By Elizabeth Dubos
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these tips have not been scientifically proved/disproved. I have been experiencing migraines for eight years, due to severe head/brain trauma, and these are my own thoughts and tips for what worked for me.
Do you or someone you know suffer from migraines? Did you know there is a difference between a headache and migraine? It’s important to know the differences because it effects how you treat it and how you treat someone suffering with either one. Headaches cause discomforting pressure and aching in your head. The main triggers for headaches include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety. Headaches occur in your forehead, temples, and back of the neck. They can last 30 minutes or up to a week. A migraine headache is accompanied with nausea, pain behind one ear or eye, sensitivity to light and sound, temporary vision loss, seeing spots or flashing lights, and vomiting. Migraines cause severe throbbing head pain and make daily life tasks impossible. Here is a list of tips and suggestions to help prevent, nurse or relieve a migraine.
1. Hydrate. You can easily become dehydrated during a migraine due to vomiting. Try to drink at least 64 oz. of water because it will help replenish your body’s water and electrolytes. If you have trouble drinking water, add a lemon or cucumber slice to enhance the flavor. If you don’t want to make multiple trips to get water, try to obtain a large water bottle that can fill 40+ oz. of water, so you can leave it on your nightstand.
2. Ice towel. Pick out a medium sized bathroom towel, soak it in water, and put in the freezer. When it’s ice cold, wrap your head inside the towel. This is will ensure that all parts of your head and neck will cool down instead of wasting tiny drugstore ice packs.
3. Eat soft foods. When you’re not vomiting, it’s important to maintain nutrition to avoid prolonging the time of your migraine. Try not to chew too much because it will make overwork your jaw, thus making your migraine worse. My soft food recommendations would be plain pasta, mashed potatoes, applesauce, peanut butter, scrambled eggs, bananas, or soup.
4. Foam roller. A foam roller helps to alleviate tension because it breaks up tight muscles and knots that have formed together. Additionally, when you’re in pain there is toxic blood trying to escape your body; A foam roller help by increasing blood circulation to help remove the toxicity. You can purchase an affordable foam roller from Amazon and have it delivered to your house. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=foam+roller&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
5. Journal. It’s important to know you’re triggers to help avoid future migraines. Jot down everything that causes a migraine. It might be certain sounds, smells, tastes, or activities. Plus, you might want to track your symptoms before you experience a migraine, so you can learn if you’re about to get one. If you learn you’re about to get one then, you can modify that activity to lessen the pain or prevent a migraine.
6. Blackout curtains. When you’ve got a migraine, it feels like light could burn out your eyes. Laying out in a dark, quiet room is an excellent way to nurse a migraine. That’s why I highly recommend blackout curtains, because it will drastically reduce the amount of light into the room. Blackout curtains come in various sizes, colors, and patterns, so you can have fun selecting a design. Amazon features numerous sizes and colors at your disposal and can be delivered right to your door. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=blackout+curtains&crid=1J6MZUHRQTSUS&sprefix=blackout+cur%2Caps%2C175&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_12
7. TENS unit. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery-operated device that delivers electrical impulses through adhesive pads to increase blood flow in the nervous system. Also, the electrical impulses will stimulate the body to produce endorphins. If your migraine is stemming from neck pain, then you would place the adhesive pads on your neck. You can purchase an affordable TENS unit on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/TENS-7000-Digital-Unit-Accessories/dp/B00NCRE4GO/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1KB4V4ZYW32GX&dchild=1&keywords=tens+unit&qid=1586789725&sprefix=tens%2Caps%2C181&sr=8-5
8. Daith piercing. A daith piercing is a piercing on the innermost cartilage fold of your ear. There is no scientific research to support this treatment. However, there is a connection between acupuncture and daith piercings. The daith piercing activates pressure points as would an acupuncture needle in the ear to help relieve symptoms.
9. Decrease your stress. Stress is a huge contributor to migraines because it causes your hormones to go up and down. You might try yoga, meditation, exercising more, and ensuring you get enough sleep. Maybe journal when you’re stressed, so you can identify your stress triggers as well as your migraine triggers.
10. See a neurologist. If you’re experiencing debilitating migraines and having trouble functioning in your everyday life, it’s time to see a neurologist. A neurologist will perform diagnostic testing to help determine the cause and severity. This may include a blood test, EEG (electroencephalogram), CT (computed tomography), or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). After the testing is completed, a neurologist will be able to give you a diagnosis and medical suggestions for relief. Depending on your diagnosis, your neurologist may recommend medication, Botox injections, or surgery.
Edited by Emily Chance