Migraine: the basics

A migraine is not just a headache. It is a hereditary neurological condition that involves excessive excitement within certain parts of the brain.

It’s not completely apparent what it is about a migraineur’s brain that puts them at greater risk or how migraines originate. However, it is clear that various physical and lifestyle factors, called triggers, often precede an attack. Some of the most common triggers are the menstrual cycle; changing weather patterns; loud sounds, strong lights, and intense odors; sleeplessness or elevated stress; and red wine, coffee, chocolate, processed meats, and moldy cheeses.

Tips to avoid another migraine and find relief

One of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of migraine is by adjusting your day-to-day habits. Essentially, adding elements to your routine that improve general wellness will better protect your brain from these excruciating, sometimes disabling headaches. Here are four ways to avoid another migraine.

#1. Retreat.

When a migraine strikes, cancel your plans and get home if you can:

  • Switch off the lights and try to sleep.
  • Use thermotherapy. “Ice packs have a numbing effect, which may dull the sensation of pain,” notes the Mayo Clinic. “Hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles.”

#2. Change your diet.

Watch what you eat since what we consume will sometimes lead to a migraine, as with the top trigger foods listed above. Also try these steps:

  • Set regular meal times.
  • Eat every meal without fail so that hunger doesn’t trigger an attack.
  • Start a migraine diary so you can better figure out your main triggers.

#3. Work out.

When we exercise, chemicals are released that reduce both pain and depression, the latter of which can amplify migraine sensitivity. Working out also helps to manage weight – important since obesity is a contributing factor for attacks as well.

#4. Relieve your stress.

Generally, lowering the amount of stress you experience can help. Here are a few tactics:

  • Remove some activities from your schedule.
  • Work on managing your time, staying on top of your agenda and breaking big tasks into smaller pieces.
  • Focus on remaining positive, using deep breathing if you start to feel overwhelmed. “Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes every day,” advises the Mayo Clinic. “It may also help to consciously relax your muscles, one group at a time.”

Beyond at-home relief tips

Are you suffering with the often debilitating pain of migraine? At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, we provide solutions for resolving painful health issues in a personalized and caring manner. See our New Patient Offer.