Migraine headaches are a very common occurrence in some 28 million people in the US alone. When they first start appearing, the sufferer might not be able to tell the difference between migraines and headaches. But a migraine headache is a throbbing or pulsating headache which is often one sided – it can begin in a specific area on one side of the head, then spread and build up in intensity over the next couple of hours. It may well be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound. Hands and feet may feel cold or sweaty. Migraine headaches can be a very debilitating condition.
Migraine Headache Solutions
Studies carried out on those seeking migraine headache treatment have suggested that there may be a "migraine personality" as many migraine sufferers have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Highly strung
These characteristics may in turn help the sufferer to understand why migraine triggers causes the onset of migraine headaches. While there is no cure for migraine headaches, there are many ways in which the condition can be managed and these include controlling some of the triggers listed below:
- Fluorescent lighting or computer screen glare.
- Smells - especially fragrances and perfumes worn by others.
- Smokers – such as having to be in close proximity to smokers;
- Noise – such as when working and concentrating in an area where there is loud and repetitive sound.
- Disruption to sleep patterns or lack of sleep.
- Certain foods.
- Medications – both over the counter and prescription.
- The weather.
- Air pressure.
- Menstrual cycles or hormonal changes.
If you are suffering from migraines, it may well be that you need to make a significant change in your lifestyle. Here are some of the changes that could make all the difference:
- Identify the triggers for your migraines and avoid these triggers.
- Establish regular sleeping hours and ensure you get enough sleep even when on holiday or over weekends.
- Try to sleep in a quiet and dark room.
- Take regular exercise and if necessary, exercise under the supervision of a trainer.
- Learn and follow stress management techniques.
- Learn and follow a relaxation routine.
- Try to avoid taking tea, coffee or cola drinks before going to sleep.
- Avoid heavy meals as well as food that triggers migraines before going to sleep
- If you are a diabetic, in addition to being a migraine sufferer, then eat small amounts of food frequently.
If you are diagnosed with migraine, your doctor will inform you of the different migraine pain relief medications which can be prescribed, together with any possible side effects. He will monitor symptoms like nausea and vomiting. There are two types of medicine used for treating migraines – namely prophylactic medication (taken every day to reduce the severity and frequency) while the other is abortive medication (only taken if a migraine begins).
Some complementary treatments for migraine symptoms include:
- Botox has been used with success for reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
- Acupuncture has offered relief and a better quality of life to some sufferers.
- Chiropractic massage, spinal manipulation and periodic adjustment of joints and soft tissue has had some positive results.
- Natural homeopathic products which are topically applied to the forehead, neck and temples can be extremely effective in treating the symptoms of migraine headaches.