Migraine is a sensual disease, which has a complex character. We assume that it has the presence of genetic factors development. On the other hand, there are several triggers for the condition. Individuals having throbbing headaches also have visual disturbances (aura) during a migraine attack or before the first symptoms appear. Headaches can sometimes accompany nausea, vomiting, or increased sensitivity to light and sound. Nevertheless, effective migraine treatment can help get rid of the uneasiness.
It affects people of all age groups like any other disease, but it is more difficult to recognize during childhood because of different characteristics.
There are three types of migraine; aura (classic migraine), without aura (common migraine), and childhood periodic syndromes that are considered to be the same disease. It is not dangerous for a patient’s health. However, its hits decrease the quality of life.
What results in severe head pain?
Migraine is not only a type of headache affecting people but also a typical organic ailment. The common symptoms leading to it are the following-
The progression of such uneasiness depends on many factors. One of them is stress, which can easily affect an individual’s nervous system and intestinal system due to its influence on the brain. It is an organic ailment resulting from the person’s lifestyle, mental state, and biological constitution.
Although migraine treatment can lend you a hand in keeping the irritating symptoms at bay, they can hit you at times. When a sufferer has chronic pain, it usually means that they have one of the following factors-
- High stress
- Uneven eating habits
- Lack of sleep
- Unbalanced exercising habits
- A hectic job with lengthy working hours
- Having other organic diseases may develop into a throbbing headache
Its signs and symptoms can be manifested in different ways due to the difference in people’s genetic make-up, living conditions, and state of health. Commonly, the following manifestations may appear-
There are four phases of a migraine-
- Premonitory phase
- Aura phase
- Headache phase
- Postdrome phase
Your doctor may recommend well-working migraine treatment to prevent the symptoms. The common warning signs in the premonitory stage include-
- Mental confusion
- Depressive mood
- Mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach discomfort
- Appetite loss
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- Excessive yawning
- Restlessness or trouble sleeping
- Frequent urination
- Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
The ordinary warning signs in the aura phase are-
- Wavy lines
- Flashing lights, and star shapes in vision like seeing rainbows
- Seeing dark spaces in the central vision
- Speech disorders
- Hemiplegia (involuntary muscle movement on one side of the body)
You may use your migraine treatment regularly to prevent the irritating symptoms. However, there is no specific time when you may have the pain. The common caution signs in the headache phase include-
- Throbbing, pulsating pain around the head or at a particular part of the head
- Pain, worsened by physical activity or exposure to light and sound
- Sensitivity to touch, odors, and sometimes even particular food types
- Pulsating pain, mostly on one side of the head but may irradiate to both sides of the head
- Gastric discomfort due to hyperacidity
- Cold hands and feet
- Excessive sweating
The after stage of a migraine headache can be frustrating. The common warning signs in the postdrome phase are-
- General sense of fatigue
- Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
- Deprived memory power
- Reduced motor functions such as writing or typing
- Gentle ache on one side of the head
- Lack of energy
- Feeling unwell
- Sudden mood swings
- Extended depression
- Reduced social interactions with other people, especially family members and friends
What are effective medications for migraine treatment?
Several medications are useful to prevent pulsating attacks. These include anti-seizure, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications. Some examples may include-
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Divalproex sodium (Depakote)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
There is not yet enough evidence to show that these medications prevent uneasiness when taken only after the start of a headache. However, patients report a positive response after taking these drugs.
What is the most successful migraine medication?
The most effective medications for acute head pains are 5HT1 agonists (triptans) and dihydroergotamine. The triptan medications may include the following-
- Sumatriptan (Imitrex)
- Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
- Naratriptan (Amerge)
- Zolmitriptan (Zomig)
- Eletriptan hydrobromide
- Almotriptan malate
- Frovatriptan succinate
Dihydroergotamine is available as a nasal spray called Migranal and as an injection called Migra Neurontin, given once the pain has started.
Do non-pharmaceutical remedies work for migraine treatment?
Non-pharmaceutical treatments for pulsating headaches include relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, very little research supports the use of these therapies for a migraine attack.
- Relaxation Therapies
Relaxation therapies may comprise progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and yoga. There is some evidence that these treatments may reduce the intensity of headache attacks.
Biofeedback uses monitors that people wear at home to measure physical responses such as muscle tension or heart rate to help the patient learn how these physical indicators relate to migraine attacks.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also called “relaxation training.” It focuses on helping patients develop an increased awareness of triggers and lifestyle changes, which help cut off headache frequency.
Is there any evidence for alternative therapies in helping migraine treatment?
No alternative therapies have been studied extensively enough to show effectiveness in preventing head pains. However, some promising treatments are being developed. There has not yet been sufficient research on acupuncture or chiropractic care for migraines. However, both may provide relief at times.
When do doctors recommend surgery?
Doctors recommend surgeries to patients whose symptoms do not respond to the usual array of treatments, including medications and alternative procedures like nerve blocks.
