If a normal day finds your head pounding, exploding or stabbing nonstop, you probably feel helpless. There’s always some kind of excuse as to why the pain never seems to end—it’s the weather, or that time of month, or dinner last night. Whatever the cause, you’re levelled by migraine pain. If you’ve never had a debilitating migraine, you probably don’t quite understand how they affect everyday life. In fact, it’s one of those chronic conditions that too many people suffer in silence because on the outside, you still look healthy.
But you know if you are among millions of women who suffer from chronic daily headaches and migraines. My story began when I was 12 years old. My parents didn’t understand that there were different types of headaches back then. I used to lock myself in my room and try to sleep it off, but no matter what I did, it wouldn’t leave me. Specialists didn’t know what to do about my problem, either, except to keep prescribing medication that did not work long-term.
Eventually, I started visiting the Michigan Headache & Neurological Institute every six months, but still, only temporary help was all they could give me. Now, at 50 years old, I’m still searching for a hard and fast cure, and although I now realize there really isn’t one, there are some tricks I’ve learned to help alleviate the pain.
If, like me, you’ve been dealt the migraine deck in life, there are a few things you can do—short of packing up and moving to California where the barometer is always perfect and the sky is always blue—or entering menopause, which just may have the fortunate side effect of changing the hormonal balance enough to stop the pain, if you’re lucky.
HELPFUL TRICKS TO HELP RELIEVE YOUR MIGRAINE PAIN
1. SNOOZE TO LOSE
First of all, try to get the same amount of sleep every night. Changing sleep patterns is a definite trigger that you can easily alleviate.
2. GO NATURAL
3. REALLY RELAX
Yoga and meditation can help you relax, but always be careful not to exert your neck too much or you can cause more damage.
4. CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES
Don’t discount a naturopath. Mine gave me some good tips and one of them was to take a high dose of magnesium every day. For some, this step has been life changing.
More Tricks to Beat Migraines
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Motrin or Aleve
- Regular aerobic exercise including brisk walking, swimming or biking
- Applying heat to alleviate neck tightness or an ice pack for pulsating pain
- Avoiding possible food triggers, which are different for everyone, such as processed meats, MSG, caffeine, alcohol (red wine!), chocolate, cheese, soy and aspartame
- Some say Botox works but it has yet to be proven as a headache remedy
What do you do to relieve symptoms of a migraine? Paula Shrott has her honours BA in English and has a post graduate degree in Public Relations. She is the owner and designer of Charm It Costume Jewellery.