Advice for Dealing with Chronic Migraines

If you suffer from migraines, I feel you. I have been getting monthly migraines for over a year now. That throbbing pain in one spot of your head is NOT fun. Every person has their own unique migraine triggers. So, I decided to go to a neurologist to help discover mine. Unfortunately, making your pain go away is something that requires trial and error, as different things work for different people.

 

The worst time to get a migraine is when you are out and about. If you prefer to take medicine, it's important to get into the habit of carrying it around. If you are caught with a migraine during a time when you can't sleep, it may be difficult. The thing I ALWAYS do first is take the medicine. I cannot stress how important this is if you are unable to lay down. If you get aura migraines, make sure to tell someone around you that your vision is temporarily disturbed. If you are unable to see, you could hurt yourself or someone around you, so better to be safe than sorry.

 

When you are outside, wear sunglasses!! A popular migraine symptom is light sensitivity so sunglasses will help. I have found that drinking Coca-Cola is also an effective method for decreasing some of the pain since it increases blood flow throughout your body.

 

Now, let's talk medicine. Yes, Advil and Tylenol are great, but for the big guys, you may need something stronger. I went to my neurologist for prescription migraine medication once they began to get worse. Excedrin Migraine is great. I found that Excedrin is often just as effective as prescription medication depending on your pain level. If you only have Advil or Tylenol, take them and buy Excedrin for next time. It is important that you take the medication when you feel the onset of a migraine.

The ideal place to get a migraine is at home in your bed. When you feel a migraine coming, take medicine (if medicine is for you). It is crucial that you are comfortable. Set up your favorite place to relax so that it is comfortable for you. I prefer to take a shower before getting into bed. A shower can decrease pain and relieve any sinus pressure. Next, grab a washcloth. Soak the washcloth in freezing water and put it on your head when you lay down. For me, this helps me to relax and think less about the migraine pain. Another thing I recently discovered, is heat. A heating pad or any microwavable heating pouch is great to put behind your neck. The heat allows blood to flow and is also very relaxing. For me, I have to sit in a dark quiet room with a washcloth and heating pad. The combination of these things often results in me falling asleep. Many times, when you wake up, the pain will not be as severe, if not completely gone.

 

The tips above are methods I have learned work best for me. Obviously, every body is different and each person has a different migraine experience. It is important to stay calm and relaxed since tension tends to only make it worse. If these things do not work for you, there are tons of resources online that deal with pain management. Once you get your personal routine down, migraines will no longer scare you. You got this!

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