Just the word conjures up images of people rubbing their temples with a frustrated expression. And for good reason. Migraines are extremely painful, recurring headaches. They may appear with other symptoms like nausea and problems with vision. Migraines are of two types.Migraines without aura and migraines with aura. Those who experience migraines with aura might see stars, zig-zag lines, or have a temporary blind spot up to 30 minutes before the onset of a headache.1 There is no definite cure for migraines, nor is there a clear cause for them. However, they can be managed with different treatments.
Facts About Migraines
Here are some interesting facts about migraines
- Middle aged people are more likely to get them rather than senior citizens or children.
- They can be hereditary2
- People experience migraines differently. For some, it’s a dull throbbing pain while for others it may be sharp and acute.
- Migraines can last anywhere between 4 hours and 3 days!3
- Women are more susceptible to migraines. Roughly a quarter of the female population in the United States has experienced a migraine.4 This is bad news because studies show that this can increase the likelihood of other conditions like heart disease. 5
- It is rare, but some children can suffer from migraines. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of missed days at school.
Migraine Home Remedies
1. Essential Oils
Massaging or simply smelling essential oils has been shown to provide faster relief from the pain. Often, people who sniffed these essential oils experienced lower levels of pain. Peppermint and lavender are two oils that have been proven and studied to have actual benefits for migraine sufferers.6 7 Dilute these oils in coconut oil or olive oil before applying and massage into your temples.
Ginger is traditionally a remedy for nausea. Studies have confirmed its effect on reducing the accompanying symptoms of nausea and dizziness. Ginger is also a painkiller and can be as effective some prescribed drugs.8 Try adding more ginger into your diet to experience the difference.
Feverfew is a herbal remedy that is most often traditionally used for preventing migraines. It shows partial success in the studies that have been conducted. However, there have been no concerns of toxicity so it’s definitely worth a try.9
4. Cold Compress
Oftentimes, cooling things down can really help reduce pain. Using a few ice cubes wrapped in a thin towel and dab on to your forehead where you feel the pain most severely. It should help dull the sensation and provide some relief.
You don’t really need a professional masseuse or a partner but it can make things a little easier. Using your thumbs and fingers to gently rub your temples can help reduce the pain. You can also use it to relieve tension in the back and neck which can make things worse.10 Like we mentioned earlier, you can use essential oils to maximise the pain-relieving effect.
Yoga with its bodily postures, meditation, and breathing exercises can help relieve stress and anxiety associated with migraines. Studies have shown that yoga can help relieve migraine pain.11
7. More Magnesium
Magnesium deficiencies can cause your brain to release pain neurotransmitters and cause constriction of blood vessels. Both of these are associated with migraines and headaches. Research shows that taking supplements of magnesium (under the supervision of a physician) may help prevent headaches.12
Biofeedback is a method used to help anxiety sufferers in stressful situations. You use the method to control things like heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. By controlling these important factors, you can have an effect on the pain that you perceive with a migraine or a tension headache.
All of these methods can be effective for managing a migraine. The next time you feel the symptoms of an oncoming migraine, have these remedies and methods ready.
|↑1, ↑3||Migraine headache. University Of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑2||Director of Stanford Headache Clinic answers your questions on migraines and headache disorders. Stanford Medicine.|
|↑4||QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Who Had Migraines or Severe Headaches, Pain in the Neck, Lower Back, or Face/Jaw, by Sex — National Health Interview Survey, 2009. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.|
|↑5||Kurth, Tobias, Anke C. Winter, A. Heather Eliassen, Rimma Dushkes, Kenneth J. Mukamal, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, JoAnn E. Manson, and Kathryn M. Rexrode. “Migraine and risk of cardiovascular disease in women: prospective cohort study.” bmj 353 (2016): i2610.|
|↑6||Sasannejad, Payam, Morteza Saeedi, Ali Shoeibi, Ali Gorji, Maryam Abbasi, and Mohsen Foroughipour. “Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial.” European neurology 67, no. 5 (2012): 288-291.|
|↑7||Borhani Haghighi, A., S. Motazedian, R. Rezaii, F. Mohammadi, L. Salarian, M. Pourmokhtari, S. Khodaei, M. Vossoughi, and R. Miri. “Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura: a randomised, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, crossed‐over study.” International journal of clinical practice 64, no. 4 (2010): 451-456.|
|↑8||Maghbooli, Mehdi, Farhad Golipour, Alireza Moghimi Esfandabadi, and Mehran Yousefi. “Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine.” Phytotherapy research 28, no. 3 (2014): 412-415.|
|↑9||Pittler, Max H., and Edzard Ernst. “Feverfew for preventing migraine.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1 (2004).|
|↑10||Lawler, Sheleigh P., and Linda D. Cameron. “A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 32, no. 1 (2006): 50-59.|
|↑11||Boroujeni, Mahsa Zamani, Seyed Mohamad Marandi, Fahimeh Esfarjani, Mina Sattar, Vahid Shaygannejad, and Shaghayegh Haghjooy Javanmard. “Yoga intervention on blood NO in female migraineurs.” Advanced biomedical research 4 (2015).|
|↑12||Magnesium. National Institutes Of Health.|