A Migraine Headache can make you miserable! Thankfully, I have only suffered through a handful of these headaches but I have patients in my San Diego Chiropractic clinic that experience them regularly. Although chiropractic treatment helps patients deal with migraine headaches, there are effective home based treatments / strategies for controlling them as well. I have always thought that if you suffer from a chronic condition that you should do your best to find natural solutions that you can implement even if they only serve to make other migraine headache treatments more effective.
Self Treatment for Migraine Headaches
There are several strategies that are helpful with migraines that can be very effective. To begin with, if your migraines come with an aura (these are signs that you are getting a migraine – such as visual changes, metallic taste in your mouth, etc.) you can use them to your advantage. It is thought that the symptoms of the aura are due to decreased blood flow to the head. In order to improve blood flow to the head you can try placing a hot pack on the back of your neck and head to help soften the aura.
Some of my patients say that using this strategy will prevent the migraine from developing. Once you have a migraine headache the best thing to do is place an ice pack behind your neck and head and one on your forehead. The migraine itself is thought to be caused by dilation of the blood vessels that feed your head – using ice packs helps to constrict these vessels and normalize blood flow.
There are a handful of nutritional supplements that can help control migraine headaches. Ginger is helpful when taken during the aura and is reported to prevent the migraine from developing in many patients. Many patients get migraine relief from a natural supplement called FeverFew. B vitamins and fish oil have been shown to be useful against migraines as well.
It is important to look for triggers for your migraines and try to avoid them. A Migraine Headache can be triggered by flickering fluorescent lights, computer monitors, chronic dehydration and certain kinds of foods. The best way to identify your triggers is to keep a migraine journal and write down everything you did, ate and drank for a 24 hour period before the migraine started. Reviewing your journal entries after several migraines may produce some clues as to your migraine headache triggers.