Migraines present painful and uncomfortable symptoms that make them a good deal worse than your average headache, and they can impact your quality of life if they go unmanaged. With symptoms ranging from nausea to blurred vision to feeling lightheaded, treating migraines can be of paramount importance for those suffering. Medical treatment prescribed by your doctor is known to do a lot toward ensuring the most severe migraine symptoms are under control. But did you know there are home remedies that can easily help you manage migraine symptoms and lessen the severity and frequency of migraine occurrences?
In addition to any medication and other medical treatments, there are a variety of convenient techniques and lifestyle habits you can use at home to help manage symptoms and attacks. While these home remedies don’t actually cure migraines, some research suggests they can help provide real relief. Just remember to always talk to your doctor about any migraine treatment.
Find a Calm Space
When you start getting a migraine, let yourself relax and step away from what you’re focused on doing, if possible. Find a quiet space or room and turn off the lights. Light and sound are known to make migraine pain worse, so relaxing in a dark, quiet room can help mitigate the symptoms. While this won’t likely stop the migraine from happening, it can substantially help you reduce discomfort and pain with a better environment.
Caffeine is a common and powerful ingredient found in coffee and some other foods and beverages, and it may also give you some mild migraine relief. It can also help your body process certain migraine drugs faster, but don’t overdo it. Caffeine can be addictive, and you can get dependent on the burst of energy it provides, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms like exhaustion and worse headaches. While it’s true that more research is needed to determine the extent to which caffeine can mitigate the severity of migraines, it’s still known to reduce inflammation in general, which can help. But remember to speak with your doctor about whether or not caffeine as an at-home treatment is right for you.
Take the Right Vitamins
Some vitamins you can easily buy can actually help you deal with migraines. For instance, B vitamins may mitigate migraine occurrence and severity. More specifically, a 2021 review concluded that taking the vitamin B2 at 400 mg daily for 3 months had a significant effect on the number of days, duration, frequency, and pain rating of migraine symptoms. Research has also shown that vitamin D may play a role in the frequency of migraines as well. A recent study concluded that individuals with migraines and vitamin D deficiency experienced more days with migraine pain than people without the vitamin deficiency. With the right medically-advised supplements, daily vitamins could be a good addition to your migraine management strategy.
Make Time to Exercise Regularly
Ongoing exercise habits are known to help decrease the risk of migraines by reducing anxiety, depression, and obesity. When you’re physically active, your body releases a wide range of chemicals that help to block out pain signals to your brain. These same chemicals also help mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression — two conditions that can make migraines worse. Consult with your doctor to see what types of exercises they recommend and how often.
Use Essential Oils
A recent 2021 review of research discovered that there are 10 types of essential oil that include ingredients that may help lessen the severity of migraine symptoms. For example, lavender essential oil can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and headaches. Other oils found to have similar effects include peppermint, chamomile, and basil. Importantly, there were even clinical trials that appear to confirm the idea that these oils help with migraine pain. A 2020 triple-blind trial with over 100 participants found that the topical use of basil oil helped cut the intensity and frequency of migraine episodes. While they can be a big help when used sparingly to treat migraines, experts agree that people should only inhale pure essential oils via a diffuser. If applying topically, you can dilute essential oils with a carrier oil at a safe concentration.
If you or a loved one experience painful migraines, there are plenty of at-home remedies to help alleviate the symptoms. If you’re experiencing persistent migraines that won’t go away, you can also consider applying to our migraine clinical studies at the Lehigh Center to see a board-certified physician at no extra cost for potential access to new medications and other treatments.