If you are one of the many people who suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. Migraines are much more than ordinary headaches. This neurological condition causes throbbing or pulsing pain, often on one side of the head. Migraine sufferers may also experience nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. When a migraine headache begins to set in, it may be hard to concentrate on anything else. Therefore, quickly finding migraine relief is crucial. Fortunately, there are a few general remedies that may help.
What Causes Migraines?
Although the exact cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, it is believed that genetics and environmental factors play an underlying role. Changes in your brainstem and how it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may also be involved. Furthermore, an imbalance of brain chemicals, including serotonin, may trigger a migraine. Migraines may also be caused by hormonal changes, certain foods, and stress.
Moreover, there are several risk factors that may make you more susceptible to migraines. For example, women are roughly three times more likely to experience migraines than men. Additionally, migraines tend to become more frequent in your 30s and often run in families. So, if your parents or siblings experience migraines, you may also have a higher chance of developing them.
Types of Migraines
There are two main types of migraines: migraines with aura (classic migraines) and migraines without aura (common migraines). In addition to these two main types, there are many other subtypes of migraines. Knowing which type you are experiencing can be helpful in finding migraine relief.
Some people experience an aura before or during a migraine headache. An aura is a visual, motor or sensory disturbance that precedes a migraine attack. You may see flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots. Migraines with aura have other symptoms as well, including:
- A pins and needles sensation in your arms or legs
- Numbness and weakness on one side of your body
- Trouble speaking
- Smell or taste changes
The symptoms of a classic migraine tend to build up gradually over several minutes and may last for up to an hour. However, the duration and severity of symptoms vary from person to person. A migraine may occur only once in a while or multiple times a month.
Common migraines don’t usually include an aura. However, this type of migraine may still be very debilitating. Symptoms of a common migraine may include:
- Throbbing or pulsing pain, usually on one side of the head
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and vomiting
Like classic migraines, the symptoms of a common migraine may last for several hours or even days. Migraine headaches may occur sporadically or frequently. Generally, migraines are episodic, meaning they come and go. However, some people experience chronic migraines, which are defined as having migraines on 15 or more days per month.
6 Treatments for Migraine Relief
Whether you are looking to mitigate the symptoms of a migraine or prevent one altogether, there are a few things you can do to avoid and treat migraines. One of the most crucial aspects of finding migraine relief is ensuring you are well hydrated. Migraine headaches may be caused or exacerbated by dehydration, so make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Other treatments for migraines include:
1. Chiropractic Care
Migraines are often caused by tension in the neck and shoulders. This tension can be due to poor posture, stress, or injury. Chiropractic care involves adjusting the spine to relieve this tension and pressure. This, in turn, may reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. At NJ Spine and Wellness, our chiropractors are experts in treating migraines. If you are experiencing frequent migraines, we can create a customized treatment plan to help you find relief.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. This treatment has been shown to be effective in treating migraines. Acupuncture may help to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and increase blood flow. In addition, cupping therapy may also help to relieve migraine pain. Cupping therapy uses silicon cups to create suction on the skin. This suction helps loosen muscles, reduce tension, relieve pain, and increase blood flow. All of which may help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
At NJ Spine and Wellness, our acupuncturists are highly trained and experienced in treating migraines. If you are interested in exploring acupuncture and cupping therapy as a treatment for your migraines, we would be happy to discuss this option with you.
3. Staying Cool
Placing a cold compress on your forehead or neck may help to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Migraine headaches are often accompanied by fever, so lowering your body temperature may ease pain and other symptoms. To make a cold compress, soak a clean cloth in cool water and apply it to your forehead or neck for 15-20 minutes. You can also use a frozen gel pack wrapped in a thin towel. If you find relief from a cold compress, you can also try taking a cool shower. The water should be comfortably cool, not cold.
4. Prioritizing Sleep and Rest
Poor sleep hygiene and a lack of rest may trigger migraines. Make sure you are getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Establish a regular sleep schedule and avoid working late into the night. Furthermore, loud noises and bright lights may make your migraine symptoms worse, so if you are experiencing a migraine, try to rest in a quiet, dark room. This may accelerate the healing process and help you feel better faster.
5. Doing Yoga and Meditation
As mentioned above, tension in the neck, head, and shoulders may trigger a migraine. To release this tension and find relief, you may want to try doing some gentle yoga and meditation. Yoga poses that stretch the neck, shoulders, and upper back may ease pain and reduce the frequency of migraines. In addition, relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing may reduce stress, tension, and the severity of migraines. Focus on clearing your mind and taking slow, deep breaths.
6. Managing Your Migraine Triggers
There are many times when a migraine cannot be prevented, but identifying and avoiding your triggers may reduce the frequency of migraines. Certain foods, such as aged cheese, processed meats, and chocolate, have been linked to migraines. Moreover, bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and high altitudes may bring on a migraine. Migraines may also be brought on by stress. Therefore, managing your stress levels is vital. To identify potential triggers, keep a journal and make a note of when you experience a migraine headache and what you were doing or eating beforehand.
Find Migraine Relief With NJ Spine and Wellness
At NJ Spine and Wellness, we will help you combat migraines, whether they are occasional or persistent. We believe you deserve to find a treatment plan that works for you. That’s why we offer a variety of services such as chiropractic care and acupuncture to help you find migraine relief. Moreover, sometimes a neurological disorder is the root cause of migraines. In these cases, NJ Spine and Wellness will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. We offer a number of neurological treatments, from vertigo treatments to physical therapy. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find a solution to your migraines today.