How to get rid of a migraine fast without medication

Everyone gets a headache now and then, sometimes even severe. When your head hurts, it’s difficult to concentrate on even the simplest tasks. Sinus pressure and allergies are the two most common factors that cause headaches, but normally with a mild pain reliever and a decongestant, these headaches normally go away within a half hour or so. More severe headaches from say, neck pain, require a stronger pain reliever and possibly treatment from a dr. or Chiropractor. Migraines, however, are a completely different kind of head pain. OTC (Over The Counter) drugs can be taken to relieve the pain, temporarily, but can not relieve the additional symptoms of light and noise sensitivity, nausea, and chills. Migraines can knock even the strongest person flat on their back for days at a time. They are debilitating, and the medications that are taken can make you as sick as the actual headache. You can learn how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication, and we’re here to show you how.

A Migraine is a neurological disorder of the brain. Sufferers tend to experience moderate to severe headaches along with autonomic nervous system symptoms. The headaches are normally on one side of the head and pulsate. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and sensitivity to noise and light. Physical activity can also worsen a migraine, so when you are experiencing one it’s really best for you to find a quiet, dark room to relax until it is over. Migraines can last anywhere from 2 to 72 hours but prior to the onset of a migraine, nearly 1/3 of all people experience an “aura” or some kind of visual, sensory, or motor skills disruption. Factors that can contribute to a person having migraines can be dehydration, genetics, or hormone levels (up to three times more women than men suffer from migraines). While the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, it is believed to be a neurovascular disorder, in which the cerebral cortex is over stimulated or excited, creating a lack of control over the pain neurons in your brain stem. It is also estimated that nearly 15% of the entire population of the world experience migraines, so while you may not be alone in your suffering, it’s still simply no fun.

 

Being proactive is key to stopping a migraine before it stops you. Per Wikipedia, here are the phases of a migraine:

The prodrome, which occurs hours or days before the headache

The aura, which immediately precedes the headache

The pain phase, also known as headache phase

The postdrome, the effects experienced following the end of a migraine attack

 

The prodromal phase can occur anywhere between hours or two days before the actual onset of a migraine. They are premonitory symptoms which are a heads up that you are about to experience your next migraine. These symptoms include irritability, altered mood, depression, or euphoria, craving different foods, stiff muscles (especially in or around your neck), constipation or diarrhea, and sensitivities to smell or sound. It is important that as a migraine sufferer, you track these symptoms so you will know when to start fighting against having a full-blown migraine. Migraine medications are normally taken when you experience the pain symptoms, but there are natural alternatives to these. If you do your research you will see that there are plenty of websites that offer to show you how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication, but you need to be careful regarding what treatments you try. In addition, it is always a good idea to talk to your Dr before trying any new treatments, especially if you are currently taking any kind of medications to treat an illness or injury. Never hurts to be safe.

Chiropractic care has been deemed an effective way to treat migraines naturally. A study conducted by the University Of Maryland, which featured part of the study was how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication, showed that 22% of the participants that saw a Chiropractor for their migraines reported a 90% reduction in their migraines, while 49% of the participants reported a significant reduction in intensity or severity. There was also a study where 9 participants were treated daily to spinal manipulation while another 9 were treated with a migraine drug called Elavil. The results were astonishing. The patients receiving spinal manipulation experienced the same overall reduction of their migraines as the patients who took Elavil. These are promising results and truly show how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication.

While you are learning how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication, consider taking the homeopathic route. Several herbs have been used for centuries to treat and relieve the symptoms of migraines. Before taking any of them, it is best to seek out the advice of a professional homeopath who will asses your symptoms and your constitution and offer you the best combination of roots or herbs to take. Plants such as Belladonna, Bryonia, Gelsemium, and Iris versicolor are alternatives to taking migraine meds. But again, check with a professional homeopath.

There is a lot of compelling literature out there on how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication that also recommend acupuncture, Self hypnosis, Psychotherapy, and Biofeedback. Others claim that drinking a tablespoon of apple cider as soon as your symptoms surface will prevent a migraine, or simply lying down in a quiet room with a warm wash clothe on your forehead will work also. It comes down to what works best for you. Learn about all the different methods on how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication first before you resort to taking the sometimes harmful drugs a doctor may prescribe. The more way you can learn on how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication, the easier treating them becomes. Also, make it a priority to track your triggers, such as alcohol, food, or medications so you can learn to nearly prevent them altogether. Also, not only tack your triggers, but your symptoms leading up to a migraine. Once you know the signs, then the all natural remedies have a better chance of stopping it before it starts. If you know other that suffer from migraines, talk to them and see how they get rid of their migraines without medication; there are plenty of groups out there that can offer tips and tricks on how to get rid of a migraine fast without medication.

