How to Get Rid of a Migraine Attack: 10 Strategies for Fast Relief

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how to get rid of a migraine - a person experiencing a migraine attack
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday February 14, 2024

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People think of stress as the top cause of migraine, but multiple triggers result in it. Depending on the root cause, the treatment also varies. Migraine symptoms can reduce your quality of life. Learn how to get rid of a migraine attack and relieve pain fast. 

1. Take Medications

The most convenient way to relieve migraine pain is by taking over-the-counter medications, like pain relievers. The home medicine kits often have a supply of aspirin or ibuprofen pills. You can easily reach for the meds when migraines happen. 

2. Get Massage Therapy

If you want to go a natural treatment route, a massage — an ancient pain remedy — may be effective. Although it doesn’t work for all cases of migraine, it’s a good remedy for those who are receptive to the treatment.

Experts conducted a study to determine the effects of massage on migraine between a group that was treated with it and the control group that didn’t receive intervention. At the end of the study, the group that received massage had fewer sleep problems, much less migraine, more headache-free days and higher levels of serotonin that improved their mood. Massage may be beneficial in relieving migraine frequency and pain intensity. 

3. Apply a Compress

Another homemade remedy to address pain is to apply a cool and warm compress to the affected area. Similar to how athletes use compress for sore muscles, it can also effectively treat migraine headaches. Ice can numb the painful area and reduce inflammation. To use, grab an ice pack and apply it to the head or neck. 

Alternatively, use a hot pack for 15–20 minutes several times daily to relax the tense muscles around the head. 

4. Take a Nap or Adequate Rest

Sleep can be effective in easing the symptoms of a migraine attack. Sometimes, the lack of sleep can trigger these headaches, so a brief nap if you can lie down may help you recover from pain. 

Sleep troubles are also closely associated with headache disorders. One study found that insomnia is a common complaint among people who experienced 15 days of headaches with migraine. If sleep deprivation causes pain around your head area, fixing your sleep routine may address or minimize headache troubles. 

5. Hydrate With Fluids

You may also experience headaches when you’re dehydrated. When the body lacks fluid, the brain contracts and moves away from the skull. It puts pressure on the nerves, leading to pain. 

Dehydration can trigger migraine. So when you experience extreme thirst, dry mouth and dizziness when a migraine happens, hydrating may help soothe the pain and solve the problem. 

6. Use Essential Oils

Some essential oils that come from medicinal plants contain analgesic qualities to lessen the pain associated with migraine. 

Peppermint oil has menthol known for its cooling effects and ability to relax tensed body areas. Applying a diluted solution topically and gently massaging the affected area can help alleviate headaches. Chamomile essential oil has calming effects and is an effective remedy for tension headaches, anxiety and insomnia. 

7. Try Herbal Remedies

During olden times, people rely on herbs to treat various diseases. So, if you love natural remedies, herbs are another excellent alternative to treat migraine. A few of the herb recommendations with pain-relieving benefits are:

  • Feverfew
  • Butterbur
  • Willow
  • Ginger
  • Valerian
  • Dong Quai
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Linden

They may not always be accessible, but if you plan to make a garden, you might want to plant herbs with medicinal properties. Remember, some herbs may also react with medications. If you have an existing condition and are taking meds, check with your health care provider if it’s safe. 

8. Fix Your Diet

Unknown to many people, diet can also catalyze migraine and how often you experience them. Common triggers include: 

  • Alcohol, especially red wine and beer
  • Chocolate
  • Cured meats
  • Smoked fish
  • Yeast extract
  • Aged cheese
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • monosodium glutamate or MSG
  • Food preservatives with nitrates and nitrites

While it can be difficult to tell whether a specific food caused the bouts of headaches, watching your diet and sticking to a healthy one reduces the risk of diet-triggered headache disorders.

9. Manage Stress

Stress is another factor that often leads to migraine. Adopt relaxation techniques, like breathing techniques, hobbies or music therapy. Pain increases in intensity when you focus on it. By diverting your attention to your breathing or relaxing mental imagery, you can reduce pain and ease stress. 

10. Drink Coffee

You might think of coffee as nothing but a morning booster — but surprisingly, the caffeine in your morning cup of joe can save you from troublesome migraine attacks. Caffeine is a common ingredient in many pain relievers as it makes them 40% more effective due to its inflammatory benefits. 

Remember to take caffeine moderately, even as a treatment for headaches. Overconsumption can be detrimental to health. 

Role of Lifestyle in Migraine

Your lifestyle has a significant role in managing migraine and other diseases that can prompt it. Know how to get rid of a migraine headaches by improving your lifestyle.

1. Get adequate sleep. Set a fixed sleep-wake schedule to regulate your circadian rhythm. Avoid using gadgets before bedtime and create a conducive environment for rest.

2. Exercise regularly. Experts recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic training every week. Join fitness classes regularly or engage in your favorite exercise for 30 minutes daily to meet the required physical activity.

3. Eat a healthy diet. Don’t skip meals, as hunger can also trigger headaches. Make sure to stuff up on fruits, vegetables and wholesome choices.

4. Manage your stress by adopting relaxation techniques. By learning how to get rid of a migraine headache through yoga, meditation or other stress management techniques, you can prevent it from affecting your life.

5. Avoid triggers, such as alcohol and stress. If you want to live pain-free, skip on alcoholic beverages and find ways to regulate your stress.

Migraine Is Treatable

The pain from migraine can diminish your quality of life. Fortunately, online resources can teach you how to get rid of a migraine headache using natural remedies and medications. The first step to treatment is identifying the trigger. By learning the cause, you can apply the appropriate remedy and manage the disease effectively. Lastly, a positive lifestyle that includes sufficient sleep, a good diet and  exercise is essential to living a healthy life free from migraines and other diseases. 

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