At-Home Migraine Remedies
Migraines Are Often Very Painful and Debilitating
Migraines are one of the most common conditions Americans and millions around the world endure. Migraines affect 39 million people throughout the U.S. About one in four U.S. households have at least one person who experiences migraines. Unlike most other injuries, you cannot see what causes a migraine, nor can you view the condition in action. Only those suffering from them can understand the level of pain and discomfort they face. But they are real.
Many people state that their migraines have caused them to miss work and decrease everyday functionality when they experience an attack. Migraines differ from headaches, with the main difference being migraines are often intense and very painful. Those who deal with them regularly feel as though they have little to no options. However, that’s far from the truth. Countless at-home migraine remedies can help you treat and relieve your symptoms.
Our pain management doctors understand how excruciating migraine pain can be, which is why we have compiled a list of at-home migraine remedies you can use on your own. However, if these migraine remedies do not help, contact our Frisco pain management clinic at Texas Partners Healthcare Group. We have plenty of options to help relieve your chronic pain.
What is a Migraine?
People often get headaches and migraines confused. While they both involve pain felt in the head, there are some distinct differences between the two. Headaches are any form of dull aching pain or pressure you feel in your head. Usually, you will feel pain in your forehead, temples, and back of the head. These symptoms range from mild to severe. Some headaches last for a brief 30 minutes, while others last for almost a week.
Migraines are a type of primary headache disorder that leads to severe chronic pain, among other symptoms. While headaches are often mild, migraines produce symptoms that are intense and debilitating, affecting vision and your ability to complete tasks. Headaches are just one of many migraine symptoms. Other symptoms that headaches do not have include:
- Pain behind the eyes and ears
- Pain in the temples
- Loss of vision
- Light sensitivity
- Seeing spots
These symptoms often last for several hours and even several days. Before a migraine begins, onset signs appear:
- Mental fogginess
- Difficulty thinking
- Seeing flashing lights
- Tingling sensation in the face and hands
Typically, a migraine only affects one side of the head, but it can cause pain on both sides.
At-Home Migraine Remedies
Fortunately, you have plenty of options to relieve your migraine pain. In many cases, you can find pain relief all from the comfort of your home. You do not have to live in chronic pain forever. We have compiled a list of useful at-home migraine remedies you can do on your own.
Use an Ice Pack
Ice packs have proven to be an efficient tool to reduce chronic pain. The numbing effects of the cold help dull the sensation of pain felt in your head. Many experts do not entirely understand why the cold reduces migraine pain, although they hypothesize that reducing the blood flow may play a part. If you do not have an ice pack, you can wrap ice cubes in a towel, use frozen foods, or take a cold shower. Each will have similar effects.
Turn Off the Lights
Migraines often lead to intense light sensitivity. Sitting in brightly lit rooms can make your migraine pain worse. Bright flickering lights and even the light from your computer screen or phone can cause migraines. Loud noises can also increase your pain, so shut off all sound. Once this pain has started, find a dark, quiet spot in your house to ease the pain. Consider taking a nap to help. Simply put, avoid bright lights and loud noises whenever a migraine has begun.
While people know caffeine withdrawals can cause headaches, caffeine in small doses can lead to reduced symptoms of migraine pain. If you recognize the onset symptoms of a migraine, find some caffeine to drink. Doing so will minimize the pain you feel. Additionally, caffeine can also improve the effects of over-the-counter medication, speeding up and boosting their effectiveness. Whether hot tea, green tea, coffee, or an energy drink, caffeine can help reduce your migraine pain.
Ginger has proven to be an effective option to treat nausea, which is a common symptom of migraines. However, it may also have other migraine benefits. Recent research has shown that ginger powder can decrease the severity and duration of migraines with fewer side effects than prescription medication. You can try ginger as a supplement or try it in some tea.
Take Herbal Supplements
There are several herbal supplements that may prove useful in reducing the severity of your chronic pain and the frequency of your migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, the optimal dose of 150mg of butterbur was effective at reducing the severity and frequency of migraines after taking the herb over three months. Feverfew has been used for years to treat migraines, but the American Migraine Foundation states it is less effective than butterbur. In severe cases, there are some risks to these herbs, so speak with a doctor before using them.
Over the years, essential oils have grown in popularity. Whether to help with allergies or improve sleep, essential oils have found their way into many homes. Many of them can help reduce your migraine pain. A 2012 study found that people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine for about 15 minutes experienced faster relief than those using a placebo. You can either directly inhale lavender oil or apply it diluted on your temples.
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that can help treat your migraines. According to a 2010 study, the menthol in peppermint oil can stop the onset of a migraine. You can apply the oil to your forehead and temples, which reduces symptoms of pain, nausea, and light sensitivity.
Improve Your Diet
There are many things you can add to your diet that can reduce the frequency in which migraines occur. Magnesium deficiency is often linked to headaches and migraines. You can use a magnesium oxide supplement to prevent migraines with aura. You can add more magnesium to your diet by eating:
- Sesame seeds
- Dark leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
Vitamin B12 can also reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. B vitamins boost the regulation of neurotransmitters in your brain. Your body quickly excretes B vitamins, so it is highly unlikely that you consume too much. Milk, cheese, fish, and chicken are all rich sources of vitamin B12. While these foods will not directly help your migraines in the moment, they can help prevent them in the future.
Whether you practice yoga, meditation, or muscle relaxation, learning how to relax your body in the middle of a migraine can ease your pain. Practicing mindfulness can allow you to feel your body more, calming the stressors throughout it. You can also massage yourself. Take a few minutes to massage the back of your neck and your temples to ease pain and reduce stress.
The pain management doctors at Texas Partners Healthcare Group understand how debilitating migraine pain can be. It can prevent you from completing everyday tasks and makes you uncomfortable in your own home. There are many at-home migraine remedies you can try to help ease and manage your pain. However, if these at-home migraine remedies prove inefficient, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn how our pain management clinic can help you find pain relief.