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Addressing Migraines: Your Path to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

By April 24, 2024June 6th, 2024Uncategorized
Addressing Migraines: Your Path to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

Addressing Migraines: Your Path to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

Migraine causes many debilitating symptoms, including severe headaches, nausea, and sensitivity to light or sound.

A worldwide study estimates that migraine affects over 10% of the global population, with most sufferers aged 20 to 50 years. It’s one of the most common health issues adults face and is the leading cause of productivity losses in the workplace.

If you’re part of the statistics, taking pain relievers may not always be the best solution, especially for frequent migraines. In such cases, consulting with medical professionals, including chiropractors, could help ease migraines.

Arming yourself with valuable insights on properly addressing migraines can also help. We’ll explore some of the basics in this article to get you started.

What causes migraines?

Migraine attacks can manifest differently in individuals. For instance, some may get an aura before the symptoms appear, while others don’t. Similarly, severe headaches may be more frequent to other sufferers, depending on their triggers.

The risk factors for such a condition may include any or a number of the following elements:

  • Sleep disorders or deprivation
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Hormonal changes
  • High caffeine intake

Some references suggest that ineffective migraine treatment or frequent pain medication use may set off chronic or episodic severe headaches.

The good news is that migraines can be managed properly with help from healthcare professionals and a few lifestyle changes.

Kickstarting your migraine-free journey

A clinic visit should be your first step in this journey. Depending on the cause and type of headache you have, your health professional will create a treatment plan and suggest the following adjustments to boost its effectiveness:

  1. Make a ‘headache’ diary

 Record the details of your migraine experience, including the days you had the headache and what you did before and after the attack. Persistent headaches lasting for 15 days or more a month are classified as chronic migraines, while those that happen less frequently are considered episodic migraines.

Marking your calendar may be too much, especially when suffering from pain. Putting codes and colours can sometimes do the trick.

Tracking your headaches helps healthcare professionals diagnose your symptoms, identify triggers, and create an effective treatment plan.

  1. Get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep

Sleep quality and pain sensitivity are closely linked. A 2015 study found that people with sleep problems are more pain-sensitive. Moreover, lack of sleep triggers severe headaches in some people.

Some studies have shown that individuals who sleep less than six hours have increased migraine frequency. This is a vicious cycle, as pain and discomfort can make it hard to get uninterrupted rest.

Start practicing good sleeping habits by going to bed early and creating a rest-inducing environment at home. Avoid using your phone in bed. Keep your room cool and comfortable. Install block-out curtains to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm. More importantly, keep a consistent sleep schedule and strive to get seven to eight hours of continuous sleep daily.

  1. Manage stress better

Humans aren’t immune from life’s challenges, which could happen more frequently to some people than others. If you’re the type who gets easily rattled when things don’t go as planned, consider practicing relaxation techniques, including yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Committing to hobbies like hiking, crocheting, maintaining a work-life balance, or pursuing your passion can also help.

Additionally, you can participate in mindfulness programs or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to learn and practice science-backed stress reduction methods. CBT is likewise recommended for individuals seeking better pain management.

  1. Adopt an exercise routine

Exercise benefits your physical and mental health. Regular physical activities help strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular functions, as well as facilitate the release of endorphins. These hormones are responsible for reducing stress, alleviating pain, and improving a person’s well-being. These chemicals may help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.

At least 30 minutes of physical exercise is recommended thrice a week. Low-impact activities like cycling and walking are recommended for beginners.

  1. Change your diet

Studies show that specific food or food additives may trigger headaches. These include gluten, coffee, dairy products, and monosodium glutamate. Similarly, fasting can cause your blood glucose levels to drop, triggering or exacerbating a headache. Additionally, dehydration is known to cause severe headaches as your body loses electrolytes.

Note that people will have different migraine triggers. If you know yours, it’s best to avoid them to prevent an attack. Keep a healthy diet, avoid processed foods, and don’t skip meals to maintain blood sugar levels. Avoid drinking too much coffee and alcohol, since they can cause dehydration, as much as possible. Rehydrate often, and drink beverages infused with electrolytes if you’re having an attack.

Addressing Migraines: Your Path to a Pain-Free Lifestyle

Concluding thoughts

Addressing migraines requires more than taking oral pain medications. Effective migraine management requires examining your lifestyle, identifying your triggers, and minimizing your exposure to such. While these need time and effort, working with a medical professional ensures you can achieve these goals seamlessly.