Migraines: Stopping the Cycle of Pain
Migraines are a type of neurological condition and considered a top cause of disability in the world, and researchers are coming up with new ways to provide relief and comfort to sufferers. Severe migraine attacks can be disabling, and more than half of their victims suffer from two or more attacks every month. If you have migraines, you already know how tough they can be. The right migraine remedies can help ease the burden of pain.
What Causes It?
During a migraine attack, your brain goes through both neurological and vascular changes. Over time, it can become hypersensitive and respond dramatically to certain stimuli, triggering inflamed blood vessels and overactive nerve responses. Identifying your own personal triggers can be a big step forward in controlling your migraine attacks. Triggers can include hormonal changes, blood sugar fluctuations, weather changes and sleep disruptions. Some people may also be affected by certain foods or drinks. You may not be able to control all your triggers, but you can still get some relief by controlling those you can.
CoQ10 supplements have been shown effective in the prevention of migraine attacks while riboflavin, or vitamin B2, may help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
Butterbur, which is in the sunflower family, supports healthy blood flow in the brain. Feverfew may also help cut down on the frequency of migraine attacks.
Acupuncture may be just as beneficial as drugs and can provide significant relief.
- Relaxation techniques
During a migraine attack, your shoulders, neck and other muscles may spasm painfully. Stopping these spasms can stop the cycle of pain. Try yoga, tai chi or similar relaxation techniques to calm your painful muscles.
Ice has an anti-inflammatory effect and can soothe your pain on contact.
While supplements and natural remedies can help many, they may not be enough for all migraineurs. If you have severe or chronic migraines, you may want to consider medical treatments. These can include both preventive and abortive drugs as well as experimental treatments.
Preventive drugs can include beta-blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and Botox injections.
- Abortive drugs often include triptans, which address the mechanisms that trigger migraine attacks, and ergotamines, which affect blood flow in the brain.
- Other treatments are currently being evaluated, including a new class of drugs that target certain biochemicals associated with attacks and an electric stimulator that is implanted in the brain and disrupts the migraine process.