There’s no cure for migraine, but there are ways to control your symptoms and prevent them from happening. Using a combination of medications, lifestyle changes and complementary therapies, you can find a treatment that works for you.
Over-the-counter pain relievers (like ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol) can be effective for most people who have migraines. They work best when you take them at the first sign of a headache, as they have time to get into your bloodstream and help reduce the pain. It’s important to take the correct dosage and don’t take too much at one time, as this can cause stomach upset.
Vitamin B2 supplements, or riboflavin, are also recommended for those with migraines. Studies have shown that taking this B vitamin can significantly reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
Diet and exercise are also good for reducing the number of migraines you have. Physical activity releases chemicals that block the signal from your brain that triggers the pain. It can also improve your mood and lower your stress level, which may reduce the frequency of migraines.
Avoiding certain foods and drinks can also be helpful for preventing migraines, including alcohol, spicy or fatty foods and processed foods with high levels of histamines and nitrates, according to the National Headache Foundation. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re drinking enough water during the day, as dehydration can also trigger migraines.
Sleep is another crucial component of maintaining good health and preventing migraines, so try to keep yourself on a regular schedule. Ideally, your bedtime should be around the same time every night. Getting plenty of rest can reduce stress and ease the pain of a migraine, according to the National Headache Foundation.
Taking a daily magnesium and vitamin B2 supplement can also be beneficial for reducing the frequency of your migraines. Magnesium is found in nuts and leafy green vegetables, while vitamin B2 is present in egg yolks, dairy and fortified cereals.
Acupuncture and other forms of holistic medicine are another option for those looking to reduce the pain of their migraines. Acupuncture can reduce pain in some people with chronic migraines by resetting the muscles and nerves that send signals to the brain. It can also help relieve nausea and vomiting, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Other natural remedies include aromatherapy, exercise and meditation. Yoga, for example, can calm your mind and release tension. Similarly, guided imagery techniques can help relax your body and mind.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can help you identify your personal triggers and learn how to cope with them. If you have severe migraines, talk to your doctor about seeing a trained mental health professional who can provide you with therapy sessions.
Massage is also a great way to relax and relieve the pain of a migraine, as long as you’re not allergic to the oils used in massage. Massage can also be a great option for relieving stress and tension, so ask your doctor about a few different types of treatments that might be appropriate for you.