Migraine - Relief

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Do self-care measures give you relief from your migraine headaches? What do you do?

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What self-care treatment and lifestyle changes work for migraines?

Individuals who experience migraines can play a significant role in managing their headache frequency and severity.

Keep track of when migraines occur by using a paper or digital headache diary or log to track pain levels, triggers, and symptoms. This can help identify patterns which precede a migraine, as well as help identify factors which contribute to the development of the headache. Once these contributing factors are known, lifestyle modifications can lessen their impact. These modifications may include:

  • Maintain a regular schedule for eating and sleeping
  • Avoid certain foods that might trigger a migraine
  • Keep well hydrated since dehydration has been identified as a migraine trigger for some people
  • Exercise regularly

Relaxation strategies and meditation also have been recognized as effective strategies to prevent migraines and decrease headache severity.

Exercise and migraine

Some people find that exercises that promote muscle relaxation can help manage the pain of migraines. Examples of types of mind-body exercises that can help encourage relaxation are:

  • Meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Guided imagery
  • Yoga

Diet and Migraine

There is no specific diet for people with migraine that helps with symptom relief. However, as mentioned previously, certain foods can be triggers for migraines in susceptible people. These foods include:

  • red wines,
  • aged cheeses,
  • preservatives used in smoked meats (nitrates),
  • monosodium glutamate,
  • artificial sweeteners,
  • chocolate, and
  •  dairy products.

Alcoholic beverages can also trigger migraine in some people.

Understanding the particular triggers of your migraines and avoiding these dietary triggers may help some sufferers decrease the frequency of attacks.

Return to Migraine Headache

See what others are saying

Comment from: ashtonbob, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I grew up with migraines through most of my youth. My parents were in the military and both in the medical field. I had access to hospitals and a lot of testing. To try to relieve my incredible pain my mother used to give me Fiorinal. For temporary pain relief I believe a hot shower running on your head can be very beneficial. Someone applying warm wash cloths to your forehead can do wonders. This must be done again and again though as you need to be able to sit back in a recliner and do nothing but feel the heat and try to just daze off. After a continuous flow of about 20, 30 or 40 wash clothes this should provide some much needed relief.

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