Migraines are powerful recurring episodes of pain that can produce a variety of symptoms, including headaches. Since there are many causes of migraines, including such potentially deadly conditions like stroke or a brain aneurysm, it is vital that anyone suffering from migraines goes to a doctor. Anyone suffering from continual migraine pain for longer than 72 hours needs to go to a hospital immediately because this could be a stroke or something worse.
Migraine headaches are best treated with a combination of conventional medications and home remedies. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or home remedy that will immediately cure a migraineur (someone that suffers from migraines.) Management of symptoms takes work on the part of both doctor and patient.
Cold and Warm Compresses
Once migraine pain begins, going to a dark, quiet room to recover is highly recommended. But this is not always practical. Many migraineurs find some relief at placing a cold compress on the side of their faces that hurt the most. Some migraineurs prefer a warm compress than a cold one. Which one to use is a matter of trial and error for each migraineur. Never stick ice directly on one’s face because this could cause a painful cold burn.
Some migraineurs also find relief from aromatherapy while waiting for their painkillers to kick in. It is theorized that some essential oils help a person to involuntarily breathe deeper and so relax their muscles. When migraine pain hits, it is very easy to have tense muscles because one is braced against the pain. Relief differs from person to person. What oil to use is a matter of personal preference. Popular aromatherapy oils, blended for contact on the skin or for placing full strength in an aromatherapy oil burner, are lavender, frankincense and peppermint.
The Golf Ball Technique
Some migraineurs have reported getting some relief from rolling a golf ball over the palms of their hands. The dimples on the golf ball are thought to help trigger acupressure points in order to help the body relax. This technique does not work for all people (such as this writer.)
Keeping a Migraine Journal
Besides going to a doctor, the most important thing a migraineur can do to help combat their migraines is to keep a migraine journal. There are many headache journal templates online or from the National Headache Foundation. Information to note are what happened immediately prior to the migraine; how long the migraine lasted; if there was an aura; what medications helped or not; what time of the month it is (for fertile women;) and what the weather was like.
Make a copy of this journal to share with your doctor. Over time, patterns will emerge that will show you what circumstances consistently or triggers bring on migraines, such as drinking red wine or squinting in bright sunlight. In this way, you can learn to avoid these situations and prevent migraine attacks.
“Migraines For Dummies.” Diane Stafford & Jennifer Shoquist, MD. Wiley Publishing; 2003.
“Is Heat or Ice Better for a Migraine?” Rena Sherwood. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5698455_heat-ice-better-migraine_.html
Reflexology Research Project. “Golf Ball Technique.” Barbara and Kevin Kunz. http://www.reflexology-research.com/golfball.html
Health Central. “Aromatherapy and Migraines and Headaches.” Teri Robert. http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/c/123/90551/aromatherapy?ic=506048
Mayo Clinic. “Migraine: Lifestyle and Home Remedies.” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-headache/DS00120/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies