How do you get rid of a migraine fast? That’s right, it is the foremost thought that comes to your mind when you have a splitting migraine. It is a painful condition and can really hamper your day if you do not get rid of it quickly. Prescription medications may help, but it is not without some side-effects.
Migraines may run in your family, but it does not have to be something you have to endure. Migraines can be gotten rid of successfully just by making certain dietary changes, and combating stress more effectively.
What is a Migraine and What Causes It?
If you are someone who gets migraines regularly, say about eight a month, it is a very debilitating condition to deal with. So what is a migraine, is it just a headache? Or a little more than that? Migraines are a headache on one side of the head, which occur repeatedly and usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
You might even experience visual disturbances like flashes, zig zags and/or shimmering colored light surrounding a blind spot. This is called migraine with an aura. The symptoms of migraine vary from person to person and some individuals experience different symptoms when they have these kinds of attacks.
No two migraine attacks are one and the same; they differ in length and frequency. These kinds of attacks usually stretch from a period of 4 to 72 hours and then the symptoms go away. But migraines can have a huge impact on your social life, work and family life as well.
The cause of migraine headaches is still shrouded in mystery. Researchers have debated upon certain causes that might trigger off a headache, but they don’t have a definitive explanation. Some of the possible reasons can be the following,
- A central nervous disorder may trigger off a migraine episode.
- There may be certain irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system and in the vascular system.
- Your migraines may also be because of a genetic predisposition.
- A brain chemical abnormality or a blockage in the nerve pathways can trigger off migraine episodes.
What are the Things that can trigger a Migraine?
It is important to identify the migraine triggers, as then you will be able to stop your migraine before it gets chronic. The most common triggers of a migraine are the following,
- Skipping meals- While fasting sometimes can be good for some people, it’s not when you have migraines or have a tendency to have migraines, as this will make things much worse.
- Some foods as triggers- Processed foods high on sugar and salt can trigger off a migraine.
- Caffeine overdose- Too much of caffeine and alcohol can also trigger off a migraine pretty swiftly. Avoid them if you do not want to suffer from too much of caffeine.
- Hormonal changes- Hormonal changes can also trigger off a migraine. Women particularly complain about a migraine during their periods, and they also experience migraines when they are pregnant or during menopause.
- Bright lights or loud noises- Sometimes, sensory stimulation set off by bright lights, loud noises, cigarette smoke, perfume and paint are triggers that can cause a debilitating migraine.
- Disruptions in sleep- Either too little sleep or too much sleep both can trigger off a migraine headache. It is important that you get your sleep cycles in order so that you do not suffer from recurring headaches.
- Excessive physical exercise- While regular physical exercise is good, too much of it can increase your levels of cortisol, which in its turn can cause migraines.
- Some medications can lead to migraines- There are some medications in particular which can trigger off a migraine, namely vasodilators and nitroglycerin.
How to Get Rid of a Migraine
While lying down in a darkened room and swallowing a couple of medications can give you relief temporarily, it is certainly not the solution you and me are looking for right? Some medications have a great many side-effects which you can easily avoid by embracing these all natural solutions. Take a look at the following migraine solutions and get some respite from the problem.
1. A cool solution in the form of ice pack
The cold therapy works wonders to numb the shooting pains caused by migraines. You will experience less pain and throbbing. The ice packs extract the heat from the area and give substantial relief.
Here is how ice cubes can give a quick solution to a throbbing migraine pain, take a few ice cubes and wrap them together in a clean towel and keep it on your temples on the side from where the pain is emanating; and also the forehead and/or the back of your neck for a substantial period of time, say about 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure to get some relief.
There are other ways where you can use the ice cubes to get a super quick solution from migraines. Try using alternating hot and cold compresses. Each of the compresses should last for about 15 minutes or according to your requirement. The inclusion of lavender and/or peppermint essential oils to the water is another natural way to minimize the extreme migraine pain.
2. Chamomile-the healing solution
Regularly drinking chamomile tea can not only do away with your sleep disorders, but also help you do away with your migraines. Both the dry and fresh flowers of chamomile have been used for ages to provide different solutions to ailments, naturally. Bisabolol, the active ingredient in chamomile has anti- antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and other soothing properties that can be a nemesis for most migraines, whatever the cause.
German chamomile, also known as (Matricaria recutita) is one of the best natural solutions for migraines. Also, regularly sipping on chamomile tea is another way of combating the problem.
Here is a solution we swear by, take two to three teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers and steep the same in a cup of hot water for a couple of minutes. To make the tea more interesting to the palate, you can also add some lemon juice and honey. Strain the tea and drink it three to four times a day, and you will be surprised at the efficacy of this widely used solution.
