Do you suffer from migraines? Sufferers can experience mild to severe symptoms – which can leave them exhausted, unable to concentrate, and can in general drastically impact our our ability to function on a daily basis. Often turning to pain killers are the first and last resort for migraine sufferer, but is there anything else you can do to help ease the symptoms and further attacks?
It’s important to remember a migraine’s are not ‘just a headache’ are recurrent attacks of moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head, they can come with symptoms such as sensitivity to light, sounds and even smells, it can cause nausea and can last days.
This week is Migraine Awareness Week so here are a few options for alternative treatment that could ease the symptoms and severity of migraines. Cryotherapy is an option to combat headache/migraine symptoms, both in athletes and non-athletes. It’s understood that this is achieved by cooling and passing the blood through the intracranial vessels to a similar effect as if you were to place ice packs on your neck.
A study in 2013, Looked at wrapping a neck with two ice packs – to test the effects of cooling on migraines. It was found that patients experienced significantly reduced pain and symptoms. In another experiment on students, they discovered that using ice compresses relieved tension-type headaches with a feeling of relaxation increased alertness and delayed the onset of recurrence.
Potential benefits regarding cryotherapy for migraine relief:
- Vasoconstriction: Cold temperatures can cause blood vessels to constrict, potentially reducing inflammation and possibly alleviating some migraine symptoms.
- Endorphin Release: The extreme cold can stimulate the body to release endorphins, natural pain-relieving chemicals.
- Reduction of Inflammation: Just as athletes use cryotherapy to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery from injuries, it’s believed that the reduced inflammation might benefit migraine sufferers.
Some other options to look at that could help ease your symptoms are:
- Magnesium: Some migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium in the brain. Supplements might reduce the frequency of migraines in such individuals.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): High doses may help prevent migraines in some people.
- Coenzyme Q10: Some preliminary studies suggest that it might be beneficial in reducing migraine frequency.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes: Identifying and avoiding food triggers, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, managing stress, and staying hydrated can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines for some people.
Relaxation Techniques: Methods such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress, which is a common migraine trigger.
Essential Oils: Some migraine sufferers find relief by using essential oils like peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus. They can be inhaled or used in an air diffuser or applied to the skin after dilution.
Additionally some sufferers have found relief with treatments such as massage therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Chiropractic Care, Acupuncture, Biofeedback and the use of technology and devices that ease pain.