migraine headaches It currently affects over one billion people worldwide and is the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
About one-quarter of American households have at least one member who suffers from Headache, An estimated 85.6 million workdays are lost as a result of migraine headaches each year.
Yet many people who suffer from migraines dismiss their pain as just a bad headache.
Rather than seeking medical care, the condition often goes undiagnosed, even when pain is accompanied by other disabling symptoms, including light and sound sensitivity. NauseaVomiting and dizziness.
buy now , Our best subscription plan now has a special price
Researchers have discovered that genetics and environmental factors play a role in the occurrence of migraines.
They happen when changes in your brainstem activate the trigeminal nerve, a major nerve in the pain pathway.
This signals your body to release inflammatory substances such as CGRP, short for a peptide related to the calcitonin gene. This molecule, and others, can cause inflammation in blood vessels, producing pain and swelling,
For some, medication has its limits
Migraines can be debilitating. People who are experiencing one are often wrapped in a dark room with only their pain.
Attacks can last for days; Life has been put on hold. Sensitivity to light and sound, along with the unpredictability of illness, causes many people to suffer from work, school, social gatherings and spending time with family.
There are many prescription drugs available for both. Migraine prevention and treatment, But for many people, traditional treatments have their limitations.
Some people with migraine have a low tolerance to certain medications. Many people cannot afford the high cost of drugs or cannot tolerate the side effects. Others are pregnant or breastfeeding and cannot take medicines.
However, as a board-certified neurologist who specializes in Headache Medicine, I always wonder how I become an open-minded and enthusiastic patient when I discuss alternative options.
These approaches are collectively called complementary and alternative medicine. It may be surprising that a traditionally trained Western physician like me would recommend such things. Total, acupuncture or meditation for people suffering from migraine. Yet in my practice, I value these non-traditional treatments.
Research shows that alternative treatments are associated with better sleep, feeling better emotionally, and an increased sense of control.
Some patients can avoid prescription drugs altogether with one or more complementary therapies. For others, non-traditional treatments may be used along with prescription medication.
These options can be used all at once or in combination, depending on how severe the headache is and the reason behind it.
If neck strain is contributing to the pain, physical medical Or massage may be most beneficial.
If stress is a trigger, perhaps meditation would be an appropriate place to start. It’s worth talking to your provider to find out which options might work best for you.
Mindfulness, Meditation and more
Because stress is a major trigger for migraines, one of the most effective alternative treatments is mindful Meditation, which is the act of focusing your attention on the present moment in a non-judgmental mindset.
Studies show that mindfulness meditation can reduce headache frequency and pain severity.
Another useful tool is biofeedback, which enables a person to see their vital signs in real time and then learns to stabilize them.
For example, if you’re stressed, you may experience muscle tightness, sweating, and a fast heart rate,
With biofeedback, these changes are reflected on a monitor, and a therapist teaches you exercises to help manage them. There is strong evidence that biofeedback can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches and reduce headache-related disability.
Yoga derives from traditional Indian philosophy and combines physical postures, Meditation and breathing exercises with the goal of unifying mind, body and spirit.
Practicing yoga regularly can be helpful in reducing stress and treatment of migraine.
Physical therapy uses manual techniques such as myofascial and trigger-point release, passive stretching, and cervical traction, which are gentle stretches on the head with a skilled hand or with a medical device.
Studies show that physical therapy with medication was better at reducing migraine frequency, pain intensity, and pain perception than medication alone.
By reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation, massage can reduce the frequency of migraines and improve sleep, It can also reduce tension in the days following a massage, which provides further protection against migraine attacks.
Some patients are helped by acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine.
In this practice, fine needles are placed in specific spots on the skin to promote healing.
A large 2016 meta-analysis paper found that acupuncture reduced the duration and frequency of migraines, regardless of how often they occurred. Acupuncture benefits persist after 20 weeks of treatment.
It’s also interesting that acupuncture can change metabolic activity In the thalamus, an area of the brain important for the perception of pain. This change correlated with a reduction in headache intensity scores after acupuncture treatment.
Vitamins, Supplements and Nutraceuticals Herbal supplements and nutraceuticals, which are food-derived products that may have therapeutic benefits, can also be used to prevent migraines.
and there is evidence to suggest Vitamins Work reasonably well compared to traditional prescription medicine. Their side effects are also less. Here are some examples: –
Magnesium is believed to help regulate blood vessels and electrical activity in the brain. One study found a 40 percent reduction in migraines in patients given 600 mg of magnesium citrate daily for 12 weeks. Side effects included diarrhea in about 20 percent of patients.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is also considered useful in the prevention of migraine.
When the 400 mg dose was taken daily for 12 weeks, the researchers found that it halved the frequency of migraines in more than half of the participants.
— Another beneficial supplement is coenzyme Q10, which is involved in cellular energy production.
After three months, migraine attacks were half as many among those who took 100 milligrams of Coenzyme Q10 three times a day.
A possible natural solution is feverfew or Tanacetum parthenium, a daisylike perennial plant known to have anti-migraine properties. Feverfew reduced the frequency of migraines by 40 percent when taken three times a day.
Tools can be beneficial
The Food and Drug Administration has approved several neuro-stimulation devices to treat migraines. These devices work by neutralizing pain signals sent from the brain.
There is a Nervio device, which is worn on the upper arm and sends signals to the brainstem pain center during a . assault, Two-thirds of people report pain relief after two hours, and side effects are rare.
Another tool that shows promise is Cefaly. It delivers a mild electric current to the trigeminal nerve on the forehead, which may reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
After one hour of treatment, patients experienced a nearly 60 percent reduction in pain intensity, and relief lasted up to 24 hours. Side effects are uncommon and include sleepiness or skin irritation,
These alternative treatments help in treating the person holistically. Just in my practice, several success stories come to mind: the college student who once had chronic migraines but now has rare occurrences following a vitamin K regimen; pregnant woman who abstains from medication through acupuncture and physical therapy; Or the patient, who is already on multiple prescription drugs, who uses a neuro-stimulation device for migraine instead of adding another prescription.
Granted, alternative approaches are not necessarily miracle remedies, but their ability to relieve aches and pains is remarkable. As a physician, it is really gratifying to see some of my patients respond to these treatments.
I I Follow us for more lifestyle news Instagram | Twitter , Don’t miss out on Facebook and the latest updates!