The Migraine Relief Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Finding Relief

Migraine Relief Coping with Chronic Pain and Self-Care Techniques as Described by a Woman with Persistent Migraines

My Instant Approach to Dealing with Chronic Migraines

By Yuri Cárdenas, as told to Evan Starkman

👋 Hey there! Are you tired of feeling like your head is caught in a vice grip? Yeah, migraines are no joke. As someone who has been battling chronic migraines for almost a decade, let me tell you, it’s been one wild ride. But fear not! I’m here to share my hard-earned knowledge and give you some tips on finding relief during those dreaded migraine attacks. Now, remember, everyone’s journey with migraines is different, so what works for me may not work for you. But hey, we’re in this together, so let’s dive in!

Take Abortive Migraine Medications Early 💊

Picture this: You’re at the start of a migraine attack, and you have the power to stop it in its tracks. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, welcome to the concept of abortive migraine medications. These little wonders can abort or halt a migraine attack if you take them at the very first sign.

I personally rely on triptans, gepants, and NSAIDs for my abortive meds. But here’s the deal, my friend – moderation is key. Try not to exceed two to three doses weekly, as relying too heavily on certain abortive meds can lead to rebound headaches. And remember, if your go-to doesn’t do the trick or you’ve already hit your limit, having a backup arsenal of rescue medications can be a game-changer. These may not completely stop the attack, but they can certainly help ease the symptoms while you wait it out.

Oh, and here’s a little nugget of wisdom: what works for you now might not work forever. Migraine attacks evolve, like a villainous chameleon, so staying open to trying new abortive medications and having those rescues in your back pocket is crucial.

Practice Self-Care Techniques 🛀

Alright, so you’ve popped those meds, and now you’re in waiting mode. Here’s where self-care swoops in to save the day. When a migraine attacks, the first thing I do is find a quiet, dark room to lie down in. But if I’m out and about, I do my best to create a migraine-friendly environment. It’s all about adapting and creating a soothing space wherever you find yourself.

While you wait for your meds to kick in, pay attention to your posture. Relax your neck and shoulders, take slow, deep breaths, and feel the tension melt away. Pro tip: placing a warm washcloth over your eyes or on the back of your neck can work wonders. And if you’re feeling overheated (thanks, relentless migraine), switch to a cold washcloth for an instant cooldown.

Now, brace yourself for this migraine hack. Mindfulness meditation is a superhero power that helps me stay grounded in the present moment, even when my brain feels like it’s under attack. Instead of getting lost in a sea of pain-related thoughts, I harness the power of mindfulness to keep my focus on the here and now. And let me tell you, it’s a game-changer.

For those particularly awful attacks when the pain is playing a sadistic game of torment, I rely on an electrical nerve stimulation device. Picture me, rocking a little gadget on my forehead that helps alleviate symptoms until my meds do their job. It’s like having a personal massage therapist at your beck and call.

Make Rest a Priority 😴

Alright, listen up. Pushing through a migraine attack is tempting, I get it. But trust me when I say it’s the worst thing you can do. Resting and allowing the attack to pass is essential. When that pain train comes rolling in, give yourself permission to hit the pause button and take care of YOU.

If you can, cancel any plans that can be postponed. Embrace the art of snuggling up in your comfiest pajamas and surrender to the bliss of rest. Yes, I know there are times when life demands you soldier on, but even then, aim for maximum comfort and be gentle with yourself. Remember, your well-being matters.

Let Loved Ones Know How They Can Help ❤️

Sometimes, all you need is a gentle touch from a loved one to bring you a moment of calm amidst the storm. For me, when the pain is overwhelming, I ask my boyfriend to place his hand soothingly on my back. It works like magic.

But you know what’s even better? Helping your loved ones understand how they can support you during these migraine battles. If light and sound sensitivity are your arch-nemeses, create a handy checklist for your nearest and dearest. Mine goes a little something like this: “Are the lights dimmed? Are all unnecessary sounds off?” Trust me, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Healthy Habits and Support ❤️🧠

Alright, folks, here’s the deal. Building a fortress against migraines involves more than just abortive medications and self-care techniques. Healthy habits are the secret sauce to keeping those migraines at bay.

Physical activity, even in small doses, can work wonders. Aim for a gentle 15-minute movement session each day, and consult with your doctor to find the perfect fit for your situation. Exercise releases endorphins and works as a natural stress-reducer, both of which can help minimize those pesky migraines.

Now, let’s talk about mental health, shall we? Cue the gratitude parade! Practicing gratitude daily has revolutionized my mindset and eased the burden of migraines. It’s a simple practice that shifts your perspective towards the goodness in your life. Plus, studies show that it reduces pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms. So, why not give it a try?

And speaking of mental health, here’s some real talk. Migraines and mental health struggles often go hand in hand. Depression and anxiety can stroll into our lives uninvited, but don’t worry, my friend, you’re not alone. Reach out to supportive friends, family, or seek solace in online support groups (Facebook has a trove of migraine support groups filled with empathetic warriors).

Oh, and let’s not forget our furry friends! They have hearts of gold and offer unconditional support. My dog, Katsu, is a trained assistance animal, and his presence brings me endless comfort, joy, and laughter. Animals truly are the best therapists, aren’t they?

💡 Quick tip: When navigating the treacherous world of migraines, it’s vital to remember that your self-worth is not defined by productivity. Be gentler with yourself and embrace the practice of self-acceptance. It’s a journey, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Ready to Take Charge of Your Migraines? 🌟

Now that you’re armed with some valuable knowledge, it’s time to put it into action. Experiment, explore, and find what works for you. Remember, you’re unique, and your journey may look different from mine. But just know that you’re not alone in this battle.

📚 References:How Gepants and Ditans Complement Existing TherapiesMedication Overuse HeadacheComorbidities of MigraineAbortive Drugs for MigrainePreventive, Abortive, & Rescue Migraine TreatmentsPracticing gratitude can have profound health benefits, USC experts sayGratitude – A Mental Health Game ChangerTreating Migraines: More Ways to Fight the Pain

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If you found this article helpful, spread the word! Share it with your fellow migraine warriors, sympathetic friends, or anyone who could use a little relief. Together, we’ll conquer those migraines and live our best lives. 💪