A migraine is a headache disorder, which can cause severe or moderate throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. The other associated symptoms might be nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
The causes for migraines are unknown. Some studies have concluded that the underlying causes might be genetics or certain triggers. Triggers may include stress, fatigue, certain food (especially alcohol and items containing preservatives like MSG), weather or physiological aspects such as post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse.
Migraines lead to lost productivity, decreased focus and emotional distress. It can affect your everyday work and personal life. We have a listed some treatment options for managing migraines, which you can consider-
If your headaches are as frequent as twice a week and medication is not a viable option, then you can consider some lifestyle changes. It would entail recognizing what factors trigger the migraine, which could be stress or certain foods. And then altering your lifestyle to avoid those triggers and prevent migraines.
This is not a quick solution, it will certainly take a while before you completely understand and recognize your triggers and the ways to deal with them.
Medication can be considered as a preventive as well as pain relieving method. Medication has been considered quite effective as a preventive option to reduce the frequency or severity of migraines.
Certain medication can help with managing the resulting symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Apart from this, specific nutritional supplements such as magnesium supplementation has been effective. If you are considering increasing your magnesium intake, then dietary intake maybe a better options than supplements.
Chiropractic treatment can be used to substantially reduce the symptoms of a migraine. Chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulations improve spinal function and relieve stress from the system.
Treatments by a chiropractor for migraines can be as effective as certain medications for prevention of headaches and associated symptoms.
However, it is important to understand that what might work for one person may not be as effective for the next. Always find a chiropractor with proper credentials, who has had success with migraine treatments.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
If stress is the factor triggering migraines, then you can consider Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT aims to intervene and challenge unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and behaviours in order to change them and ultimately improve mental health.
It is widely used to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
Extracts of butterbur are used for migraine prevention. Chemical petasin and ispetasin are found in some species of butterbur, which are believed to have potential benefits of treating migraines. These extracts are believed to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine, which involves insertion of thin needles in specific parts of the body. Stimulating specific pressure points may help alleviate migraine symptoms.
In comparison, Sham acupuncture in which needles are inserted in non-specific parts, is more effective for preventing migraines and relieving symptoms.
However, lasting effects are seen more often in people who receive traditional treatment over sham acupuncture.
Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater control over your psychological functions, to have the ability to control them at will. You are connected to electrical sensors, which provide information on the activity of your body.
Biofeedback techniques have been beneficial for stress reduction and managing migraines.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a medically non-invasive technology which helps prevent and reduce severity. TMS essentially reduces the aura phase of the migraine before full blown migraines develop.
If none of the medications or the alternative treatments work, then migraine surgery is an option. It involves decompression of one or several nerves around the head and neck which trigger migraine symptoms.