3. The flavorful ginger to the rescue
A study made on ginger in 2013 study published in Phototherapy Research has shown that ginger has strong analgesic properties and can prove to be a pretty effective solution to migraines.
Ginger has properties which blocks prostaglandins, chemicals that can benefit hormones and also stimulate muscle contractions. The fact that it reduces inflammation in blood vessels in the brain too, makes it a ready substitute for most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
One way of consuming ginger for migraine is by drinking ginger tea several times throughout the day till you get relief. So, when should you start drinking? You should drink as soon as you feel the beginnings of splitting migraines.
Here is how you can make an effective solution, start by grinding up half a teaspoon of ginger, blend it into a glass of water and drink up. Another way is by pouring a cup of hot water into a cup where you have put a teaspoon of freshly ground ginger. It’s a pretty soothing drink to beat a nagging migraine, along with the other symptoms like nausea.
If you think making ginger tea is too cumbersome, then simply chew on a piece of raw ginger root, it’s a sure fire way to treat migraines.
4. An Invigorating massage
Massage some of the points on the head to ease migraine headaches and block pain signals sent to the brain. It also helps boost serotonin activity and stimulates the serotonin receptors and thereby reduces the symptoms along with reducing the frequency of the migraines as well.
A new community-based study conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), has shown that the main triggers of migraine are unhealthy lifestyle and also lack of sleep and stress, and the best way to get relief from migraines is by the help of an invigorating massage.
Use your first two fingers in a circular motion, to massage your head. Locate the right pressure points on your head like the base of the skull, middle of the forehead between the eyebrows and also corners of the eyes, which when pressed correctly provide great relief.
Another way of protecting yourself from a headache is by heating two tablespoons of sesame oil. Blend in equal proportions of both cinnamon and cardamom powder, one-half teaspoon each. Apply the mixture on the forehead and massage gently. Keep the solution for a few hours and then wash it off.
Keep repeating these remedies as and when required. Also, regular massages help reduce stress, one of the chief triggers of migraines.
5. Cayenne –The spicy way to curb your migraine
Besides ginger, it is cayenne that is greatly revered in the kingdom of natural remedies to treat pain and inflammation in general and migraines in particular. It is thought to be a great solution because of the ingredient called capsaicin, which inhibits the substance P, which is one of the main elements in pain perception.
So, substance P makes you feel pain and capsaicin helps inhibit that very stimulator of pain. In the year 1998, The Clinical Journal of Pain came up with evidence that when cayenne is applied topically to the nasal passages; people feel a great reduction in the severity of the migraines and it is largely due to capsaicin.
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder, 4 ounces of warm water and cotton swabs are all you need to get relief from migraines. Dilute a ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Take a cotton swab and soak it in the solution, stirring it around to make sure it’s covered the powder and settles to the bottom.
Use the moist swab to apply it to the inside of each nostril until you get results. It isn’t really very pleasant to begin with, but if its burning you will know that it is working. When you are done, you will slowly feel your migraine ebbing away with time.
A Few Do’s and Don’ts Before you go
Since migraines are never a one-off affair, you need to make it a point to continue with the tips and tricks to provide the right solution.
- Try acupressure- Some of you may doubt the efficacy of an alternative treatment like acupressure. But acupressure has proved time and again to be a solution to reckon with when it comes to pains and niggles, and also for nausea associated with migraine.
- Try peppermint oil- An ingredient in peppermint oil called menthol is super effective in alleviating migraines. Just a little massage on the temples and on the forehead can provide a solution.
- Yoga and its impact on migraines- Yoga is another remedy which helps greatly to combat issues like migraines. Even if it is not regarded as “The Solution”, yoga can be used as a complementary method to improve your vascular health. It also reduces the frequency and intensity of the migraine flare-ups by reducing tension and improves migraine related symptoms.
- Biofeedback method- Biofeedback is a relaxation method which helps you regulate the autonomic reaction to stress. It may help subjugate the physical reactions caused by stress like muscle tensing.
- Add more magnesium- A deficiency in magnesium can often lead to migraines with aura and migraines related to menstruation. A magnesium supplementation can provide you with substantial relief. Otherwise stock on these foods to get your daily dose of magnesium – cashew nut, almonds, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, peanut butter, oatmeal, eggs and milk.
- Add lavender oil to your scheme of things- More and more studies done on essential oils have proved that inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes at the time of a headache can provide ample relief. Aromatherapy is another holistic way to deal with migraines.
How to get rid of a migraine headache? Well now you know! You do not have to take a break from everyday life if you are down with a headache as these natural remedies will provide quick relief from painful migraines.