Migraine headaches are painful and throbbing headaches that last for 4-72 hours. It is caused by specific changes within the brain. Severe pain in the head is accompanied by sensitivity to light, smells and sound.
Causes of migraine headaches
- Skipping on meals
- Drinking red wine
- Poor sleeping habits
- Changes in the normal routine
- Monosodium glutamate
- Strong odors
- A throbbing headache on one side of the head.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Performing activities and exposure to noise, light and odors can worsen the condition
- Pain can spread to the other side of head and pain can be felt on both sides of the head.
- Some people have an aura before the start of a migraine. This is characterized as seeing spots, flashing lights and wavy lines. The hands, face or arms can be numb. The aura usually starts about 30 minutes before the headache occurs.
- Take a rest in a quiet, dark room. Close the eyes and relax. Avoid reading or watching TV.
- Apply a cold pack on the painful area. It relaxes the body and increase circulation of blood and lessens pain. Wrap the ice pack in a towel before placing on the affected area. Avoid applying the pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite and worsen the condition.
- Apply a damp cold towel on the painful area. Wet a towel and wring out the excess water and place it in the freezer for at least 5 minutes. Take it out of the freezer. Refold and put it back again in the freezer. Wrap the towel around the head or neck until pain is reduced.
- Apply warm packs and heating pads on the affected area to relax the tensed muscles. Another alternative is to take a warm bath or shower.
- Drink caffeinated drinks to lessen the migraine pain in the early stage to enhance the effects of pain medications such as acetaminophen and aspirin.
- Massage the head and the neck to lessen the pain.
- Maintain regular sleeping schedules. Wake up and get out of bed at the same time every day. Take short naps at least not more than 20-30 minutes to prevent interruption of sleep at night.
- Soak in a warm bath to relax the body.
- Eat at the same time everyday and do not skip meals. Avoid eating foods that might cause migraines such as aged cheese, caffeine or alcohol and chocolates.
- Perform regular exercises every day such as swimming, walking and cycling. Start exercises slowly to prevent the occurrence of migraines.
- Perform some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for 10 minutes every day to relax the muscles and sit quietly at least for minute.