Every second of a migraine is a second of pain and other side effects too. Stop the ordeal as soon as possible by getting yourself into a suitable environment and trying different natural methods or medications that can relieve this pain. Keep in mind that you may need to combine different treatments, for example, you will need to put yourself in a calming environment while taking medication to make your migraine go away.
Method 1 of 3: Try natural remedies
Step 1. Take the right supplements
There are dietary supplements that have been shown to be effective in migraine studies, including vitamin B2, feverfew, melatonin, butterbur, co-Q10, and magnesium.
- Among the most useful are butterbur supplements, and they are believed to prevent migraines and reduce their severity. They reduce inflammation and stabilize blood flow while also acting as a beta blocker. Thus, they prevent the spasms of the blood vessels. Take a dose of 50 mg and make sure that the product you choose does not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
- Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is known to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Take 400 mg every day to halve the frequency of symptoms and take it every time you have migraines for temporary pain relief.
- Feverfew, melatonin, and co-Q10 (coenzyme Q10) may help reduce the severity after the onset of migraine. The good news is that you can reduce the overall frequency of migraines by taking regular doses of these substances.
- Magnesium produces mixed results. A 500 mg supplement may help reduce the severity of migraine if it is associated with the menstrual cycle, otherwise its effectiveness is in question. Try taking it with vitamin B2 and butterbur every day to prevent migraines.
Step 2. Prepare an infusion of lavender or other plants
Herbal teas can provide relief to your body and reduce the stress responsible for some or all of your migraines. After drinking it, you should see rapid relief from your migraine. Lavender, ginger, peppermint, and cayenne pepper are often recommended.
- Lavender helps reduce inflammation in blood vessels and is generally more effective against anxiety, stress, and stress-induced migraines. In addition to drinking lavender herbal teas, you can also put sachets or hot compresses that contain it on your eyes to relieve migraine as soon as it pops up.
- Ginger, peppermint, and cayenne all have pain relieving properties. Ginger and peppermint are great for reducing nausea caused by migraine. Be aware that ginger is also a blood thinner, which is why you should avoid it if you are already taking blood thinners.
- Prepare an anti-migraine herbal tea by infusing cayenne pepper, 2 cm of fresh ginger root and 1 teaspoon of dry peppermint in 500 ml of boiling water for a quarter of an hour.
Step 3. Consider consuming some caffeine
Caffeine is a paradox in the field of migraines. If you take too much of it, it will give you migraines, but if you take a little when you already have a migraine, it will actually help make it go away.
- Take only a small dose: a soda, a cup of coffee, a cup of tea or a chocolate bar is enough. Avoid energy drinks that contain a lot of coffee.
- Be aware that this usually only works if the caffeine is not the cause of your migraine.
Step 4. Massage your temples and neck
Migraines have a strong link with stress. Sometimes a quick and simple massage can help relax your muscles and blood vessels for symptom relief.
- Use your index and middle fingers of both hands to gently massage your temples, sideways, and back neck. Press firmly, but gently in small circles.
- To improve the effectiveness of this technique, dip your fingers in ice water before starting. The cold water will cause the blood vessels to constrict, which will slow the blood supply to your head.
Step 5. Treat a mild migraine with aerobic exercise
If the pain doesn't keep you from moving completely, light aerobic exercise may help keep your blood flowing to other areas of your body and make a migraine go away.
- Walking, jogging, biking, or swimming are some of the light types of exercise you might try when you have a migraine.
- As you exercise your heart, your blood circulation will improve throughout your body, which will reduce the amount of blood reaching your head.
- Plus, exercise is a great way to relax and let go of the stress that could be causing your migraine.
Method 2 of 3: Try drugs
Step 1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can relieve migraine pain by reducing inflammation of blood vessels.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include naproxen and ibuprofen. Among the pain relievers are aspirin and paracetamol.
- For this treatment to be effective, you must take it within the first half an hour after the onset of symptoms. It should also work if you wait longer, but the migraine will also last longer.
- Avoid taking these medications more than twice a week. If you do, you could cause yourself migraines after the effects of the medicine wear off.
Step 2. Try a pain reliever with caffeine
Some over-the-counter medications combine a simple pain reliever with a low dose of caffeine. It helps constrict blood vessels and make pain relievers more effective.
- These drugs usually mix aspirin or paracetamol with caffeine.
- Studies suggest they work 20 minutes earlier than drugs that don't contain caffeine.
- As with other over-the-counter pain relievers, you should take them within the first 30 minutes after symptoms appear and avoid taking them more than twice a week.
