Risk and Relief: Migraines

By: Bel Marra Health | Pain Management | Friday, March 02, 2012 - 01:04 AM

MigrainesMigraine headaches seem to be one of the most painful and misunderstood chronic conditions affecting Americans. And whether sufferers are looking for a pharmaceutical solution, or methods to naturally treat the pain, proven pain relief techniques are limited.

The Mayo Clinic reports that causes of migraines are yet to be fully understood, but the fierce headaches that plague many have roots in both genetics and ones environment. Another known factor in migraine sufferers is that they are far more likely to be women and there is typically a family history.

Professionals suggest finding the best pain relief technique will often be through trial and error. This is true whether you’re seeking traditional pain relief techniques or naturally treating pain.

Dr. Brian Grosberg, assistant professor of neurology and director of the Inpatient Headache Program at Montefiore Headache Center in Bronx, NY, prefers naturally treating pain and says the less medicine a person has to take, the better. He also says there are a number of pain relief techniques that are unproven, but his patients say have worked in similar cases. These include things like hot and cold compress, applying a headband, and taking fish and peppermint oils.

Doctors suggest migraine suffers try a number of pain relief techniques to help them cope, and agree that the best place to start is finding a way to naturally treat the pain.

Some of the pain relief techniques they recommend are:

– Maintaining a regular sleep pattern: Regulating sleep can ensure the body does not become over tired, which can often cause the onset of migraines.

– Staying away from processed foods: Processed meat and cheeses contain chemicals that can increase the frequency of migraines. Cutting them out of your diet can be a simple way to naturally offer pain relief from migraines.

– Reducing caffeine intake: Caffeine is another thing that people who suffer migraines seem to consume regularly. Eliminating caffeine – even in the pharmaceuticals you take (caffeine is in a number of highly prescribed medications) – may greatly reduce the risk of a migraine. Caffeine, however, when not taken regularly can also help fight migraines. Dr. Andrew Weil of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, suggests completely cutting out caffeine for two weeks. When a migraine appears to be coming on, he suggests drinking two cups of strong black coffee and laying down in a dark room. This method has been shown to offer pain relief on some of his patients.

– Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and Magnesium: These vitamins and minerals can offer pain relief from migraines. However, it should be noted that a strong dosage is required and will have to be prescribed by a physician.

– Butterbur: This is likely the most effective natural pain treatment for migraines. Butterbur is plant grown in Germany that’s made available in pill form. It’s proven to be very effective as a pain relief technique against migraines.

All of these pain relief techniques are small adjustments that can be made to naturally treat pain. Each can be accomplished without spending all kinds of money on pharmaceuticals, while possibly yielding similar – or better – results.

New research also suggests that a homeopathic blend of ginger and a medicinal herb called feverfew has proven effective in migraine pain relief. The small study showed that 63% of the test group that took the remedy reported pain relief, compared to 39% who took a placebo. The administering doctor, Dr. Rebecca Erwin Wells, said that although the results were intriguing, the results were merely preliminary and far more research needs to be done to see if it is a true source of relief for migraines.

Related Reading: Tyramine rich foods can trigger migraines


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