Migraines affect a large number of people and this number increase throughout the years, more migraine treatments are being sought to try to tackle them.
While some people utilize OTC pain killers to try to combat the problem, others are seeking out more long term solutions to try to bring an end to this issue. While some people find that certain treatments work better than others, the important thing is to try a variety of treatments until you find one that works best for you.
Keep in mind that if you are struggling with migraines, you need to make sure that you consult with a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying issues that need to be dealt with first.
Your doctor will then be able to provide you with more information about what sort of migraine treatments they have available. Simply read our handy guide of questions and answers to make the best decision.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a neurological condition that is best characterised by the ongoing, intense and throbbing head pain that becomes worse with movement.
Furthermore, it is associated with a light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, vomiting and nausea. In some instances, the pain is only situated at one side of the head, and it can also be accompanied by an aura – which occurs when someone sees flashing lights or blind spots. It worth nothing that a person might not even get a headache when they have a migraine.
What Causes a Migraine?
There are a range of factors that cause migraines. While they are defined as a genetic neurological disorder, they can also be triggered by certain types of food, light, smells, sleeping patterns, alcohol and weather conditions, among other things.
Triggers differ from one person to the next, so if you are struggling with migraines, it’s helpful to get to know your own triggers.
What is the Difference between a Migraine and a Headache?
A standard headache usually consists of mild to moderate pain, and it could be described as a dull ache within the head. Headaches such as these are not accompanied by additional symptoms such as light and sound sensitivity, vomiting and the aura.
Are There Treatments for a Migraine?
Many people live with migraines thinking that there are no treatments available for this issue but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are a range of treatments available now, including natural and over-the-counter medications, as well as acupuncture, massage and prescribed medications, among others.
What Types of Medications Are Available for Migraines?
Migraine medications are usually separated into three categories; acute, rescue and preventive. The acute medications are taken at the time of the attack and these include Midrin, DHE-45 and Migranal.
When these aren’t working, a person can then turn to the rescue medications, which fall into the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory categories. Preventive medications are taken on a daily basis – not just when a person is having an attack – and they are supposed to ensure that migraines don’t occur at all. These could be prescription medications or even herbal treatments.
Can I Prevent a Migraine with Lifestyle Changes?
Yes, you can prevent migraines with a wide range of lifestyle changes, including exercising regularly, meditation and managing your stress levels effectively.
It’s important to cut down on alcohol and ensure that you are getting enough sleep, as these could also be triggers. By identifying those triggers that apply to you, it’s possible to make lifestyle changes that will have the biggest possible impact on your migraines and improve your quality of life.
What Should I Do When I Get a Migraine?
The moment you know you are getting a migraine, you might want to start by taking your abortive medication. Keep in mind that the earlier you take it during the attack, the more effective it is going to be.
Make sure you don’t drive while on the medication, especially if you get auras. If you have a light or sound sensitivity, make sure you spend some time in a quiet, dark room until the episode has passed.
What are Triptans?
Triptans are the latest in abortive medications and they have been designed especially to deal with migraines. In order to achieve this, Triptans will actually moderate chemical reactions within the brain, restoring balance.
It is believed that serotonin levels could be directly linked to migraines and so this is where this medication focuses.
What are Prophylactic Treatments?
Prophylactic treatments are preventive medications that tackle migraines by reducing the severity, frequency and the length of the migraine attacks. Calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, antidepressants and NSAIDs all fall into this category.
Can Electrical Stimulation Help with Migraines?
Yes, new research suggests that cefaly, which is an electrical stimulation device, can be helpful for those struggling with migraines, but don’t want to deal with the side effects of drugs.
In order for it to work, you simply wear it across the forehead, like a headband. One of the great things about this device is that you can use it every day.
What are CGRP Inhibitors?
CGRP’s, or calcitonin gene-related peptides are molecules that are known to contribute to migraines, and so the CGRP inhibitors work to block the impact of these on the brain, thereby making it one of the very popular migraine treatments on the market at the moment.
What are the Benefits of Counselling?
Counselling is a form of treatment that utilizes what is known as ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This works to help you to focus away from the pain and accept that it is present, rather than trying to fight it.
There is also the option of including mindfulness training into this form of therapy. You can choose whether you use this as a form of therapy in itself, or whether you combine counselling with medications.