Migraines affect a large part of the population, and it can be one of the most debilitating health conditions to affect you – especially if it hits at the wrong time. It’s estimated that migraine headaches affect so many people that it’s called one of the three most commonly reported health conditions in the world.
This means that it’s even more prevalent than other health conditions, including diabetes. That’s a scary statistic.
If you’ve ever had a migraine headache yourself,f, then you’ll know just how much it can floor you – and how long it could potentially put you out of action for. Sometimes a migraine feels like there’s no end to it – but there are some things you can try at home.
Here are 15 effective, tried and trusted tips for migraine relief that you can try yourself to relieve some of the associated symptoms and kick that headache straight away.
1. Supplement Your Diet
The majority of people just don’t get enough nutrients through their diet – and this means that most people are left feeling slugging or craving a lot of weird things in their diet for no seeming reason; well, there’s your reason: This is why many people have to rely on supplements to get everything they need out of their day, and it could make a world of difference to how frequent migraines occur if they are happening because of a dietary deficiency.
Start off with a simple multivitamin and see if this makes any noticeable difference to your health – and if you’re not sure which vitamin to pick, your doctor, pharmacist or diet specialist should be able to make a proper recommendation.
Remember that there’s no reason to overload your body on vitamins, either: Stick to the recommended dosage. Taking more of it won’t do you any better, and it won’t make your headache go away any sooner.
2. Breathe Salts
There are plenty of different causes that could be the trigger for your migraine headache, and for many people, it can be an underlying lung condition: Migraines can go along with conditions like asthma often, and it’s not uncommon for people on the verge of an asthma attack to go straight into a migraine headache.
For opening the lungs and blood vessels at the same time, studies are being done on just how much smelling pink salts (yes, smelling!) can do for your health – and if you find yourself in an emergency with nothing else on hand, this could be a lifesaving trick, and it could do wonders for your headache.
Of course, this shouldn’t be a replacement for your medication in the event of a medical emergency – and you should get medical attention immediately if your symptoms turn out to be closer related to an asthma attack in progress than they are a migraine.
3. Drinking Coffee
Caffeine is listed amongst one of the most common trigger-substances for migraines and headaches – so why on earth would drinking coffee be on a list for getting rid of migraine headaches?
Easy: In large amounts, caffeine can have disastrous consequences for your health and body – and you could have everything from heart palpitations to tremors showing up as associated symptoms.
But in small amounts, caffeine can open up the blood vessels – and that’s what’s usually causing a migraine headache.
Remember that you should only do this in small amounts, and if you find that it has made your migraine any worse, avoid caffeine entirely and try another tip on this list to see if it can bring your headache some relief.
If you still want to have the taste of coffee and find that it’s a trigger for your headaches, most people find that decaf doesn’t have this severe effect – and won’t trigger a headache.
4. Ice Packs
You should always keep ice packs in your freezer if you find that you’re having recurring problems with migraine headaches and need something on hand to soothe the pain immediately when you can’t afford to have a headache halt your day.
Apply the ice pack to the forehead or temples, and take a five-minute break – even just a little bit of rest can do wonders for your health when combined with the right course of treatment.
There are many ice packs that are specifically designed for this, and they cool down fast and stay at the right temperature for longer – some are even small enough to carry around with you and pop in a freezer wherever you’re going if you have access to one at work.
If you don’t, a cold soda in an aluminum can will work for when you’re in a pinch and have an emergency that needs taking care of quickly.
5. Herbal Tricks
Herbs really are a wonder of natural health, and you’d be surprised to find out that many over-the-counter medications originally have some type of base in a herb: Just one example of this is willow bark, from which we get paracetamol – yes, it’s a completely natural compound.
There are many herbal tricks that can do many things – but for migraines, you’re looking for a cocktail that’ll relax your muscles and kick the headache. Most people report that lavender works best – and they swear by adding a couple of drops to their bath or diluting some essential oil for a massage.
You can even sew lavender into a pouch and keep this under your pillow for if and when that headache hits.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some herbs that might trigger your headache instead of helping it – and mint is among these if you happen to have a heart condition. Ironically, this can also go together with an extreme craving for peppermint – so note this to your doctor if it has been happening to you.
6. Avoid Noise
If you are experiencing a migraine headache of note, then there might be a couple of things you will want to stay very far away from – and one of these is noise. Even just the slightest sound can feel like a soccer match going on right next to your ears – and it can feel like someone dropped a huge anvil on your head.
If it’s particularly severe, as is usually the case with most migraines, you’ll want to spend some time resting in a dark room with headphones or earplugs to block out most of the sound. This helps you to cut down on the sensory overload that is commonly experienced along with a migraine, and you should feel better within a few hours of this – as opposed to a few days instead.
If the condition stays the same or gets any worse, make an immediate appointment with your doctor: For severe and recurring conditions, there are many medical recommendations that can be made to control them.
7. Rehydrate Yourself
Did you know that dehydration is another one of the most common causes of headaches and migraines? If you are experiencing a headache while you have been out in the sun for a while, it could also signal the potential of having developed heatstroke – and this can put you in hospital if it isn’t taken care of properly.
By the point your body starts telling you that you need to take in fluids, you’ve already reached a pretty advanced stage of dehydration and will need to do something to fix it immediately. Avoid things that are high in sugar, and go for fruit juice that’s not too acidic – this can trigger nausea associated with migraine headaches to turn into vomiting or an upset stomach instead.
Sports drinks are also a great help for hydrating quickly because they are designed for sportspeople who will lose a lot of fluid through sweat while exercising – and they contain all of the necessary salts and minerals you need to get back on your feet again.
8. Apply Pressure
If you have been experiencing headaches and nothing seems to help, it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost all hope for getting rid of your headache. If this describes you, then you’ll be glad to know that there are more and more studies and research that support the idea of applying pressure to certain parts of the body to cure certain symptoms such as tension, nausea and headaches.
There are a few known pressure spots that are associated with being able to relieve the symptoms commonly experienced during a migraine attack – these include between the eyes, the bridge of the nose, next to the ears and the temples.
This relief might only last for as long as the massage is being done but combined with some of the other treatments on this list it gives you just enough time to get over your headache and get back to living your life.
Of course, it’s still important to find the root cause of your headaches occur again and again.
9. Get Sleep
Headaches can also start to happen if you have been going through a long period of being unable to sleep or having your sleeping patterns constantly interrupted – or, of course, if you’ve just simply been awake for too long chasing a deadline, whether for school or for work.
Tiredness can be a big trigger, and sometimes the only thing that will make your headache go away completely is as simple as getting some sleep. If you don’t have the time in your day to full-on sleep, then you might be able to have a short power nap instead – yes, this can sometimes save you from the three or four-day stretch migraine headache that most migraine sufferers will know far too well.
If you can’t get sleep right away, then there are still plenty of methods left in this article that can bring you relief from your headache until you’re able to lie down and get some proper, quality rest.
10. Eliminate Light
Light and sound are more than just irritating if you have a migraine – they can be exceptionally painful, too. If you are experiencing a migraine, then you should eliminate light as much as you can and try to stay out of the sun for a while.
The best is to close yourself up in a dark room with as little light and sound as possible, and stay there for a few hours – rest until the migraine goes away. This doesn’t help if you’re on a schedule, though sometimes it’s the only thing that can relieve a really bad migraine that sticks to you like glue.
Sunglasses go a long way for relieving the stab-like pains in and behind the eyes that are also commonly associated with migraine headaches. You can even get special sunglasses that will darken when you are exposed to light – and they can be a huge help if you suffer from regular migraine headaches.