How To Get Rid Of Migraines Fast Naturally

It’s happening again: you see floaters and flashers in one or both eyes. You see a rainbow effect around objects. The lights have suddenly become unbearably bright, and the noise level, normal to most people, is as loud as a bullhorn in your ears. This is the classic preamble to one of the worst headaches you’ll ever have – a migraine. Or, perhaps you’re one of the unlucky sufferers who has no warning signs – just a sudden, severe pain in your head. Pain so bad all you want to do is crawl into bed in a dark, silent room and wait for it to go away.

What, exactly, is a migraine? Sufferers feel like it’s a punishment from God or the Universe, and they wonder what they’ve done to merit such torture. A true migraine is vascular in origin – the pain and symptoms are caused by sudden dilation of blood vessels in the brain. Why the vessels do this is still a mystery; some researchers currently speculate the cause is neurological – nerves in the brain overexcite the blood vessels, causing dilation. Triggers for a migraine are numerous:

• Caffeine withdrawal

• Alcohol

• Stress and Anxiety

• Changes in hormone levels

• Changes in sleep patterns

• Odors or perfumes

• Bright lights

• Loud noises

• Smoking, or exposure to smoke

• Exercise or other physical stress

• Skipped meals

Certain foods, such as:

• Baked goods

• Chocolate

• Any processed, fermented, pickled or marinated foods

• MSG

• Nuts

• Peanut Butter

• Dairy foods

• Foods containing tyramine

• Foods containing nitrates, such as bacon, hot dogs, or salami

• Fruits

• Onions

This list is by no means complete; it’s not an exaggeration to say anything may cause a migraine in some sufferers.

True vascular migraines occur fifteen or fewer days in month, or not at all. They can, however, be chronic, occurring fifteen or more days in a month.

Migraines are also caused by muscle tension. Muscle tension is responsible for the vast majority of non-migraine headaches, and muscle tension headaches respond well to over-the-counter medications. A muscle tension migraine exhibits the same symptoms as a vascular migraine, but the treatment is vastly different.

In order to treat your migraines, you should consult a medical practitioner, who may order a CT scan or MRI, to rule out any serious medical cause, such as a brain tumor. If your headaches are vascular in nature, you will need medication to treat them; if your headaches are muscle tension related, you can treat them yourself, without the need for a prescription.

Treating a Vascular Migraine:

There is no cure for vascular migraines; prevention is the best bet, and learning how to treat a migraine once it occurs is next. Once your headaches have been identified as vascular migraines, learning how to treat them at home is key. Tracking your headaches can help you identify triggers, and you can develop a plan for managing or avoiding them. Your physician or medical practitioner may prescribe allopathic medications to prevent your headaches; these medications need to be taken every day to be effective. Some of the classes being used in the prevention of migraines are:

• Antidepressants (amitriptylene, veniafaxine)

• Beta blockers (propanolol, metroprolol)

• Calcium channel blockers (verapamil)

• Seizure medications (valproic acid, gabapentin, and topiramate)

Botox injections have also been prescribed as a treatment method of chronic migraine.

Physical treatments for a migraine include drinking a caffeinated drink, ice packs on your head and neck, and lying down in a dark, silent room will mitigate your symptoms, if not actually alleviating the headache altogether.

Muscle Tension Migraines:

A muscle tension migraine is exactly what it sounds like – a migraine headache brought on by excessive tension in the muscles of the head, face, neck, and shoulders. Muscle tension migraines exhibit the same properties as a vascular migraine, but are treatable with physical therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Muscle tension migraines can begin with the aura warning signs, or they can strike without warning.

Treating Muscle Tension Migraines:

Treating a muscle tension migraine is far easier than a vascular migraine; most of the therapies are easily performed by the sufferers themselves, or by a friend or loved one. The first therapy is an NSAID medication, either over-the-counter or prescription, cold packs on the neck and shoulders, a moist heating pad on the back, and a dark, silent room. Once the pain has abated enough to allow it, massage of the muscle in question , and/or application of a topical muscle relaxant, such as Aspercreme, comes into play.

Muscle tension migraines are more easily prevented than vascular migraines – paying attention to the muscle groups in question, regular stretching, and regular breaks from activities stressing the muscles prevents the headache in the vast majority of cases.

Natural Treatments For Migraines:

Unfortunately, there is no “magic bullet” for treating a migraine. However, it’s not necessary to rely on the allopathic medications for relief. Feverfew has been used as a treatment for headaches and arthritis for centuries. Feverfew belongs to the chrysanthemum family, along with chamomile. Both herbs are used as antispasmodics, but chamomile’s talents lie with the digestive tract, and feverfew with headaches, especially stubborn ones.

