Apply A Cold Compress
If youve ever put an ice pack on an injury or a heating pad on a sore back, you know the power of temperature therapy. This can also help when you have a migraine.
Cold therapy has been used to treat migraine for more than 100 years, but there are few scientific studies to suggest why it can help relieve pain for some people. Some theories have suggested that cold therapy can help constrict blood vessels or slow the nerve signals involved with migraine pain.
Even recent studies havent pinpointed exactly how , or ice packs applied at the onset of a migraine could significantly reduce the perception of migraine pain.
You may need to experiment to decide what feels best for you. Some people find that an ice pack applied to the head offers soothing, numbing relief. This is particularly helpful if sun or heat brought on your migraine.
How To Get Rid Of Tension Headaches
Most people are familiar with the discomfort of tension headaches. Pain may be reduced by medications. However, taking care of oneself may be enough to keep a headache at bay.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, tension headaches are not restricted to one area of the body like migraines, sinus headaches, or cluster headaches. Instead, you may experience pain or discomfort throughout your entire head, including your scalp, neck, and shoulders.
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
Recommended Reading: Best Home Remedy For Headache
What Is The Fastest Home Remedy For A Headache
There are several home remedies that may help treat headaches.
For example, if dehydration is causing a headache, drinking water can help quickly improve the symptoms .
Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help reduce headache pain .
Relaxing in a dark room, using a cold compress, smelling some peppermint or lavender essential oils, drinking some caffeine, and avoiding loud noises may also help reduce headache severity.
However, keep in mind that these remedies may not be effective for everyone. Effective treatments depend on the type and cause of the headache youre experiencing.
What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine
There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.
You May Like: What Are Migraines Symptoms Of
Try Switching To Green Light
Exposure to light has long been known to trigger or exacerbate migraines, but researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered that green light is far less disturbing than other colors. Using a lamp designed to emit the most soothing light possible can help you get through your migraine without sitting in the dark for hours.
How Are Migraines Treated
Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.
- Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
- Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.
Read Also: How Long Does Excedrin Migraine Last
How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Fast With The Chill Method
You aren’t at your best when a migraine attack hits. The beginning of an attack brings exhaustion, difficulty thinking, emotional stress, and anxiety, and possibly even migraine aura. It can be tempting to panic and give in to the fear especially if you don’t have your abortive meds in reach.
Preventive Medications And Treatments
A wide range of drugs may be prescribed to prevent migraine attacks from forming, and some medical treatments can help. Such approaches are considered especially in cases of chronic migraine, in which you have 15 or more headache episodes a month.
Several types of preventative migraine medications may be prescribed. The most common of these are:
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Elavil and Pamelor
- Beta-blockers: Tenormin and Inderal
- Antiepileptic drugs: Depakote and Topamax
- Calcium channel blockers: Calan
- Calcitonin gene-related monoclonal antibodies: Vyepti and Ajovy
Additionally, in cases in which medications arent yielding results, Botox injections can be considered. In this therapy, doctors target specific areas in your forehead, temples, sides, and back of the head and neck. Though the frequency and intensity of migraines are reduced, the effect is temporary, and appointments are needed every three months.
When the condition is associated with the menstrual cycle, hormone replacement therapy may be attempted.
Also Check: How To Alleviate Tension Headaches
What Is An Aura
An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.
Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:
- Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
- Blind spots in your vision.
- Numb or tingling skin.
What Causes A Covid0
There could be a few things at play. For one, the body-wide inflammation you experience while infected with the virus could trigger a headache, as could the blood vessels in your brain becoming inflamed, says Dr. Colman. Then theres the potential neurological piece, since we know COVID-19 can attack our neurological system, plus headache in general is a neurological condition. The theory is that once the virus has gone up through the nose to the olfactory bulb , it can attack nerves that contribute to pain in the head and impact blood vessels in the brain, says Dr. Colman. So a direct invasion there is one theory for why people have COVID-related headaches.
