Migraine Headache and Tension Headache Relief

How are migraines treated?

Migraine headaches are chronic. They can’t be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.

  • Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
  • Preventive (prophylactic) medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.

What medications are used to relieve migraine pain?

Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.

Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:

  • Excedrin® Migraine.
  • Advil® Migraine.
  • Motrin® Migraine Pain.

Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.

Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:

Triptan class of drugs (these are abortives):

  • Sumatriptan.
  • Zolmitriptan.
  • Naratriptan.

Calcium channel blockers:

  • Verapamil.

Calcitonin gene-related (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies:

  • Erenumab.
  • Fremanezumab.
  • Galcanezumab.
  • Eptinezumab.

Beta blockers:

  • Atenolol.
  • Propranolol.
  • Nadolol.

Butalbital:

Antidepressants:

Antiseizure drugs:

Other:

  • Steroids.
  • Phenothiazines.
  • Corticosteroids.

Your healthcare provider might recommend vitamins, minerals, or herbs, including:

Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.

Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.

All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare provider’s advice.

Alternative migraine management methods, also known as home remedies, include:

  • Resting in a dark, quiet, cool room.
  • Applying a cold compress or washcloth to your forehead or behind your neck. (Some people prefer heat.)
  • Massaging your scalp.
  • Yoga.
  • Applying pressure to your temples in a circular motion.
  • Keeping yourself in a calm state. Meditating.
  • Biofeedback.

Headache and Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache Relief

If you experience moderate or severe migraine headaches regularly and they do not respond to medications, take a look at the following list of triggers and really consider changing your lifestyle to get headache and migraine relief.

Lifestyle changes to think about for migraine sufferers include:

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
Exercise regularly (daily if possible). Make a commitment to exercise even when traveling or during busy periods at work. Exercise can improve the quality of sleep and reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Build up your exercise level gradually. Over-exertion, especially for someone who is out of shape, can lead to migraine headaches.
Do not skip meals, and avoid prolonged fasting.

Limit stress through regular exercise and relaxation exercises. Limit caffeine consumption to less than two caffeine-containing beverages a day.
Avoid bright or flashing lights and wear sunglasses if sunlight is a trigger.

Avoid certain foods especially those high in tyramine such as sharp cheeses or those containing sulphites (wines) or nitrates (nuts, pressed meats).
Identify and avoid foods that trigger headaches by keeping a headache and food diary. Review the diary with your doctor. It is impractical to adopt a diet that avoids all known migraine triggers; however, it is reasonable to avoid foods that consistently trigger migraine headaches.

Generally, leading a healthy life-style with good nutrition, an adequate intake of fluids, sufficient sleep and exercise may be useful.

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Migraines are often under-diagnosed and under-treated. There is no cure for migraine. But, there are numerous measures that may help improve the life of migraine sufferers. The choice of these measures should take into account the individual aspects of each migraine sufferer. Triggering factors, nerve inflammation, blood vessel changes, and pain are each addressed aggressively. Individualizing treatment is essential for optimal outcome.

It’s time to get migraine and headache relief today, don’t wait any longer, it’s your life you should be able to live life to the fullest, migraines shouldn’t be holding you back.