Not a day goes by that I don't see somebody in my office that doesn't suffer from migraine headaches. There are a lot of expensive products in the market place along with other concoctions and home remedies. It is important to understand the type of migraine you may be suffering from and seeing if there are triggers that can be avoided or remedies that may support you in avoiding or ridding yourself of terrible migraine pain and suffering without spending a lot of money!
A typical migraine can be painfully severe and "pulsating" with accompanying nausea and vomiting. Many people complain of increased sensitivity to light and occasionally sound. They tend to affect females more often than men, tend to be unilateral, or one sided in the head, and they can last a few hours to a few days. Approximately 30% of people perceive signs in advance of the migraine occurring and have unusual sensory experiences such as visual or olfactory that a migraine is coming.
The causes of migraines are still unknown and are still being researched. However, many migraine sufferers are aware of triggering circumstances and avoid them when they can be controlled. Often times though the there are events and circumstances that are beyond our control and on exposure or withdrawal of these triggers, the result can manifest into an acute migraine headache.
It is important for each individual to try and identify what their personal triggers are, by identifying the circumstances, foods etc that may be the causative agents in setting the migraine off. The easiest way to accomplish this is to keep a headache diary or journal. Keeping any details that can be correlated to triggering the migraine pain.
Inconsistent sleeping patterns, bright lights, noises, odours, stress, food additives, menstrual cycles, alcohol and medications are just a few on a long list of things that have all been thought to be possible triggers for migraine headaches.
Occasionally a person may experience a migraine with no known cause or reason for it triggering. However, once a migraine headache begins they usually continue to go into a full migraine headache attack. There are many opinions and theories regarding the causes of migraine headaches but lifestyle and diet modifications can probably have the most significant impact on limiting the number of migraine headaches a person may suffer. Once the headache appears there are some simple yet effective remedies that may help to eliminate the migraine headache.
- Cold pack or cold shower on the head and neck: Blood vessels tend to dilate or expand during an attack as a result of the chemical changes in a person's body. This can result in pressure building up in the head and brain and the debilitating pain most often associated with these type of headaches. The cold packs or cold water on the head and neck is believed to help constrict the swollen blood vessels and reduce the pulsating pain. Some people have reported relief from alternating hot and cold showers, or warm and cold compresses around the head, manipulating the blood flow, oxygen and nutrients that are in the area of pain. This may help to relieve the pain.
This article is meant as a guide and a general overview of preventative strategies for avoiding or getting rid of migraines. t is not meant to substitute for a thorough examination or medical advice from a qualified health care professional. Consult your chiropractor or other provider for specific advice regarding your particular individual health needs.
- Exercise: Some individuals may benefit from exercise as this causes a release of the body's natural painkillers called endorphins. Exercise may also cause changes in the dilation and constriction of blood vessels associated with the pain, and may also release stress in muscles or nerves that could be correlated to triggering the migraine headache. Others may want to avoid exercise, keeping your journal details will help determine if exercise may help. Running is often one of the most common forms of exercise people will use for relief.
- Find a dark room and try to sleep: Find a quiet room, dim the lights or shut them off completely. Pick up a book and read, or do another quiet activity, this may help you to become drowsy and fall asleep without trying. Be cautious of taking any migraine medication as they usually contain caffeine and may interfere with you falling asleep.
- Magnesium: This mineral is usually found in seeds and nuts, leafy green vegetables whole grains and nutritional supplements. It is estimated that magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions. Some of the more important bodily functions it is involved with include regulating blood sugar levels, heart rhythms, and blood pressure, healthy nerve and muscle function, immune functions and for bone health. Several studies have been conducted evaluating the effectiveness of magnesium for migraine headaches and have shown favourable results. Be careful with how much you take, as diarrhoea, decreased appetite, breathing problems and medication interactions are only a few of the problems that can result from high doses of magnesium. Speak with you r health care professional regarding what amount is appropriate for your individual needs.
- Chiropractic Care: A study done by Dr. Peter Tuchin for a Ph.D. thesis at Macquarie University showed that after chiropractic care, 60% of migraine sufferers had a reduction in symptoms. The chiropractic adjustments themselves weren't necessarily treating the migraines but instead helped restore function and normal mechanics to the cervical (neck) spine and aid the body in healing itself. Circulation and nerves may also be effected helping to reduce the migraine pain. Chiropractic focuses on adjusting spinal misalignments to correct normal movement within the neck and correct any areas of tension, stress and pain that may be contributing factors to the migraine pain.