Simple tips to manage a migraine attack
Have you or any of your known relative or a friend experienced headache which made them move to a dark, quiet room and sit there until the headache subsides??
One of the disorder for which numerous patients visit the neurologists is Migraine.
Is my headache serious?
Everyone knows that migraine is a “no ordinary headache”.
Along with throbbing pain, typically on one side of your head, there may also be blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.
Migraine headaches can interrupt your life, but there are many things which you can do to manage it
What have your treatment options for migraine been so far?
A trip to a doctor or a medical practitioner can help you work out the right plan with adequate medications and rest.
There are numerous medicines available over the counter for migraine. Recovering from a migraine can take time, from several hours to many days.
An ounce of prevention
1. Adequate sleep
A sound and regular sleep (8 hours) is essential to reduce the number of migraine attacks that you get and might ease the symptoms further.
Keeping a regular, soothing bed time routine, comfortable bedding, fixed timings of sleeping and waking up, avoiding screen time before bed is very important for a healthy and a sound sleep.
Nurture a routine that agrees with your natural body rhythms.
But remember, even too much sleep can be a headache trigger.
2. Look for what goes inside you
Observe the foods which trigger a migraine attack.
Maintaining a food diary will help you out for this. Certain foods like coffee, chocolates, processed and ready to eat foods, alcohol or even smoking may trigger a migraine attack.
In some people, staying hungry for long hours may also cause migraine. Small, frequent and balanced meals is a key to keep migraines at bay.
Also obesity raises the risk of chronic headache’s by regulating neurotransmitters in the brain
Nevertheless, B complex vitamins also reduces the frequency and severity of migraine.
It is equally important to consult a doctor or a medical practitioner before starting a B complex vitamin
3. Regular exercise
Light exercises in open air helps regulate sleep and prevents migraine too.
4. Stay hydrated
Many of us grab a glass of water, when we have the feeling of headache.
Dehydration and not drinking enough water is a well-known migraine and headache trigger.
Drinking 2-2.5 litres water each day is a requisite. However, in severe cases, ORS may be required to replace the missing electrolytes.
Meditation and deep breathing exercises help people with migraine.
In meditation, you stop the flow of all thoughts in your mind while concentrating on breathing. This mindful practice can be useful.
Slow and steady stretches in yoga strengthens your muscles and tendons, thus reducing migraine
Acupressure involves giving pressure to specific parts of the body which in turn releases muscle tension and reduces pain too.
It is ideal to find a licensed practitioner for acupressure treatment for migraine.
8. Essential oils
According to a study by Payam Sasannejad et al. Eur Neurol, 2012, it is proved that Lavender essential oil can be used in the treatment of migraine attacks.
This essential aromatic oil reduces stress and anxiety. Massaging the neck and shoulder area reduces tension and alleviates migraine pain also.
If regular massages by a professional masseuse is not possible cost wise, self-massage near shoulder, neck and back area is a cost effective option.
9. Stress management
The most common trigger for migraine is stress. Stress relieving techniques like reading your favourite book, warm water bath or a relaxing massage helps reduce migraine related pains.
These positive actions help you control your body’s reaction to stress in life. Also keeping a headache or a migraine journal helps identify triggers and effective remedies for migraines.
10. Take a break (Screen and noise)
Certain conditions like loud noise and lights at the cinema theatres, clubs, parties or even excessive glare from the sun are common triggers for migraine headaches.
So next time your head pains, trying simple tricks like taking a break from TV or a laptop screen or even adjusting brightness levels on your smartphones can be of a great aid.
According to WHO, migraine headaches rank in the top 10 of disabling conditions.
These painful and terrible headaches result in lost work days, reduced productivity and rising health care costs.
This can cause you to miss out on those family occasions or pleasurable activities.
With advanced technologies and luck, more treatments will be available in future time. Used alone or in combination, above mentioned treatment options can help you get rid of this debilitating and painful condition.
It is very important for you to collaborate with a migraine specialist to find the treatment regimen that works the best for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sneha Jain, Dietician
Sneha is a Post graduate with specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a university topper and holds 5+ years of experience in Apollo hospitals, VLCC, slimsutra and first cry fit-kids . She has successfully counselled clients all over India for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, PCOD, hypothyroid, Pregnancy and lactation and growth charts for children. She has her own diet consultation e-clinic (diet_diariez)
She believes in customized diets and eating local and seasonal foods. Her counselling not only involves diet planning, but also lifestyle modification and stress relief strategies.