How to Manage Migraine Pain and Symptoms

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Migraine: Everything you need to know

A neurological disorder called migraine usually results in excruciating headache episodes along with other symptoms including light, sound, smell, or touch sensitivity.

A migraine is a neurological disorder that is more than just the source of “really bad headaches.” It can have a variety of symptoms. Although the most common symptom is severe, incapacitating headaches, other symptoms might be:

  • sick stomach
  • spitting
  • having trouble speaking
  • Sensitivity or tingling
  • responsiveness to sound and light

The illness can strike people of any age and frequently runs in families. Individuals who are born as girls are more likely to be diagnosed with migraines than those who are born as boys.

Based on the patient’s clinical history, reported symptoms, and exclusion of other possible causes, a migraine diagnosis is made. The two most prevalent types of migraine headaches (or attacks) are episodic and chronic, followed by those with and without an aura.

What is the feeling you get of a migraine?

It may experience a sharp, constant aching. The discomfort could be moderate at first. But if left untreated, it might worsen to a moderate to severe degree.

The forehead region is typically affected by migraine pain. Though it can happen on both sides or shift, it generally affects one side of the head.

The average migraine attack lasts four hours. They might linger anywhere from 72 hours to a week if they are left untreated or don’t improve. Pain may coincide with an aura in a migraine with aura, or it may not happen at all.

Symptoms of migraines

The onset of migraine symptoms might happen one to two days prior to the headache. This phase is referred to as the prodrome. At this point, symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of hunger
  • depression in
  • fatigue or poor vitality
  • often yawning
  • excessive alertness
  • Quickly angry
  • Neck stiffness

The aura in a migraine with aura develops following the prodrome phase. You could experience issues with vision, feeling, movement, and speech during an aura. Various issues are exemplified by:

  • having trouble speaking correctly
  • experiencing tingling or prickling in your legs, arms, or face
  • seeing patterns, bursts of light, or bright spots
  • temporarily becoming blind

The attack phase is the next stage. When the migraine actually hurts, this is the period that is the worst or most intense. This can happen during or overlap an aura in certain persons. The symptoms of the attack phase might last for hours or even days. Migraine symptoms might differ from person to person.

Among the symptoms might be:

  • increased awareness of sound and light
  • sick stomach
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • discomfort in one side of your head, in your temples, on the front, rear, left, or right
  • throbbing and pulsating headache pain
  • vomiting

A person frequently goes through the postdrome phase after the assault period. Feelings and moods typically shift at this stage. These might include sensations as diverse as intense happiness and euphoria or severe tiredness and apathy. A persistent dull headache may be minor.

Different people may experience these phases to varying degrees of duration and severity. A phase may occasionally be missed, in which case a migraine episode can happen without producing a headache.

What causes attacks of migraine?

Researchers are still unable to determine the exact source of migraines. However, they continue to hold the view that the illness results from “abnormal” brain activity that modifies brain chemistry, blood vessels, and nerve signals.

Numerous other migraine causes are also frequently mentioned, including:

  • Bright lights
  • excessive heat or other meteorological conditions
  • inadequate hydration
  • modifications to atmospheric pressure
  • hormone changes in those born with a feminine gender, such as variations in oestrogen and progesterone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  • too much stress
  • loud noises
  • A rigorous workout regimen
  • skipping meals
  • alterations in sleep habits
  • use of certain drugs, such as nitroglycerin or oral contraceptives
  • unusual odours
  • certain foods
  • smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • travelling

Migraine treatment

Although there is no known cure for migraines, your doctor can help you manage your attacks by providing you with the skills to handle symptoms as they arise, maybe preventing attacks altogether. Migraine severity can also be decreased with treatment.

How you treat yourself will depend on:

  • Age of the person of
  • How frequently do you get migraine attacks?
  • the kind of migraine you suffer from
  • how bad they are, determined by how long they continue, how much discomfort you experience, and how frequently they prevent you from attending work or school
  • if they consist of other symptoms in addition to nausea or vomiting
  • further medical issues you may be experiencing and additional drugs you may be taking

Your treatment may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Changes in lifestyle, such as stress reduction and avoiding migraine causes
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and migraine remedies, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs)
  • prescription migraine drugs that you use daily to help lessen the frequency and avoid migraine headaches
  • prescription migraine drugs that you take as soon as an attack begins to reduce symptoms and prevent it from getting worse
  • prescription drugs to treat vomiting or nausea
  • hormone treatment if your menstrual cycle appears to be related to the occurrence of migraines
  • counselling
  • alternative medicine, which might involve acupuncture, acupressure, or meditation


Both preventing and treating migraine attacks can be accomplished with medication. OTC medications could be able to provide you with relief. However, if over-the-counter drugs don’t work, your doctor can choose to recommend different drugs.

