Migraines are severe headaches that are often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, numbness, tingling, a heightened sensitivity to light and sounds, and a variety of other symptoms. They can affect those from any age, and millions of people experience them. A migraine can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Finding treatment isn’t easy, and some approaches work better than others for different people. There are medical approaches to treating and managing migraines, as well as some holistic treatments and prevention options. Read on to learn more about the different treatment options for migraine headaches.
There are a variety of drugs today that are used to treat migraines, and some of these medications are over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil, Excedrin Migraine, or Motrin. When over-the-counter medications don’t do the job, then there are several prescription medications such as Imitrex, Zomig, Relpax, Frova, Amerge, or Maxalt. These prescription treatments are designed to work quickly to stop pain and reduce the duration of headaches. The medications work by targeting the neurotransmitter Serotonin in the brain; they do not address other body pain, such as back pain.
If you suffer from frequent migraines, then a preventive medication may be considered. These medications are often used for other disorders but have been found to help prevent migraines as well. For example, some beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure can also prevent migraines from happening. An antidepressant such as Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline might be prescribed, or doctors might recommend anti-seizure medication such as Neurontin, Topamax, or Depakote. Botox has been found to be helpful in some cases. It can take trials of different medication to find the one that works best for your migraine.
Today, many people are turning to natural herbal and therapeutic techniques to address their migraines. These holistic remedies are associated with treating and preventing migraines. For some, relaxation or biofeedback is found helpful to prevent migraines. Others use herbal remedies, and here are a few different options: Feverfew helps to prevent inflammation and swelling and is a natural painkiller. Butterbur contributes to treating migraines and has been studied for its effectiveness by neurologists. Research outcomes support Butterbur as an effective treatment for some people. Peppermint leaves or essential oils help address the nausea and other gastrointestinal problems that can accompany a migraine.
Willow bark extract is used as a migraine pain reliever, and ginger has been used since ancient times to treat headaches, neurological problems, stomach pain and nausea. Caffeine is a stimulant and a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts the blood vessels and can help reduce blood pressure, stomach problems, and headaches. Valerian can address insomnia and headaches, and Coriander seed can reduce sinus pressure and inflammation. Lavender oil is often used for relaxation and sleep. No matter which type of treatment you decide to use, often a remedy for the kind of migraine you suffer from can be found.