Step 3. Get a prescription for triptans
These drugs cause the blood vessels to constrict, which limits the flow of blood to the head. Studies and tests suggest that many people with migraine experience relief within an hour of taking the drug, with complete relief within two hours.
- Avoid taking triptans more than seventeen times per month. This could cause migraines which appear when the effects of the medicine wear off, as your body will get used to the substance.
- These drugs can cause heart attacks or strokes because they cause the blood vessels to constrict. If you have heart problems or blood clotting abnormalities, you should not take triptans.
- Clinical trials have proven that triptans are the most effective treatment for migraines.
Step 4. Learn About Dihydroergotamine and Ergotamines
These prescription drugs will constrict the blood vessels in the brain. In addition to relieving pain, they are also known to reduce nausea and sensitivity to light commonly associated with migraines.
- These drugs are most often given by nasal spray or injections.
- You may receive a single injection for a single treatment, but if you have frequent migraines, your doctor may prescribe a nasal treatment.
Method 3 of 3: Change your environment
Step 1. Turn off the lights
Many migraines are caused by sensory stimuli, such as bright or flashing lights. Calm your senses by turning off the lights and pulling the curtains or going to a dark room.
- Stay in a dark room until the migraine is gone or as long as possible.
- Wear sunglasses when necessary. If you have to get out of your home and can't stay in an area with low light or no light, wear polarized glasses to protect your eyes from the brighter parts of the light spectrum. It's not going to be as effective as spending some time in a dark room, but it's still worth a try.
Step 2. Eliminate as much noise as possible
Like light, noise is a sensory stimulus known to cause migraines. Turn off background noises like radios and televisions, or go to a quiet place.
- If you can't make it to another room, wear noise-canceling headphones over your ears to block out outside noise.
- Some people find the silence stressful or confusing. If this is your case, turn on a machine that produces white noise or an air purifier to produce background noise. You could also try soothing music, however, you should avoid loud or stimulating noises.
Step 3. Lie down and rest
Stress and lack of sleep are other triggers for migraine. Take a few minutes to lie on your back and close your eyes when you have a migraine.
- Rest for five to thirty minutes to relieve your headache.
- Be aware, however, that some migraines are caused by sleeping too long. If this is one of the factors contributing to your migraine, you should avoid lying down and resting.
Step 4. Take a deep breath
Deep inspiration exercises can help relax your body, which will release tension that could be contributing to your headaches.
- Lie on your back with a pillow under your head and another under your knees. Your legs should be bent a bit.
- Place your dominant hand on your upper torso and the other hand under your rib cage.
- Slowly inhale through your nose until your stomach pushes against your non-dominant hand.
- Slowly exhale, puckering your lips as you contract your stomach.
- Keep your dominant hand in the same position during all of these steps.
- Repeat for about five minutes.
Step 5. Apply a cold compress
A cold compress on your head will constrict your blood vessels, which will slow the flow of blood through your head.
- Place a clean washcloth soaked in cold water on your forehead or on the back of your neck. Leave on for ten to fifteen minutes. Take a break for ten to fifteen minutes before applying a new compress, then repeat these steps until the migraine is gone.
- However, be aware that in some cases, cold temperatures can make the pain worse. If the pain intensifies within the first five minutes of treatment, stop immediately and try something else.
Step 6. Take a cold shower and sleep in a cool room
Stand in the shower and let the cold water color on the top of your head for at least a quarter of an hour. Give yourself a little massage while you shampoo yourself. This helps reduce tension in your body while releasing the heat that has built up in your scalp.
- Gently squeeze excess water from your hair, but keep it damp. Do not dry them.
- Lie down in a cool room with damp hair and try to take a nap. You can put a towel on your pillow if you don't want to get it wet.
Step 7. Change your diet
There are certain foods that can trigger migraines in some people, but this will change from person to person. You can determine which ones are causing you migraines by noting what you eat before symptoms appear and by noticing recurring patterns. Here are some of the foods that can cause migraines:
- foods that contain aspartame or MSG (monosodium glutamate);
- the alcohol;
- Keep a food journal. When migraine symptoms appear, take note of the environment you are in. Note the sensory stimuli present (bright lights, loud music, unpleasant smells, etc.), the causes of stress, your diet and sleep habits. After several attacks, read your journal again for common conditions that usually exist just before the onset of a migraine. These conditions can be "triggers" and you should avoid them to keep the migraine from coming back.
- For migraines that don't respond to standard treatments, you may want to learn about other more effective treatments such as trigger point injections, occipital nerve blockages, or Botox injections.
- Drink a cup of tea to relax.
- Place a cold washcloth or an ice pack on your head.
- If you have a migraine at work or school, consider taking a day off. Sometimes the best treatment is to just rest and relax.