Once you have a migraine headache treatment plan set up, following it closely can help reduce and prevent attacks. A particular headache doctor (a neurologist) can also help you identify triggers and learn how to manage the pain during an attack.
Managing lifestyle factors in combination with medicine is the most effective way to deal with migraines. Some simple changes can make a big difference.
Take a Nap
Taking a nap can be part of your migraine treatment plan, like in migraine treatment Jacksonville FL. This may help reduce the frequency of migraines and make them less intense. It can also help relieve the pain, nausea, and vomiting associated with migraine attacks.
Power naps of 20 minutes are best for most people. Longer naps can cause sleep inertia and leave you feeling groggy upon awakening. Talk with your doctor if you rely on napping most days to function. This could be a sign that your migraine treatments aren’t working correctly or that you have an underlying health condition. You may need to adjust your medication or discuss other ways to improve your sleep patterns.
Change Your Sleep Habits
Several different factors, including lack of sleep, can cause migraines. A good sleep routine can help reduce migraine symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
Aim to sleep seven to eight hours a night, but stay awake. Both too little and too much sleep can trigger migraines for some people.
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, especially in the evenings. Also, avoiding foods that cause migraines can aid in a good night’s rest. Keeping a headache diary is an excellent way to track your symptoms, as well as your sleep patterns and other factors that might be causing or worsening them.
Change Your Diet
A variety of factors can trigger migraine. For some, diet plays a role. A lot of people point to alcoholic drinks, chocolate, cheese, and citrus fruits as migraine triggers.
Migraine triggers can differ from person to person, so keeping a food diary or doing an elimination diet may help find out what is triggering your migraine headaches. Avoiding these foods will help reduce your migraine episodes and pain levels.
Avoid MSG, processed foods, and products containing yeast. Look for nitrate-free lunch meats and avoid sauces like ketchup, barbeque, and mayonnaise, which can contain MSG. Try this dairy-free berry lovely cream recipe to keep your diet on track.
Change Your Environment
Migraine can be debilitating, and it is often difficult to get enough sleep or avoid foods that trigger symptoms. Fortunately, simple changes in the environment can make a significant difference.
For example, people with migraine may benefit from keeping a headache diary to track their pain patterns. When they have a good day, they should put a green dot in the journal; when their pain is moderate, they should mark it yellow; and when their pain is disabling, they should keep it red. This can help them identify their unique triggers. Some migraine sufferers also choose to try neurostimulation devices that deliver a gentle electric current through the skin.
Studies show that adding regular exercise to your treatment plan can help reduce migraine pain, frequency, and intensity. You should always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, mainly if you take migraine medications.
Be sure to warm up and gradually increase your exercise intensity. Also, drinking enough fluids before, during, and after your workout is essential to avoid dehydration – this can trigger migraines for some people. You should drink water or isotonic drinks with balanced mineral salts and glucose.
Try incorporating non-aerobic exercises like yoga, which can be beneficial for migraines. This can relieve stress and promote relaxation, reducing the risk of a headache.
One of the best things you can do as part of your migraine treatment plan is to learn how to relax. This can help relieve head, neck, and shoulder muscle tension that often triggers headaches.
Paced breathing exercises can calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. These exercises are done by inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. They are designed to be taken a few times per day.
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) helps address muscle tension, which can trigger migraine. PMR involves tensing and then relaxing muscle groups, one at a time. This may sound counterintuitive, but tightening the muscles first makes them feel much more relaxed when you release them.