Migraine headaches cause terrible throbbing pain as well as sensitivity to light and sound. They can be so debilitating that they stop you in your tracks and prevent you from functioning normally. If you’ve ever experienced the severe pain of a migraine, you’ll understand why you would want to do anything you can to prevent another one.
In addition to avoiding certain triggers - such as specific foods, smells, or alcohol, you’ll want to take steps to prevent future occurrences. There are conservative tactics that can help you ease symptoms, shorten the length of a headache if it does occur, or even prevent the painful experience of a migraine headache entirely.
What Causes A Migraine?
The causes of migraines aren’t fully understood; however, genetic susceptibility as well as possible environmental factors could be behind migraine pain.
Physical issues within the body may also cause migraine headaches. Imbalances in certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin, might be responsible along with changes in the brain’s stem and how it interacts with the trigeminal nerve. There might also be issues with how the brain’s sensory neurons signal for pain.
In women, hormonal changes that are associated with fluctuations in estrogen before or during periods, pregnancy, and menopause may cause migraines. Medications that affect hormone levels, such as oral contraceptives, may worsen migraines.
Beyond these physical causes, certain external stimuli may trigger migraines.
Drinks - Caffeinated beverages and alcohol
Stress - Continuous or high levels of stress from work or at home
Sensory stimuli - Bright or flashing lights or loud sounds
Smells - Strong smells, such as perfume, paint thinner, nail polish, or secondhand smoke
Sleep changes - Too much or too little sleep or other changes in sleep behavior
Physical exertion - Intense physical activity, including sexual activity
Weather - A change in weather or barometric pressure
Medications - Hormonal medications as well as vasodilators, medicines that open the blood vessels
Foods - Certain foods, such as aged cheeses and salty and processed foods as well as skipping meals
Food additives - Additives and preservative, such as the sweetener aspartame or monosodium glutamate (MSG)
How Can I Prevent a Migraine Without Medication?
Lifestyle changes can help you reduce, shorten, or prevent regular migraines. Try these simple steps and feel relief from migraine pain.
Sleep: Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time, even on the weekends and holidays.
Exercise: Regular, moderate aerobic exercise leads to shorter, less severe migraines that occur less frequently. Exercise can also reduce stress, which can be a migraine trigger.
Meals: Eat regularly to prevent a drop in blood sugar, which can cause a migraine.
Water: Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can trigger migraine headaches.
Stress: Limit stress by taking the time to relax with calming music, a short walk, meditation, or yoga.
Caffeine: Reduce caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and soda pop, which may soothe headache pain by narrowing blood vessels, but can trigger a rebound migraine if consumed too often.
Less Pain medicine: If you take medicine to manage your pain, you may be triggering headaches, as taking pain medicine more than twice a week can cause a rebound migraine.
What Holistic Treatments Can Prevent A Migraine?
Migraines can also be treated with holistic measures, which are often chosen first by patients who do not want to rely on medications. You can try acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care and experience relief from painful migraine headaches.
There is evidence that acupuncture can reduce the frequency of migraines. The effect of treatment has been similar to that of preventive medications. Massage therapy has been proven to help relieve migraines during episodes, but also regular massage can reduce symptoms and prevent future migraines.
Chiropractic care has also been proven to help patients suffering from migraines. A case study of chiropractic spinal manipulative treatment (CSMT) shows that this therapy can be considered in cases of chronic, unresponsive migraines. Following CSMT, the patient reported that all cases of her migraines had been eliminated, and furthermore, six months later, she still had not experienced a single migraine.
If you have regular migraine headaches, it may be time to take action to prevent future episodes. Chiropractic care may be the answer you’re seeking to ease pain and reduce the number of headaches you experience. For relief from your debilitating migraines, schedule an appointment with us online or call us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.