I have had migraine headaches for 20 years. After lots of trial and error, I figured out that they are often related to changes in sleep. If I go to bed after 12, or stay in bed past 8 am, I get a migraine in the next 24 hours. It was hard to figure this out because I didn't get the migraine immediately after the 'event' (change in sleep pattern.) Now I try to regulate my sleep, and I have less frequent migraines.
I went to many doctors and tried lots of medicines, but nothing was a 'cure' for me. I recently went to the chiropractor, and she did a good job of explaining the stages of migraines and what I could do in each stage. No other doctor had shared this information. I hope it helps someone out there. It has helped me reduce my migraines by 50%.
When you feel a migraine coming on, the blood vessels in your head are constricting. When the headache turns into a full blown migraine, the blood vessels dialate. Sometimes you can stop the migraine in that first stage. You want to increase the blood flow in your head, but not TOO much. You want to get back to normal, not overshoot and get the migraine. So, in that early stage of a migraine you can try:
- light exercise like a casual walk, going briskly up and down the stairs twice, or dancing to one song on the radio. DON'T do heavy exercise like running or playing basketball.
- keep your head and neck WARM. Put on a turtleneck, a scarf, or take a short warm shower. Again, don't over do it. DON'T use a heat pack.
- avoid caffine, coffee, chocolate.
- try to relax your head and neck muscles. let your shoulders drop, relax your jaw, your forehead, the skin around your head. Yoga and meditation can teach you this skill so you'll be ready to use it as needed.
- pamper yourself. Eat a light snack if you are hungry. Take a nap if you are tired.
I hope this helps.