What Are Migraines?
Migraine headaches are not just severe head pains — a migraine is actually classified as a disabling neurological disease (American Migraine Foundation).
Migraines can show different symptoms for different people, ranging from severe pain in parts of the head to a sensitivity to light and more. There are many different types of migraines too, which include:
- Chronic migraines - These migraines frequently recur every 15 days or so.
- Vestibular migraines - Head pains that also cause vertigo sensations.
- Migraines without aura - This is the most common type of migraine. This kind of migraine attack may come on without a warning sign (an aura).
Any type of untreated migraine condition will likely cause disruptions to your daily life.
Most commonly, preventive medications are used to treat migraines. These migraine medicines are repurposed from other conditions (Migraine Trust).
Anti-serotonergic drugs, for instance, are commonly used to treat depression but have also been shown to help reduce migraines. Beta-blockers, which are usually used to treat high blood pressure, are another good option for migraine treatment.
While these medications offer relief and may prevent migraines, they may come with undesirable side effects. These may include things like dizziness, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, weight gain, and more.
Ask any migraine specialist in Dallas and they'll recommend you take prescription medications (assuming you experience few-to-no side effects).
However, there are a few other steps you can take to reduce migraine attacks and prevent them.
1. Keep a Migraine Journal
A migraine journal may help you discover exactly what triggers your severe headaches. When you feel a migraine coming on, jot down notes on things like:
- When the migraine starts
- What you were doing at the time
- The length of the migraine
- And any things that helped provide relief
As you start to identify your triggers, you may adopt strategies to avoid exposure to the triggers. Over time, this can reduce the number of tension headaches you experience each month.
2. Explore Ways to Manage Your Stress
As we just noted, your headache pain can be triggered by many different factors. However, stress tends to be a top trigger for most people who experience migraines. In fact, the American Headache Society found that 4 out of 5 people with migraines report stress as a trigger.
For that reason, it may be worthwhile to explore strategies to reduce and manage your stress levels. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Practice deep breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed. Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes each day.
- Don't overburden yourself with a mountain of daily chores. Instead, spread out your to-do list throughout the week.
- Find time to do things you enjoy each day. Activities like playing games or pursuing hobbies can work wonders for your daily stress.
- Lean into meditation or periods of self-reflection. 15 minutes of daily meditation can help you better manage your stress and anxiety.
- Take frequent breaks. Remember to get up, stretch, and walk around every hour or so to help renew your energy and focus.
3. Stay Hydrated
One in every three people who experience migraines report dehydration as a trigger. As such, it's a good idea to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated all year round.
If you feel a migraine attack coming on, drink a glass of water or two. Routinely hydrating may help shorten the length of your migraine attack.
4. Get Active
We don't recommend that you exercise during a migraine attack. However, exercising between attacks may help reduce the frequency of those headaches.
During exercise, your body releases chemical hormones that block pain signals in your brain. These chemicals can also help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, which can help reduce migraine attacks as well.
At the very least, find some time to squeeze in a walk or two each day. Ease into other forms of exercise that you enjoy, like swimming or cycling.
5. Try Neurofeedback
If you want to treat your migraines, then consider giving neurofeedback therapy a try!
This is a non-invasive, drug-free, and holistic therapy that works to retrain your brain. Neurofeedback uses real-time feedback on your cognitive activity to help restructure your brainwave patterns.
By working through your personalized treatment plan, neurofeedback may help alleviate migraine symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks. It could be just what you need to improve your quality of life.
Book Your Consultation with Our Migraine Specialist in Dallas
Don't let your migraines dominate your daily life anymore! At Braincode Centers, we can help you find lasting relief from your migraine attacks.
Our team of brain training specialists will develop a custom treatment plan for your pain relief needs. We may leverage neurofeedback and other treatment options to help you get the results that you need.
Contact us today to set up your neurofeedback consultation with our migraine specialist in Dallas.