Other things that happen during an infection, such as not staying hydrated enough, not eating enough or not getting good sleep may also contribute to or worsen a headache.
Also Check: Icd 10 Code Migraine Headaches
What Are The Risks Of Using Injectables For Migraines
Botulinum toxin injectables should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as people with an allergy to proteins in cows milk.
When given by an experienced and qualified health care specialist, botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe. However, some people experience pain, bruising or swelling where the drug was injected. Other possible side effects are:
- Headache or flulike symptoms
- Drooping on one eyelid, eyebrow or side of the mouth
Very rarely, if the toxin accidentally spreads into your body, other, more serious symptoms might occur over the course of hours or days. :
- Vision problems
- Inability to control the bladder
- Difficulty breathing
Establish A Calm Environment As Soon As Your Migraine Starts
Most migraine sufferers have identifiable triggers. These are the earliest signs of an impending attack and are the top things to avoid when you’re establishing your initial treatment plan. Triggers vary from one person to the next, but they can include anything from stress and dehydration to changes in barometric pressure to an irregular sleep schedule or too much caffeine .
It’s best to take steps to avoid these whenever you can, but if your migraine has already been triggered, you’ll need to take care of yourself until the attack has passed. The first thing you can do to rid yourself of the migraine is to establish a calm environment. Turn off the lights in your bedroom, draw the curtains, and try to relax or sleep if you can, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Dab some peppermint oil on your temples and forehead, and silence any loud notifications from your phone to ensure you’re not disturbed while you’re resting.
Some people have a sensitivity to sounds, and in these instances, it’s best to avoid music when creating a calm environment. If you can tolerate sounds during your migraine, play calming music or ambient noises on a low volume while you’re laying down.
Read Also: What Is Best Medication For Migraines
Prescription Painkillers For Frequent Tension Headaches
For those people who have frequent or recurring tension headaches, doctors sometimes recommend prescription-strength doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Indocin , an NSAID that is available only by prescription, is “usually used for arthritis, but can also be very useful as a headache treatment,” Dr. Rozental says. “Indomethacin‘s downside is that it is among the drugs most likely to cause gastric irritation as a side effect,” including stomach ulcers and bleeding. It can also harm kidney function if taken at high doses or chronically.
Consider Taking Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance produced naturally by the body that plays a role in energy production and functions as a powerful antioxidant .
Studies have shown that taking CoQ10 supplements may be an effective natural way to treat headaches.
For example, one study in 80 people diagnosed with migraine demonstrated that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 per day reduced migraine frequency, severity, and length .
A 2021 review that included 6 studies found that treatment with 30800 mg of CoQ10 per day was effective for reducing migraine frequency and duration .
Thorne Research CoQ10 , which provides 100 mg of CoQ10 per 1-gelcap serving, is a good option for people who experience migraine.
Thorne Research is a well-trusted supplement company that is certified by several third-party organizations, including the Therapeutic Goods Association, a regulatory agency run by the Australian Government Department of Health .
Don’t Miss: Left Side Neck Pain And Headache
How Are Vestibular Migraines Diagnosed
Thereâs no blood or imaging test that can tell for sure. But the International Headache Society and other organizations recently set up the first criteria to help your doctor diagnose the disorder.
You could be having a vestibular migraine if:
- You have migraines or had them in the past.
- You have at least 5 episodes of vertigo that make you feel like you are spinning or moving. This isnât the same as motion sickness or feeling faint.
- These feelings last between 5 minutes to 72 hours.
- Your symptoms are moderate to severe. That means they stop you from doing everyday tasks or theyâre so bad you can’t do anything at all.
- At least half of the episodes happen with one of the following migraine symptoms:
- A headache that has two of these characteristics: is one-sided, pulsing, moderate to severe, or gets worse with activity
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Seeing shimmering or flashing lights in your vision
Heating Pad & Hot Compress
Unfortunately, there is little evidence to show that a heating pad or hot compress can help treat migraine.
