediate pain and discomfort. At the same time, we look at the factors affecting your long-term health to help you avoid recurring issues in the future.
6 Warning Signs of a Migraine
One of the most effective things you can do is recognize the warning signs before a migraine happens. If you notice these small nuances in your health, you can be proactive about immediate treatment before the pain is too intense. This approach can help you manage the minor symptoms so you can avoid the severe issues that send you to bed.
These are some of the most common warning signs patients experience before a migraine starts:
- Visual Disturbances: Before the pain of a migraine hits, you might notice changes in your vision. Visual symptoms often include things such as an aura sensation, flashes of light, or blind spots. Most of the time, these visual changes happen 20 to 60 minutes before the migraine hits.
- Physical Symptoms: When an aura occurs, you might also notice other symptoms in the body. This sensation is often associated with a feeling of pins and needles in the arms or legs. You might also have slight numbness or weakness in the body.
- Light Sensitivity: Do you find that exposure to light is uncomfortable? When your eyes are sensitive to average lighting conditions, then it could be an early warning sign that a migraine is starting.
- Mood Changes: Some people notice slight or moderate changes in their mood. This warning sign can occur a day or two before the migraine hits.
- Neck Stiffness: When the muscles tighten up in the neck, it could indicate a headache that is coming on. Or, neck stiffness might be a contributing factor that increases the risk of a severe headache.
- Frequent Yawning: If you are yawning a lot but aren’t short on sleep, it could indicate an upcoming migraine.
Keep in mind that your symptoms might be different from other people. It’s crucial to observe your health patterns so you can identify the most common signs that are triggering severe migraines.
How to Stop a Migraine
Even if you are avoiding your triggers and proactively caring for your health, sometimes migraines are unavoidable. The best solution is to implement treatment options as quickly as possible, helping alleviate the discomfort before things worsen.
Try various treatment options, including medication and home remedies. Find the solutions that work best for your unique situation, so you are always prepared with effective strategies when you notice that a migraine is starting.
Here are a few tips to alleviate your migraine pain:
- Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription medicines can quickly ease the pain. Start with lower doses and over-the-counter medications before seeking help from a doctor for prescription drugs. Be careful only to use pain relievers when needed so you can avoid building up a tolerance level to the recommended doses.
- Rest: Find a dark, quiet place where you can lay down for a few minutes. Since migraines are often associated with light sensitivity, it’s best to stay in a dark place during your recovery. Close your eyes and relax – you’ll likely experience a reduction of pain within 20 – 30 minutes.
- Cold Compress: Try placing a cold compress on your forehead and the back of your neck. The temperature and sensation of the washcloth help by affecting the nerve endings that contribute to your headaches.
- Self-Massage: Reduce the tension in your head and neck by massaging your temples and neck. The goal is to help the muscles relax, which might reduce the pain you are experiencing. This natural remedy isn’t a good solution for some people because they experience extreme touch sensitivity along with the pain.
- Hydrate: Some people find that dehydration can trigger migraines. If you aren’t getting enough water, then try drinking a bit to restore the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Choose a sports drink or mineral-based beverage, especially if you’ve been spending time in the sun.
- Drink Caffeine: In small amounts, caffeine can sometimes be a solution to alleviate a migraine in the earliest stages. For example, some patients find that caffeine is beneficial for enhancing over-the-counter medication, such as aspirin and acetaminophen. Use caution with caffeine, though, because too much consumption can trigger headaches and withdrawal symptoms.
Proactive Approach to Managing Migraines and Headaches
Don’t wait until the early signs of a migraine hit. Instead, be proactive about caring for your health so you can avoid future headaches. A holistic approach is a great way to create the balance and wellness you need for optimal health. For example, maintaining good sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and healthy eating are all factors that can contribute to migraine management.
If you are experiencing migraines or headaches, then our team is here to help. We offer personalized solutions to alleviate your pain and help you enjoy a thriving lifestyle. You are invited to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled pain management doctors.
Contact our office to schedule a consultation with us at Texas Partners Healthcare Group. We get to the root cause of your chronic health conditions to help you feel better today and in the future.