What to Do When You Have a Migraine
My Headache Story
In my teens, I suffered some bad headaches, especially around my forehead and temples. So, I'd take a pain reliever (usually aspirin) and within half an hour I felt okay. They seemed to be related to stress, hormonal changes, and not enough sleep.
When I was active in sports, I'd sometimes feel pain at the back of my head - I coined these "motion" headaches. (Not to be confused with motion sickness, though, the back of my head was sore and my neck was pretty stiff).
It was later on in my 20's that I began to get these one-sided throbbing headaches. I'm in my 40's now and I still suffer them. About 90 percent of the time, they affect the left side of my head. And they are brutal.
See Your Doctor and Get a Diagnosis
Headaches Can Be a Sign of Other Conditions
Follow Your Doctor's Advice
And Fill Any Prescription (Before Your Next Migraine)
NOTE: Some prescription medications and herbal remedies suggest dosing even on days you are feeling fine. I have not gone that route. My article is about non-prescription treatments for migraines - when you feel one coming on.
First of all, take medication at the first sign of a migraine. I've managed my migraines for 20 years with only OTC (over-the-counter) medications. I used to think I could wait it out and see if I could cope without pills.
Problem is, once my migraine developed, it had to "burn itself off" (as my family doctor would say). This generally took 10 - 12 hours (and any pain killers I took during this time had minimal effect on it).
The Weather Connection
Lightning Appears to Be a Big Factor
Stormy Weather on the Way?
Plan Those Noisy Parties Another Day
I firmly believe there is a connection between my migraines and the weather - particularly if a storm is approaching. I believe the rapid changes in barometric pressure are the reason. My man-servant actually relied on my migraines to predict a storm (more than he trusted the weather person on the local news).
This is the pattern I notice: if a low pressure system is moving into our area quickly, I think internal pressure inside my head (sinuses) doesn't adjust fast enough. This, in turn, causes some cranial nerves to be pressed on and so begins my migraine. (However, I feel migraines are usually caused by a few factors, not just one).
Just last year, I read an article by C. Claiborne Ray in The New York Times in which Neurologist-in-Chief, Dr. Matthew Fink confirmed this stating, "Low barometric pressure can cause headaches by creating a pressure difference between the surrounding atmosphere and the sinuses, which are filled with air."
And a few months ago, on CNN Health, an article by Erinn Bucklan caught my eye. Titled Do headaches worsen with weather? her report stated that a new study in the journal Cephalagia revealed a "28% increased risk of migraine on days when lightning struck within 25 miles of a sufferer's home."
Bottom line: Check the weather report and plan ahead for a migraine. (I've postponed children's parties and was glad I did).
Diadumenos by Polyclitus Reminds Me
To Don My Cold Head Wrap and Stretch My Neck
Medi-Temp Head-Neck Hot/Cold Therapy Pad
My Best Friend When I Have a Migraine
Amazon Price: $15.95 $7.19 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 17, 2015)
My Family Doctor Taught Me This Stretch
Here's How to Do It
1) Sitting straight up, put one hand under your same-side thigh.
2) With your free hand, place it behind your head.
3) Slowly and gently pull your head forward and turn it slowly until your chin is pointing towards your axilla (armpit). Repeat as needed and switch to stretch the other side of your neck.
The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health
The Migraine Brain
Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health
Amazon Price: $8.99 $3.49 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 17, 2015)