How to relieve a migraine? This can sometimes be very difficult because this headache is so disabling. We are going to see some tips and actions to take to prevent the onset of a migraine attack and to relieve the headache.
Prevent the onset of migraine attack
There are several elements to prevent or at least reduce the frequency of occurrence of migraine attacks. The first notion is to follow a routine . Indeed, the brain of the migraine patient is intolerant to change. He is in a state of permanent hyper excitability , whether during a seizure or between seizures. All changes are likely to increase this excitability and pass a certain threshold to trigger the onset of the seizure . These can be changes in the sleep cycle, in diet, in the environment (weather, altitude, etc.). Hormonal variations also play an important role, this explains the female predominance of migraine . It is recommended to use contraception which will limit as much as possible its hormonal variations during the cycle. Following a routine is to limit these changes as much as possible. It is therefore advisable to respect regular sleep schedules, to avoid overeating or certain foods that would tend to trigger migraine attacks, and so on.
Exercise to calm the brain
How to relieve a migraine with the practice of sport ?
Sport is a key element in preventing the onset of attacks and relieving migraine . Several studies have shown the benefits of physical activity on the intensity of the pain felt during the headache or on the frequency of onset of attacks. It is not a question of practicing excessive sport, but of maintaining regular physical activity at the rate of two training sessions on average per week. Sport promotes the release of endorphins and the calming of the brain. This reduces the hyper excitability that exists in the patient.
Meditation, relaxation and yoga to prevent migraines
It is common that in order to soothe the brain, meditation or relaxation techniques are essential allies. Although the majority of studies focus on chronic pain, this technique is no less effective in relieving headaches . The practice of yoga is also associated with these techniques. These virtues have been demonstrated many times in several pathologies and many migraine patients report the benefits of this ancestral Indian practice . It is advisable to favor an intermediate yoga, not too soft and not too lively, such as hatha yoga.
Self-hypnosis an essential ally to relieve migraine
Another technique that has proven successful repeatedly in chronic pain and migraine studies is self-hypnosis . This is about learning to control the descending pathways of pain . Mastered, this technique has real consequences on your brain , it is not about beliefs, but really about teaching your brain to release endorphins on demand . The release of these substances is real and often much more effective than conventional analgesic treatments . It's like self-stimulating its placebo effect , in itself the best possible remedy.
Osteopathy to reduce headaches and relieve migraines
Osteopathy is also effective in combating the onset of migraines . The osteopath will essentially focus on the cranial sphere, the muscles of the head , the eyes and the base of the neck. Several studies are underway to scientifically validate the effectiveness of osteopathy in the management of migraine. This alternative medicine offers comprehensive and holistic care of the body, it targets both the osteoarticular system, but can also be interested in the nervous system . Recently, two students from the international center of osteopathy of Saint-Étienne showed the effectiveness of a protocol aimed at reducing tension and soothing the autonomic nervous system of migraine patients. The patients were treated every two weeks for three months and 70% of them noticed a reduction in the intensity of the pain and in the frequency of attacks.
Relieve a migraine with acupuncture
We can ask ourselves "how to relieve a migraine thanks to acupuncture?", acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine . She uses needles to target energy points in order to soothe areas of tension. Scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of migraine. Some studies have even shown similar results in preventing seizures as with conventional disease-modifying treatments. A meta-analysis that identified all of several studies with a total of almost 5000 patients concluded that acupuncture was significantly effective in the management of headaches . However, it seems that a minimum of five consultations is necessary before obtaining the first results.
Homeopathy, studies still needed
Regarding homeopathy, the results are very controversial . We all know the current controversy over the fate of this medicine which relies on the memory of water. Clinical studies have tried to answer the question "how to relieve a migraine?" by highlighting the effectiveness of homeopathy in the management of migraine. However, the results are very variable. Studies show significant results in decreasing pain intensity and the number of migraine days per month compared to placebo groups. However, the number of patients included and the methodology used evoke certain limits in the interpretation of the results . The scientific community agrees on the fact that additional investigations are necessary to validate the effectiveness of homeopathy. In any case , it is not possible to conclude that there is no effect in relieving migraine .
What to do during the crisis to relieve the pain?
We spoke at the beginning of the article about the hyper excitable nature of the migraine patient's brain. During a crisis one wonders how to relieve a migraine, it is important to do everything to soothe the nervous system . Calm and darkness are the two key elements to achieve this effect. Hydration is also very important, it is best to drink warm water and avoid cold drinks . It has been shown that a cold drink can trigger a migraine in patients. So choose water at room temperature to hydrate yourself during the crisis.
Massage and cold to relieve migraine
Applying a cold headband to the forehead and temples is a very effective form of solution to reduce the intensity of pain. Massage is also a good compromise. These are neurological reflexes that will stimulate the descending paths of pain , those that reduce and soothe the intensity of pain . The essential oils used would have very little effectiveness, the effect obtained would be essentially due to the mechanical movement of the massage.
We've gone through a collection of techniques and little tips to help you answer that "how to relieve a migraine" question and thus relieve a migraine attack. Unfortunately, there is no miracle solution to stop the crisis and the use of drug treatment is very often necessary. Be aware that there are specific migraine attack treatments such as tripant. They are excellent alternatives to self-medication with paracetamol or anti-inflammatories. You absolutely must discuss it with your doctor or make an appointment with a neurologist if your migraines become disabling and affect your quality of life or if you take self-medication treatments too regularly.