5 Tips for Instant Migraine Relief

Feb 28, 2022

When a migraine hits, it can really have a negative impact on your day. Migraines can cause debilitating pain and other symptoms that prevent you from participating in the activities you enjoy. A migraine is more than just a bad headache. In fact, migraines are actually a neurological condition that can cause debilitating headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms. A family history of migraines can put you at greater risk for developing migraines. There are also different types of migraines, which can cause different symptoms. In addition to chiropractic treatment for headaches, there are also things you can do to help with migraines. Here’s what you need to know about migraine symptoms, causes, and tips for migraine relief.

Common Migraine Symptoms

Migraines can cause debilitating headaches that cause severe head pain. People affected by migraines tend to describe this headache pain as throbbing, pounding, or pulsating. Migraine headache pain can also feel like a dull, steady ache in your head. When you develop a migraine headache, it may start out with mild pain that gets worse over time. The more frequently you get migraines, the greater the chances you have of experiencing moderate to severe headache pain. Head pain with migraines typically affects the forehead area, and you may notice the pain on one side of the head. Migraine headaches typically last for an average of 4 hours, though they can also last for days.

In addition to debilitating headaches, migraines can also cause other symptoms that develop even before the headache sets in. The first set of symptoms arrive in what is known as the prodrome stage. These symptoms typically include fatigue or low energy, frequent yawning, and neck stiffness. You might also start to notice mood changes like an increase in depression or irritability. A migraine aura can also occur during the prodrome stage, which can affect your vision, speech, sensations, and movements. If you experience a migraine with aura, symptoms may include seeing spots, flashes, or bright spots, a temporary loss of vision, or a tingling sensation in your face and extremities.

During the attack phase of a migraine, the headache pain sets in along with other uncomfortable symptoms. Symptoms during the attack phase may be pulsing or throbbing headaches and include increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting. A migraine attack can leave you feeling fatigued, apathetic, or even euphoric and happy. A dull, aching headache may continue for a few days after the migraine attack.

What Causes Migraines?

There isn’t one specific cause of migraines. Doctors believe migraines and other types of headaches are impacted by abnormal activity in the brain and nervous system. Whether certain nerves are aggravated, compressed, or misfiring, they can send incorrect signals through your nervous system and trigger a migraine. There are many aspects of your environment that can actually trigger a migraine episode. It is helpful to know what triggers your migraines so you can be better prepared for a potential attack. Examples of migraine triggers include bright lights, loud sounds, sudden changes in the weather, and certain smells or odors. Hormone changes may also trigger a migraine, especially in women dealing with menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. Certain medications can also trigger migraines. If you are dealing with a lot of stress in your life, then this could be a migraine trigger for you. Dehydration, skipping meals, poor sleep patterns, and excessive smoking or alcohol use can also be migraine triggers for many people. To help identify what is causing your migraines, it can be helpful to keep a headache journal where you jot down what you were doing before a migraine attack. This should include helpful information like what you had to eat and drink that day, what activities you participated in, recent quality of sleep, and any medications you may be taking.

5 Tips for Instant Migraine Relief

Thankfully, there are many ways to effectively manage your migraine attacks. Your chiropractor can talk to you about how to prepare for migraines and healthily adjust your lifestyle to decrease your symptoms. Here are five tips for instant migraine relief:

Create a Calm Environment

Migraine symptoms can get worse if you are in a loud, bright, and crowded environment. If you feel a migraine coming on, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a calm environment. If possible, remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of your day and retreat to a quiet, dark place. You may prefer your bedroom for a calm environment where you can dim or turn off the lights and appreciate the silence. Because a migraine can cause you to be more sensitive to light and sound, avoiding these triggers can help. If you can, lie down and close your eyes or rest. Applying a cool compress to your forehead or back of the neck may also provide you with some quick relief. If your muscles are tense, then a warm bath or shower can help you relax. A heating pad or hot pack can also help relax tense muscles that may be aggravating your migraine symptoms.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep has so many health benefits for your whole body. When you are not well-rested, this can actually trigger a migraine for you. The pain and other symptoms of a migraine may also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Migraines can make it difficult to fall asleep, or the uncomfortable symptoms may wake you up throughout the night. Establishing healthy sleep habits as part of your daily routine can help ward off migraines and also ease the symptoms when they do happen. Determine a set schedule for sleep and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off. Developing a nighttime routine can also help your body prepare for getting a good night’s sleep. Try to participate in activities that help you relax at the end of the day, like taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed. Avoid distractions like watching television or checking emails in your bed, and instead, keep your room as a place for relaxing only.

