Seven ways to stop migraines getting in the way

Do. you often suffer from migraines? Read on to discover seven ways you can stop migraines getting in the way.

Migraines are incredibly common, with an estimated 20% of women and 7% of men being affected by the condition. Unfortunately, migraines can be debilitating and at the very least, an ongoing frustration to cope with often proving to be disruptive to daily routines, work and productivity.

To help with treating migraines, Pharmica – the UK’s trusted online pharmacy – have outlined some of the most effective ways to help prevent and treat migraines. 

1) Medication

Migraines can be effectively treated with prescription migraine treatment, especially where over the counter treatments are not powerful enough. Sumatriptan and Imigran are popular treatments taken for fast-acting relief from intense migraine symptoms.

These treatments are part of a group of medications known as ‘triptans’. Triptans help to reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the brain which become swollen during a migraine; they help to provide pain relief from intense symptoms for up to two hours at a time. 

2) Natural remedies

There are many natural remedies claiming to successfully alleviate migraine symptoms. While some may offer a small degree of relief, many should not be relied on to help treat and prevent migraines. That being said, there is some evidence supporting natural remedies in the treatment of migraine symptoms.

For example, ginger is suggested to effectively relieve symptoms of nausea, where one study found that both duration and the severity of a migraine can be reduced with use of a Ginger powder supplement. Another supplement to try is magnesium, magnesium deficiencies are linked with the increased onset of migraines. 

3) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Machines or devices can be used to help to create transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) whereby electrical signals are passed through the body to the forehead, upper back or neck to provide relief from the pain and discomfort experienced by a migraine. TENS devices offer an effective complementary treatment method to medication.  

4) Acupuncture

Acupuncture is also regarded as an alternative treatment type for helping release pain and stress. The premise behind the treatment stems from Chinese traditional medicine, which suggests that certain points in the body align with Qi (pronounced “Chee”).

Qi is regarded as the life force or energy flow in the body, whereby restriction of this flow is believed to cause illness and acupuncture is a way of clearing that path. While there is a heavy influence of the placebo effect, there is some merit behind the practice whereby the stimulation of sensory nerves is said to release pain relieving endorphins. 

5) Rest in a dark, quiet room

While one of the most well-known ways to limit the symptoms of a migraine once it begins, it’s also one of the most impactful for immediate relief while medication begins to work. Quickly limiting both noise and light is important as they can cause discomfort; especially if they are known triggers or sensitivities. 

6) Massaging your temples

Although not a surefire way to clear up migraines by any means, lightly massaging your temples has been suggested to provide short term relief from intense pain and discomfort. This may be worthwhile if you cannot feasibly get to a dark, quiet space.

Massaging to help relieve migraines can help with relaxation and blood flow, providing mild relief. However, it’s important to avoid this method if you are sensitive to touch when you get migraines as this can make symptoms worse. 

7) Stress management

Stress is one of the most commonly cited triggers of migraines. Stress can cause physiological symptoms leading to headaches and migraines. Stress management can help to relieve symptoms of migraines, it may form an effective counterpart to other treatment methods.

Stress management involves utilising stress relief techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation. Work is often a primary source of stress, especially in roles where you have a high degree of responsibility. These activities each aim to activate the pathway of the parasympathetic nervous system to promote relaxation and a decrease in tension.

Get help to stop migraines taking over your life

If you’d like to get the better of migraines, why not try some of these tried and trusted methods of treatment! It may also be helpful to speak with a GP or pharmacist for advice on treatments and symptoms relief and how to best ensure migraines have minimal impact on your day-to-day life.