What kind of treatment is available for migraines?
Medically there are various treatments available for relieving acute attacks, starting with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. These are most effective if taken as early as possible into the attack, preferably in a soluble form.
Triptan medicines such as sumatriptan (Imigran orZomig). They cause the blood vessels around the brain to contract (narrow), as it is the dilating of blood vessels that causes the pain.
There are also preventative medications such as Beta-blockers eg propranolol, amitriptyline (antidepressants)but are seen to be useful for migraines
Identify and avoid trigger factors.
Natural treatments The Centre offers several options here which may serve to help manage migraines:
Osteopathy – to look at the body structure, in particular the head and neck for areas of tension or restriction of movement to the neck, but often involves the back too. Often there are preventative measures that can be advised upon to help manage migraines
Physiotherapy – looks at the structure of the neck restriction of movement.
Acupuncture – looks both to relieve tension and pain felt from a migraine, often there are preventative measures that can be advised upon to help manage migraines.
Self-Help for Migraines?
Identifying and avoiding triggers, this can be done by starting a 'headache' diary - making a note of when the pain started and how long it lasts. Note down any additional factors that seem important such as what has been drunk and eaten, the intake of medicines, daily activities, details about periods if you are a woman, and weather conditions.
avoid excessive use of alcohol and tobacco.
engage in correct posture while sitting and working. The type of chair you use is important. It should be one that maximises comfort and good posture and may need to be adjusted to suit your needs.
Recognising the signs: a change in mood, tiredness, hyperactivity, food cravings
perform relaxation techniques on a consistent basis.