There are the obvious choices for curing migraine headaches, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin and Aleve, for example). People with migraines often take beta blockers or antidepressants to prevent headaches, and triptans, such as Imitrex or Relpax, once symptoms start.
But if your headaches are persistent or other medications just aren't cutting it, here are some other approaches you can consider.
Acupuncture could help prevent acute migraines as well as drug treatments do and with fewer adverse side effects. Evidence also suggests that acupuncture could help people with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches.
Regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, biking, or swimming, can reduce migraine intensity and frequency, according to the National Pain Foundation.
For temporary relief, try rubbing your temples or getting a neck, back, head, or shoulder massage.
Various meditation techniques can be used to focus attention and quiet the mind from distractions such as chronic pain.
Deep breathing, relaxing to music, or using mental imagery can help people unwind and possibly help with headache too. Additional research is needed, however.
Headache-relieving stretches can get at muscle tension that contributes to pain. Add them to your workout or use them when a headache looms.
In a small study in Headache, two groups of migraine patients were randomly assigned to three months of yoga therapy or self care. Compared with the control group, the yoga participants had less frequent and less painful attacks, as well as less anxiety.
Ask your doctor about a referral to a headache specialist. The specialist can determine what remedies will work best for you.
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