You’ve taken the kids and dog to the park and you begin to feel that sharp squeeze in your forehead. You’re out at dinner with the in-laws and that pressure begins to build at the base of your head just above the nape of your neck. Or, you have a major project due but you just can’t bring yourself to lift your head off your pillow to look at a bright computer screen…
No matter how the onset begins, the course is always painful, and quick remedies are always preferred. A single migraine will disrupt your day. Regularly occurring migraines have the potential to disrupt your life. You’ve probably tried all the methods of relieving this pain. It used to be that a migraine would simply have to run its course like a virus but in today’s world of modern medicine, and homeopathic care, there are a lot of options available to the migraine sufferer.
These options range from the most essential substance to complex conventional pharmacopoeia or medical treatment. The most effective method for dispensing with a migraine changes from person to person and is often affected by what causes your migraines to begin with.
There are many things that cause migraines. This list can include:
– a shortage of carbohydrates;
– ingesting too much caffeine- or not enough;
– excessive sun exposure;
– heat exposure;
– cold exposure;
– sitting under fluorescent lights for too long;
– looking at a computer or television screen for too many hours during your day;
– sitting with bad posture;
– using improper typing habits for those people who may do this for several hours during the day;
– bad sleeping habits;
– and genes.
Although not proven, migraines are thought to be hereditary. If a parent is prone to chronic migraines, their child is more likely to experience them later in life. If two parents experience frequent migraines, those odds increase again.
If you get frequent migraines, knowing what causes them is essential in treatment. If a migraine is caused by not consuming enough carbohydrates, drinking water will help, but it won’t be enough. Many of these suggestions for getting rid of migraines are best when used in conjunction with other complementary methods. As always, consulting, and working with, your neurologist is always a good practice when developing a treatment plan.
In this article, you will learn 11 ways to get rid of a migraine fast.
Water and Carbs
Often, what starts a migraine can be tied to your diet. Consuming the wrong foods or liquids, or consuming them in the wrong amounts can trigger a migraine. This includes:
– too much caffeine, or not enough;
– not drinking enough water;
– not eating carbohydrates in proper portion.
If your body is accustomed to that morning cup of coffee, deciding to forgo that initial cup of brown magic can trigger a migraine. If you’re not accustomed to that caffeine, or if your body simply doesn’t like it, consuming caffeine can also be the trigger. Consumption triggered migraines can also be triggered by things like artificial sweeteners, and overly processed foods.
A migraine, like any pain, is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong or out of balance. If your migraine is triggered by incorrect consumption, listening to your body is the fastest way to alleviate a migraine. Hunger, and dehydration are certain ways of welcoming in a migraine. Just before a migraine starts, you may crave carbohydrates, or feel thirsty. Proper response to your body’s needs is helpful. Eating carbohydrates or drinking water when you feel the onset of a migraine is often the quickest way of getting rid of that migraine by keeping it from settling in.
Experimenting with drastic temperature differences helps in different ways. Even though this is more widely used on limb and torso muscular pain relief, the theory still applies and holds to migraines. If too much sun or heat exposure is the cause of the migraine, the numbing relief provided by an ice pack may be preferential. On the other hand, a heating pad or hot shower may relieve muscular tension elsewhere in the body that may contribute to a migraine.
Either way, having an idea of what causes the migraine, and a little experimentation is required with temperature therapy. Applying the cold pack to your head, or the heating pad to your neck will cause a shift in your muscular tension. A release of muscular tension may be what your body is looking for during a migraine, or why the migraine occurred. If the migraine worsens, shift to the other temperature. It may simply have been the wrong reaction your body was looking for.
Dark, quiet, and still
Regardless of what causes a migraine, the one sure way of getting rid of a migraine is a dark quiet room, and a comfortable pillow. This treatment method may not be as fast as some other methods, but it is efficient. Unfortunately, a restful nap in a dark room is sometimes the last resort for many people with busy or hectic lifestyles, but it is the surest way of relieving a migraine.
Many people just want that magic pill that’s going to make everything alright. Unfortunately, with migraines there is no magic pill or quick fix. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is off. Even though there are describable pharmaceuticals designed for the relief of migraines, they still take time to work, and many require being taken regularly to prevent migraines. Laying your head down on a pillow in a dark, and quiet room gives your body the environment it needs to relax in. Remember that lack of restful sleep is one of the things known to cause migraines. Your body may be telling you that it needs time to slow down and rest properly.