Feverfew contains parthenolides – compounds appearing to help control contraction and expansion of blood vessels. Migraines cause the production of seretonin, a neurotransmitter associated with pain tolerance, and your brain tells your blood vessels to constrict. Feverfew counteracts this order, improving the tone of the blood vessels. Feverfew also appears to neutralize prostaglandins, compounds linked to pain and inflammation. This property of feverfew makes it a holistic treatment for arthritis as well as migraines, and may be one reason it works well on muscle tension migraine sufferers.

If you suffer from vascular migraines, don’t toss your prescriptions; they may be necessary to help you when a migraine strikes. However, feverfew is a good choice to add as a preventative treatment – it seems to work best this way, but it has been shown to help once a migraine hits. You may also want to consider adding magnesium to your arsenal – it aids in toning the blood vessels, as well as feverfew, and it also helps with stress, and with muscle pains, making it a good choice for muscle tension migraine sufferers too.

Dealing with Migraines: It’s More Than Just a Headache

As more than 36 million Americans know, the process of preventing, treating, and managing migraine headaches is one of the most onerous health problems anyone can face. Calculated annually, migraines cost an estimated $20 billion dollars last year in medical expenses and lost productivity, making it clear that they have an extensive impact on daily life, both professional and personal. 

While there are no guaranteed short, quick-fix answers to migraines, there are ways to get rid of a migraine fast. There are several keys to speedy relief: (1) understanding what migraine headaches are and how they work (2) knowing the specific individual symptoms and the best ways to deal with them (3) employing an array of effective treatment options.

So what exactly is a migraine? Simply put, migraine headaches are episodes of intense throbbing or pulsing sensations in one area of the head or body, with that basic symptom commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light, sound or both. Left untreated, they usually last anywhere from 4-72 hours, with a severity level ranging from mild to extremely debilitating.

Migraines can be divided into several categories, some very broad and others quite specific, and knowing which kind of migraine you’re experiencing is one of the keys to quick relief. The two most basic categories of migraines are common migraines and classic migraines.

Common migraines, which are sometimes also known as probable migraines, are often more severe versions of normal headaches, with some migraine symptoms. Classic migraines, meanwhile, always include some level of the key migraine symptom, which is known as an aura symptom.

In lay terms, aura symptoms can be described as a series of sensations and feelings that normally start anywhere from 10-30 minutes before the migraine itself. They include seeing flashing lights, jagged lines or blind spots, along with having a disturbed sense of smell, taste or touch. A lack of mental acuity may also occur, which victims often describe as feeling “fuzzy.”

These aura issues affect 1 in 5 migraine sufferers, and they are sometimes accompanied by a variety of other pre-migraine symptoms, such as constipation, food cravings, hyperactivity, irritability, neck stiffness, or uncontrollable yawning.

Why are aura symptoms important? If they are severe, they can also indicate the presence of more serious problems, such as brain stem bleeding, that obviously require immediate medical treatment. And if aura symptoms aren’t as serious, they provide a warning that a migraine sufferer has encountered a so-called trigger and should seek some kind of immediate relief.

With regard to the more specific types of migraines, those that last for 15 days or more are referred to as chronic, and people who suffer from this type of migraine frequently have aura symptoms that can last for a week after the attack itself. (Postdrome symptoms are the other type of symptom that can occur after a migraine, producing a feeling of being drained or “washed out.”)

To get even more specific, retinal migraines include visual symptoms along with the usual aural issues. Perhaps the most controversial diagnosis is abdominal migraines, which tend to affect children and often begin with a stomachache that is frequently cured by a nap. Many of those who experience abdominal migraines as children go on to have either classic or common migraines as adults, but the diagnosis of abdominal migraines has yet to be backed up by a conclusive body of research.

The first actual step in finding quick relief is to know your triggers. There are three basic groups of migraine triggers:

o Food triggers. These typically include aged cheese, soy products, hot dogs and lunch meats, caffeine, and alcohol, most frequently red wine. Skipped meals can also be a trigger, along with certain food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

o Environmental triggers. These include sudden weather changes, the presence of bright lights, different pollutants, and certain odors. Obviously, there are a lot of individual variations in this category.

o Physical triggers. Fatigue is the most commonly cited physical trigger. Many migraine sufferers experience a feeling of being run down before a migraine, and too much sleep can sometimes be just as much of a problem as too little. Menstrual-related hormonal changes frequently trigger migraines for many women as well.

When it comes to getting quick relief, triggers serve two important functions. They provide warning that a migraine is about to happen, often helping the victim to get to a less stressful environment and start implementing whatever treatment options work best.