However, if you think you may be experiencing a sinus or tension headache rather than a migraine headache, a heating pad or hot compress may help to soothe tense muscles.
A hot bath or shower may work in this case as well.
Don’t Miss: Migraine Not Responding To Sumatriptan
When To Seek Professional Treatment
Knowing when you need to see a doctor is another critical aspect of living with migraines. Get emergency medical help if you experience:
- A headache worse than any youve experienced in the past
- Problems speaking, along with vision and motor function
- Loss of balance or other neurological symptoms
- Sudden onset of headache
In addition, call your doctor if any of the following happens:
- Theres a change in the pattern of your headaches.
- Your treatments arent working anymore.
- Youre experiencing side effects from medications.
- Youve started taking birth control while on medications.
- Youre taking pain medications three or more days a week.
- Headaches are worse when youre lying down.
How To Prevent Migraines
The best way to manage migraines is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some important ways to do it:
- Keep track of what triggers your migraines so you can avoid those things in the future.
- Get regular sleep, 7 9 hours each night.
- Eat a consistent, healthy diet.
- Get regular exercise, but avoid sudden and intense exertion.
- Avoid stress as much as you can, and use stress-management techniques when you need to.
- Practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Follow your doctor-prescribed medication regimen.
- Consider holistic treatments like acupuncture or biofeedback.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Headaches From Sleeping Too Much
Tip #4 Use Ice Or Heat
An ice pack may help relieve some pain, especially when used while lying down in a dark, quiet room. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on your forehead or neck for no longer than about 15 minutes at a time. A cool cloth also works instead of ice.
Alternatively, you may find that a heating pad or warm bath works better for relieving your discomfort. Be careful not to fall asleep while using a heating pad.
Avoid Nitrates And Nitrites
Nitrates and nitrites are food preservatives commonly added to items like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon to keep them fresh by preventing bacterial growth.
Foods containing them have been shown to trigger headaches in some people (
In order to minimize your exposure to nitrites, limit the amount of processed meats in your diet and choose nitrate-free products whenever possible.
Also Check: Birth Control Migraine With Aura
What Are The Symptoms
Vestibular migraines donât always cause headaches. The main symptom is dizziness that comes and goes. Vestibular refers to the inner ear, which controls your hearing and balance. If youâre having a vestibular migraine, you may feel:
- Dizziness that lasts more than a few minutes
- Extreme motion sensitivity — feeling sick or dizzy when you move your head, eyes, or body
- Feeling disoriented or confused
- Feeling unsteady, like youâre in a rocking boat
- Sensitivity to sound
You could get dizzy and have balance problems without having a migraine at all. Other times, the vertigo symptoms happen before, during, or after the headache. Sometimes, you might have migraines for years before the vertigo symptoms begin.
Allergies And Sinus Headaches
Ever heard that allergies cause sinus headaches? Itâs not quite that simple.
Allergies can cause sinus congestion, which can make your head hurt. Treatment for your allergies can ease that congestion, but it wonât relieve your headache pain. You usually have to treat the two conditions separately. See your doctor to make sure you get the right help.
You May Like: Migraine With Aura Stroke Risk
Take Your Prescription Meds
If you’ve already been seeing a doctor for your migraines, then you might have a prescription drug on hand to relieve migraine pain. Some of these include indomethacin, triptans, ergotamine and caffeine combination drugs, anti-nausea drugs, opioids, and glucocorticoids. If you experience an aura with your migraine, a doctor may prescribe a different type of drug to specifically treat that symptom.
Treating Migraines With Lifestyle And Behavioral Changes
Also Check: Severe Headache And Neck Pain
What Are Tension Headaches
When the muscles in the neck and head become strained or contracted, tension headaches develop. Muscle spasms can be a reaction to stress, despair, concussion, or anxiety.
Although they can happen to anyone, adults and older teens are the most likely to experience them. It is a little more prevalent in women and frequently runs in families.