3 Tips for Handling Chronic Migraines
For those who have ever experienced a migraine, you know how debilitating they can be. While non-migraine sufferers think that a migraine is just a really bad headache, they are sadly mistaken. A migraine typically affects just one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea, pulsating pain, and light sensitivity. While prescription medication definitely makes migraines easier to deal with, there are also some other hacks that you should be aware of.
Know Your Triggers
For most migraine sufferers, they usually know of a trigger, or several, that set the pain in motion. For some it’s what they eat, others its lack of sleep or dehydration, and even stress, the weather, and hormones can come into play and set off that awful pain. While identifying a trigger can be challenging, try to keep a journal each time you do get a migraine and look for any common factors. With apps like Migraine Buddy, you are able to track how long your migraine lasted, what the pain was like, and what remedies solved it. This information is helpful to share with your doctor as well because if you notice that you have 15 more migraine days a month, you officially fall into chronic migraine territory and may be able to try a variety of options for relief. (1)
Look to Natural Help
While prescription medication and even some over the counter varieties can work wonders, for those who don’t want to take medication, there are plenty of natural remedies. Essential oils such as peppermint and lavender can be beneficial and known to help those who suffer from headaches. Lavender can be used to calm the body down, and peppermint can help ease the pain you are experiencing. Many people are also turning to CBD (a derivative of marijuana that won’t make you high) oils and creams. These oils and creams will just relax you and take the pain away and are a great option for those who want the natural effect, but don’t want to use medicinal marijuana. For those who experience migraines from stress, massages can greatly reduce the number of migraines you experience. By relaxing your muscles and getting out the knots, you may find relief quickly. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for this option either. Even just investing in a foam roller, or some tennis balls can be more than beneficial to get some knots out. (2)
Make an Action Plan
While some people experience aura’s with their migraines, so they know they are coming, others are completely caught off guard. Either way, you should have an action plan in place to keep the pain at bay. If there is a type of medication that helps you, you should always have some on hand in case you are hit with a migraine while you’re working or out running errands. If you have found that essential oils help you best, make sure to carry those around with you as well. Some people have found that ice on their head or heat on their neck or back can also help with the pain and they find relief that way. While these hacks are very helpful if you’re lucky enough to be home, getting some extra sleep in a cold dark room can be the real winner and get you back on your feet fast. (3)
While migraines are extremely frustrating to deal with, understanding why you get them and creating a plan for managing them can is crucial to keep doing the things you want, and spending less time in pain.
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