Treatment is more complicated, and is based to some extent on knowing more about the causes of the migraine itself. Genetic and environmental factors obviously play a significant role, and intense physical activity can cause migraines as well.

Migraines can also  be caused by a neurovascular disorder in which blood vessels become enlarged, particularly the temporal artery, which is one of the largest blood vessels in the brain area. When this happens, chemicals are released from nerve fibers that are coiled around the blood vessels, causing pain, inflammation and further enlargement.

Chemical changes in the brain itself can also cause migraines. One of the most frequent causes is overproduction of serotonin, a key brain chemical. This can occur naturally for some individuals, but it can also be caused by overuse of drugs used to treat migraines. Anti-depressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, etc. are the most frequently cited examples of drugs that can cause serotonin buildup.

Finally, another purely medical cause involves chemical or physiological changes in the brain stem itself, which can affect the operation of the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway in the brain.

The path from diagnosis to treatment usually starts with a blood test. Blood tests are used to determine whether there are problems in the blood vessels themselves. They also help doctors detect or rule out the presence of infections in the spinal cord, or the presence of toxins in the body or the brain.

CT scans are often the next step in the diagnostic process if more specific information is required. These scans can also be used to rule out or detect the presence of tumors, infection, brain damage or bleeding in the brain. The final tools in the diagnostic kit is  are the MRI or a spinal tap, both of which can also be used to further analyze these possibilities.

Treatment itself can be divided into three fairly broad categories — drugs, alternative medicine and home remedies, with drugs usually bringing the quickest relief from severe migraines. Drug types can be further divided into two categories: (1) acute or abortive drugs that are taken during attacks and are designed to stop symptoms that have already started (2) preventive medications taken before an attack, often on a daily basis, to reduce severity or frequency.

The most common drug treatment is over the counter medications, which are especially effective in providing fast relief for milder migraines where the symptoms are less severe. These include aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which are often combined by different manufacturers in proprietary products and formulas (e.g., Excedrin Migraine). While they are generally effective, the one major drawback of these kinds of drugs is that they can cause complications when overused on a consistent basis.

In the world of prescription drugs for migraines, the most commonly recommended drugs are called triptans, which work by constricting blood vessels and blocking pain pathways in brain. They are more effective than over the counter meds when it comes to providing quick relief, but the side effects, which include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and muscle weakness, can be more severe as well. The most frequently prescribed triptan is Sumatriptin.

Ergots are the second most commonly prescribed drug for migraines, and they are often combined with caffeine. They are considered generally less effective than triptans, and they may worsen nausea or vomiting symptoms and lead to the same kind of overuse headaches associated with over the counter meds. 

Other prescription treatments include butalbital, a barbiturate that is sometimes combined with acetominophen, caffeine, aspirin or codeine. Narcotics such as oyxcodone are occasionally prescribed, as are narcotic nasal sprays such as  or tramadol. Naprosyn is another oft-used prescription drugs that has proven effective for some migraine victims.

One of the bright spots on the drug horizon is a new subcutaneous, needle-free treatment called Sumavel DosePro. In initial studies, freedom from pain occurred in less than two hours for 61 percent of the patients who took it, with 33 percent of those in clinical trials experiencing relief within 15 minutes.

Preventive medications represent the other side of the prescription drug approach. They are normally used or recommended for those experiencing four or more attacks a month, with the attacks lasting longer than 12 hours. They are also used frequently if pain relief medications aren’t helping, or if symptoms include prolonged aura issues with numbness or weakness.

The most commonly prescribed preventives are beta blockers, which include cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs and Botox.

If drugs don’t work, the medical treatment of last resort is migraine surgery, which involves the decompression of certain nerves around the head and neck to alleviate symptoms.

The final refuge for migraine sufferers who wish to avoid drug or medical treatments is home remedies and alternative medicine. These approaches vary widely on an individual basis in the level and amount of relief they provide. Some migraine victims report instant relief from certain types of alternative medicine or home remedies, while others experience no positive effects at all. They can also be preventive or provide immediate relief, depending on the reaction and approach of the individual.

The most common forms of alternative medicine used to treat migraines are acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy. Supplements containing herbs, vitamins and minerals also fall under the alternative medicine umbrella, with the best options being butterbur and feverfew on the herbal side and the most often used nutritional supplements containing riboflavin and magnesium.

Home remedies vary even more widely. Some people find salt consumption provides relief from a migraine, either before or after symptoms develop. Others find relief from ice wraps, and scalp massage has also been cited as being effective, with some people preferring temple massage and others choosing to avoid that particular area of the skull completely. There are dozens of other home remedies, some of which are based on folklore, cultural wisdom or both.