What to Do When You Have a Migraine

Migraines are pretty debilitating and when you’re struck down with one, it often means you’re bed-bound in the darkness until the pain subsides.

A migraine is usually felt in one side of your head and the pain can be quite severe and feels like a throbbing sensation that is aggravated by movement. Migraine sufferers can also experience nausea, vomiting, as well as a sensitivity to light and noise.

While there’s no magical fix for migraines, there are a few things you can do to help ease the throbbing and all of these work alongside pain relief medication so you can try and tackle it from multiple angles.

— Have a coffee

Caffeine can help relieve a headache or migraine so sipping on a cup of coffee could be helpful, especially in the early stages of the migraine appearing. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine can also enhance the pain-reducing effects of aspirin. Just be careful not to overdo it with the caffeine as moderation is key.

— Try temperature therapy

Using hot and cold packs are an affordable and easy way to treat migraine pain, you just have to decide which one works for you. Putting an ice pack to your head can soothe and numb the area, which in turn can help relieve the pain, as per Healthline.

A heat pack, on the other hand, can help relax the muscles in your head and also provide some relief. If you don’t have a heat pack, a warm shower or bath can also have a similar effect.

— Inhale some lavender oil

It might sound woo-woo, but studies have actually found that smelling lavender oil can effectively treat migraines. Research from 2012 found that out of 129 headache attacks, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender.

While it might not work for everyone (or every migraine), it is a safe alternative to try if you’re fed up with pain. To inhale lavender oil, Healthline recommends adding two to four drops of oil to two cups of boiling water, then inhaling the vapours.

— Yoga poses

The gentle and healing nature of yoga can prove helpful when it comes to migraine relief and is particularly great when your migraine trigger is stress.

A study in 2014 found that the frequency and intensity of migraines were reduced in those who practised yoga. Certain yoga poses can also ease tension in the body and improve blood flow to the brain, which can help with migraines.

Healthline recommends trying child’s pose, bridge pose and corpse pose to help relieve migraine pain.

— Try Botox injections

While Botox is generally administered to smooth wrinkles and lines on the face, it can also help with migraine pain. According to Harvard Health Publishing, Botox can be injected in the scalp and neck in order to block pain transmission and has proved to be effective in the prevention of migraines.

This might seem like an extreme way to prevent these episodes but if you’re someone who has regular migraines, it could prove helpful. Harvard Health Publishing says that multiple treatments are needed for it to work, with a single treatment lasting 10 to 12 weeks.

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