How to Get Rid of a Migraine Headache

By Mitch Reid

More than 29.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraines, and these cases are often misdiagnosed as sinus or tension headaches, according to the National Headache Foundation. Migraines can stem from anything from genetics and diet choices to stress and poor breathing habits. The result is nauseating, throbbing and lasting pain. When a simple remedy such as applying a cold compress to your head isn't sufficient, seveal other strategies can help you reduce the migraine. If the migraines continue, see a doctor.

Relaxation Methods

Severe or chronic stress can lead to headaches because of changes in blood pressure and breathing patterns. For example, anxiety and depression can both have negative physical effects on the body. The solution is practicing breathing exercises that help the body relax and regain good health. If you notice that your breathing comes in short, quick bursts, slow down and take longer exhales and inhales. Play soothing music as you practice breathing exercises or even participate in meditative sessions.

Medications

Two basic types of medications are available for those suffering from headaches. Abortive medications, such as Maxalt, Frova, Zomig and Imitrex, affect serotonin levels and provide relief for occasion headaches. Although these drugs are available in a variety of forms, including nasal sprays and injections, they do not aid in treating underlying problems such as menstruation and arthritis pain. If you suffer from chronic headaches, preventive medications, such as Topamax and Elavil, can decrease headache frequency. Some of these drugs are intended to treat conditions such as depression and high blood pressure.

Herbs and Oils

Herbal treatments as well as aromatherapy might be able to reduce migraine discomfort. According to WebMD, feverfew is both a popular and commonly studied herbal remedy for headaches. Studies are conducted to determine whether the herb is actually useful or if a placebo effect is responsible for the relief users experience. The use of therapeutic scents, including ginger and peppermint oils, might also reduce the severity of a headache.

Massage and Acupuncture

Although massages might not directly reduce headaches, they can loosen tight muscles and improve bad circulation, which might be underlying causes of headaches. Acupuncture, the use of tiny needles to release naturally alleviating chemicals throughout the body, can help fight off evidence. WebMD also reports that acupuncture solutions might be long-lasting when compared to other options.

Diet Changes

For some people, food can lead to migraines. Keep track of what you eat, and try to cut foods from your diet that seem to have an adverse effect on your body. WebMD reports that some studies point toward omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin as possible migraine reducers. Consult your doctor for more information on possible diet changes. Overall, it's best to stick to a healthful diet and get your fill of all the necessary food groups.

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