Which medication is best for you will depend on how severe your migraine is as well as any other medical issues you may have.

As soon as you think a migraine episode is about to happen, use one of the following acute medications:

NSAIDs: These drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, are usually used for mild-to-moderate episodes that don’t cause nausea or vomiting.

Triptans: For those whose migraine episodes cause nerve pain, these drugs—such as sumatriptan, eletriptan, and rizatriptan—are usually the first line of treatment.

Antiemetics: These drugs, which include prochlorperazine, metoclopramide, and chlorpromazine, are usually taken in conjunction with NSAIDs to assist lessen nausea.

Ergot alkaloids: People who don’t react to triptans or analgesics are often the ones who receive prescriptions for these drugs, which include Ergomar and Migranal.

Preventative drugs are administered intravenously once daily or every three months to those whose migraine episodes are severe or occur more frequently than four times per month. These drugs consist of:

Antihypertensives: These medications are administered to treat hypertension and may also be helpful in preventing migraines. Antihypertensive medications, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin receptor blockers (candesartan), are sometimes prescribed to treat migraines.

Anticonvulsants: Some anti-seizure drugs may also be able to stop migraines from happening.

Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants, such as venlafaxine and amitriptyline, may also be able to stop migraine episodes.

Botox: Every three months, injections of Botox are given to the muscles of the head and neck.

Treatments for calcitonin gene-related peptides: These medications, which are given intravenously (IV) or by injection, stop migraine attacks in their tracks.

Migraine triggers

Although the things that set off a migraine attack might vary greatly from person to person, some meals or dietary ingredients may be more likely to cause an attack than others. They might consist of:

  • beverages with caffeine or alcohol
  • food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (an artificial sugar), and nitrates (a preservative used in cured meats)
  • tyramine, which is found in several foods naturally

Foods that have been aged or fermented also contain more tyramine. These consist of foods like soy sauce, sauerkraut, and some aged cheeses. But since tyramine may not be as significant a migraine trigger as originally believed, further study is being done on the subject.

Other factors for migraine attacks might vary and appear arbitrary, such as:

  • hormone triggers in those born with a feminine sex assignment
  • stressful
  • Anxiety
  • enthusiasm
  • low quality of sleep
  • intense physical activity (if you don’t do it regularly)
  • Bright lights
  • alterations in climate
  • medications used in hormone replacement therapy

Migraine prevention

A few choices may help you avoid a migraine attack if you have been diagnosed with migraines. Some could suit you more than others:

  • Recognise the foods, scents, and environments that set off your migraine episodes, and try to avoid them.
  • Remain hydrated. Headaches and vertigo are two symptoms of dehydration.
  • When it is feasible, try not to skip meals.
  • Make time for restful sleep. A restful night’s sleep is essential for general wellness.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Prioritise lowering your level of stress in your life.
  • Make the time and effort to learn how to relax.
  • Work out frequently. Stress reduction has been associated with exercise.

How are migraines identified?

In order to rule out other possible reasons, doctors undertake a physical exam, ask detailed questions about your health and family history, and listen to your symptoms in order to diagnose migraines.

Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, can rule out further reasons, such as:

  • cancers
  • unusual brain structures
  • a stroke

Overuse of medication headache

Rebound headaches, also known as drug overuse headaches, can occasionally result from using migraine medicine on a regular and repeated basis.

Consult your doctor about how often you should take your medications when managing migraines. Don’t forget to talk about non-pharmaceutical options as well.

Migraine vs. Tension headache

The most prevalent kind of headaches, tension headaches, and migraines, have some characteristics in common. However, a number of symptoms that are unique to migraines are also present in tension headaches. The same medicines also have distinct effects on tension headaches and migraines.

Both migraines and tension headaches can include:

  • moderate to slight pain
  • a constant pain
  • both sides of the head hurting

These symptoms are exclusive to migraines only:

  • from mild to severe discomfort
  • throbbing or thumping
  • Inability to do your routine tasks
  • one side of the head hurts
  • vomiting or not and feeling queasy
  • An aura
  • light or sound sensitivity, or both

Home cures for migraines

A few at-home remedies that you might attempt to relieve your migraine symptoms include:

  • In a peaceful, dark room, lie down.
  • Massage your scalp or temples.
  • Put a cool towel behind your neck or over your forehead.

Looking for more health related content, check our health and fitness section.

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