Despite being one of the substances prone to causing migraines for chronic sufferers, caffeine in small amounts, can relieve a migraine once it’s onset is in full swing. This is usually best in the form of the medications in which it is an ingredient, but a small cup of black coffee, or a small amount of unsweetened tea can will do in a pinch.
Over the counter medications
Some over the counter medications made specifically for relieving migraines are some of the fastest methods of getting migraine relief started when you’re on the go. These over the counter medications generally contain a mix of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. These ingredients can help in pain relief by themselves anyway. However, this mix in over the counter medications, which come in forms like Excedrin or Goody’s Powder, have the fastest relief when taken early. I’m not trying to endorse any specific product here, and these are just two of the products available over the counter. If over the counter relief is preferable you should at least consult your pharmacist, however consulting a neurologist may still be necessary if you have prescriptions for other medications.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a physical activity that is generally used to help people who are tense or stressed out for so much of their life they genuinely don’t recognize relaxation when they feel it. It helps to alleviate muscular tension by allowing its user to become more attuned to the physical presence of their body. This treatment method provides benefits to migraine sufferers. This two-step process is done by tensing a muscle group one at a time, taking mental note of the sensation, and then releasing that tension.
The physical activity of tensing and then relaxing muscle groups one at a time from either head to toe or toe to head gives a base of practice. Being able to recognize which muscle groups tense up the most during a migraine, and then using progressive muscle relaxation at the onset can be enough to relieve the migraine entirely before full onset occurs.
Generally, sessions of progressive muscle relaxation therapy are done in about fifteen minutes, and can be done while sitting in a kitchen chair, or while lying in a comfortable bed.
To add to the list of natural remedies is ginger root. This pungent root slices and mixes in water to make an infused drink, or it can be peeled and chewed. It essentially affects the way our bodies react to and manage inflammation and pain by inducing a production of lipids which calm the nerves that react to experienced pain. Ginger root also stops the body from recognizing when a migraine occurs and physically responding to it by expressing pain. This may not actually relieve the migraine, but ginger root will quickly relieve the pain felt during a migraine.
Some herbs help with migraines as well. Many of these treatments require experimentation from one individual to the next, have mixed results, and clinical tests have been inconclusive. For those that these herbs are beneficial for, the reactions are generally fast and effective. Many of these herbs can be drank as tea, or taken in capsule forms found in natural food stores. Some of these herbs include basil, peppermint, apple, lemon, and cinnamon.
Triptans were introduced in 1991, and must be prescribed by a doctor. This group of prescription medications includes Axert, Relpax, and Imitrex, however the list of side-effects includes rebound headaches.
Beta-blockers / Anti-hyperintensives
This group of drugs is intended, and generally used, to treat high-blood pressure, fast heartbeats, and angina. However, because they influence the relevant blood vessels, they have shown value in quickly treating migraines. This group of drugs include medications such as propanalol, and metoprolol and require a doctors’ prescription and supervision.
This drug is prescribed specifically for monotherapy and adjunctive epilepsy, and migraines. The drug label says to avoid alcohol while taking Topamax, and the side effects include dizziness, sleepiness, and confusion. It can reduce the frequency of migraines by about half because it inhibits relevant neurotransmitters. However, the immediate and long-term side effects may render this drug less than preferable.
The best migraine treatment is prevention.
Combining two or more methods of treatment, and having a planned treatment method ready for administration as soon as the onset symptoms of a migraine are felt is the quickest way to alleviate a migraine. Any treatment plan, and combination of methods of alleviation is going to be different from person to person.
While conventional treatments are preferred by many, and are designed for symptom treatment, long term effects of prescription drugs make them less preferable by some. Still, the most effective method of getting rid of a migraine fast is a restful nap in a dark and quiet room, drinking water, and obeying bodily cravings for carbohydrates.
For chronic migraine sufferers, working with a neurologist is always recommended. Many neurologists will recommend prescription medications, but many will also work with, and even prefer, homeopathic, and herbal remedies because they have the least negative impact over the long-term.