Manage Stress in Your Life

Stress is a major trigger for migraines. If you have a lot of stress in your life, it can start to impact your body physically. When you are stressed, you tend to tense your muscles and stay on high alert. You may notice your shoulders are creeping up toward your chin or that you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night. Managing the stress in your life can go a long way to improving your quality of life, including preventing future migraines. While you won’t be able to avoid all types of stress in your life, there are certain stress factors in your life that you do have more control over. Working from a to-do list can help with time management so you are better able to visualize what needs to get done throughout the day. Giving yourself the space and grace to make mistakes and take a break when you need it can also relieve stress. Practice positive affirmations and other ways of improving your attitude and outlook on life. Being intentional about relaxing throughout your day also helps reduce the emotional and physical effects of stress on your body.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet is about more than just eating healthy foods. What types of foods you put in your body have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Eating foods rich in protein and vitamins provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Setting a consistent schedule for when you eat meals throughout your day also helps. In fact, skipping meals or fasting can actually increase your risk of developing a migraine. In addition to the foods you eat, it is important to stay hydrated throughout your day. Your body needs water to function in so many different ways, and staying hydrated helps ward off other issues. When you do experience migraines, it can be helpful to note what foods or drinks you had around that time. By keeping a journal of your eating habits around a migraine attack, it can help you identify potential food triggers. Some people have certain foods they avoid, like chocolate or caffeine, because they trigger migraines.

Get Regular Exercise

Getting regular exercise is another way to keep your whole body healthy while also helping with migraine relief. When you exercise, your body releases certain chemicals and hormones that affect pain signals in your brain. These chemicals and hormones can also improve your mood and reduce stress, the latter of which is a known trigger of migraines. When you exercise regularly, you are helping keep both your mind and body in shape. Getting your heart rate up keeps blood, oxygen, and other nutrients moving effectively through your body. You don’t have to get a gym membership to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Even incorporating a walk around the neighborhood in your daily routine can help.

Chiropractic Care for Long-Lasting Migraine Relief

When lifestyle changes are not enough to help with migraine relief, a chiropractor can help. Chiropractic care has been known to provide long-lasting migraine relief and prevent future migraine attacks. Chiropractors can address a wide range of issues that affect your spine, brain, nervous system, and musculoskeletal system. A chiropractor can assess you for migraines and provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your headache pain. Chiropractors can also develop individualized treatment plans that help manage and prevent headaches like migraines. Your treatment plan will be personalized because of your age, frequency of attacks, the severity of attacks, and what types of symptoms you are dealing with during a migraine. Talk to your chiropractor about how long your migraines typically last and whether or not they keep you from going to work or school. Your chiropractor will also want to determine if you are dealing with a migraine with or without aura because this can also influence your treatment plan.

Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches

Whether you experience migraines sporadically or are dealing with chronic migraines, there are chiropractic treatment options for headaches. There are many ways your chiropractor may approach your treatment for migraine relief. Here are some examples of chiropractic treatment for headaches like migraines.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments involve gently manipulating the spine to restore proper posture. When the vertebrae in your spine are even slightly out of alignment, it can impact nearby nerves and the healthy functioning of your nervous system. Your chiropractor will identify any misalignments in your spine and use this gentle and safe technique to resolve the misalignments.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Chiropractic care can also involve hands-on manipulation and soft tissue therapy. Your back has muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues that work together to provide your spine with stability and support. Muscles can become weakened due to poor posture, and therapeutic massage and other soft tissue therapy techniques can help promote strength and healthy functioning.

Stretches & Exercises

Your chiropractor may also walk you through stretches and exercises that can offer you instant migraine relief. Stretching can help ease tension in your muscles and promote flexibility. Certain exercises can also help improve healthy blood flow and target specific areas of weakness to help strengthen and stabilize your muscles.

Lifestyle Changes & Education

Your chiropractor may also talk to you about how certain lifestyle changes can help you experience lasting migraine relief. Talking with you about healthy habits like eating well, staying hydrated, and getting a good night’s sleep can go a long way to supporting a healthier you.

Learn more about how you can experience lasting migraine relief with Atlanta chiropractors at AICA Orthopedics. Our team of walk-in chiropractors and headache doctors has the tools you need to tackle your migraines once and for all.


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