The three main types of surgical procedures for migraine are-
- Occipital nerve surgery
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
- Sphenopalatine ganglion neurostimulation
Occipital nerve surgery
This procedure is primarily for patients who have at least two to three disabling migraine attacks or cluster headaches a month on top of other symptoms, such as difficulty seeing out of the corner of their eyes. This surgery is popular since the 1950s and works by cutting the sensory nerves. These nerves go to the brain from the back of the head, neck, and shoulders. The procedure has only about a 40% success rate. Therefore, patients are usually advised to try other treatments first.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
DBS is usually used when the patient’s symptoms include seizures in addition to migraines. This procedure has been performed in Europe since the 1990s but is just recently becoming more common in the United States. It involves placing electrodes inside the brain and attaching them to a small battery-operated neurostimulator that’s placed under the skin near the collarbone. The stimulator sends electricity through thin insulated wires to specific areas of the brain where it is believed pain originates. DBS has reported success rates of about 80% in migraine treatment.
Sphenopalatine ganglion neurostimulation (SPG)
The sphenopalatine ganglion is a part of the trigeminal nerve, which extends into the nose and mouth. Experts may surgically target it to treat chronic headaches occurring more than 15 days a month. This is minimally invasive and can be performed in a doctor’s clinic with mild sedation.
The neurostimulator is placed behind the ear, which sends electrical impulses to the SPG via an insulated wire. The device does not depend on batteries. It is powered by radio waves delivered from a small unit outside of the body. This treatment can help prevent migraines in about 80% of patients.
Can home remedies help?
Home remedies are helpful, harmless, and simple to use. People with migraines have a hammering pain hitting one side of the head and spreading to the other side by triggering a wave of excruciating headaches. It can appear with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or extreme sensitivity to sound, light, or smells. Moreover, causes like heredity, allergies, stress, or certain medications can be responsible for the condition.
Migraine treatment is possible with medication, and home remedies may also help relieve the symptoms such as vomiting and pain. Some of these easy to make at-home natural remedies are as follows-
Ginger is an effective herb, which has been used since ancient times in China and India. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving the pain associated with pulsating headaches. A study published in 2010 says, one hundred people suffering from migraine attacks were given ginger capsules containing 400mg of powdered ginger root twice a day for three months. At the end of the trial period, the patients reported that their pain had reduced by over 50%. Moreover, these results were comparable to those obtained from taking Sumatriptan, a powerful drug for migraines.
Follow the steps given below to prepare the remedy-
- Mix ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger root in water and boil it until you get two teaspoons of fluid extract. Add this liquid to one cup of boiling water and bring it to a simmer. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool completely.
- Add two teaspoons of this liquid in warm water, stir well and drink this infusion every hour until the pain subsides.
- Grate one teaspoon of fresh ginger root, squeeze out some juice from it and mix it with three tablespoons of honey. Take this mixture on an empty stomach to get relief from pain.
- Take one teaspoon of ginger juice and mix it with three tablespoons of honey. Consume this every six hours to reduce the intensity of migraine attacks.
- Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are a well-working home remedy for severe head pain. They have antioxidant properties that assist relieve pain and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. This remedy can effectively help in migraine treatment.
Consider the following steps to make the treatment-
- Put 10 fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for around 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it three times a day until your headaches subside.
- Add two tablespoons of dried basil leaves to two cups of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes and strain it. Drink this infusion every three hours until your migraine attacks are relieved.
- Consume one teaspoon of dried basil leaves with a glass full of fresh, unpasteurized milk twice a day for two weeks to get rid of throbbing pain.
- Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is considered one of the best home remedies for migraines. It is very simple to make, 100% safe, and effective in bringing temporary relief from the symptoms such as pain and sensitivity to light.
Following steps may assist in preparing the solution-
- Put one teaspoon of grated ginger root in a cup full of boiling water. Steep the mixture for 10 minutes and allow it to cool for a while.
- Drink this infusion every two hours until the migraine attacks subside.
Avoiding chocolates, dairy products, caffeinated drinks can help in migraine treatment. However, if home remedies for severe headaches fail to relieve the symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical advice from a professional doctor as soon as possible.
How can you prevent migraines?
The exact causes of this sensual disease are unclear. However, it affects about 14% of adults worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of headache, most often without any warning signs. The most common symptom is pain on one side of the head, although attacks can affect both sides. Migraine attacks may last from 2 to 72 hours.
You can focus on prevention by reducing exposure to possible trigger factors wherever possible. Other measures, which can help you, are-
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid alcohol and quit smoking
- Reduce stress
- Avoid your triggers
- Go for relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, sauna, and massage
- Try aromatherapy
- Use migraine treatment as prescribed
These are some preventive measures, which can help avoid episodes of severe headaches. However, if they don’t bring effective and satisfactory results, consult your doctor for more powerful treatments.