Friends may say they understand your pain. But unless they’ve had them themselves, it’s impossible for them to fully understand how debilitating chronic migraines can be. Unlike having a cold, sore throat or normal headache, you can’t easily shake off migraine headaches. What’s worse is the severity of this type of headache pain is not easily managed with OTC pain relievers. That typically means you are laying down in a dark, quiet rooms for hours – or days – until it passes. It’s important to have tips to ease migraine pain at your disposal.

Understand your migraine triggers

While some triggers can be impossible to anticipate, there are other migraine triggers that can be more easily minimized and managed. For example, many migraine sufferers believe red wine and highly caffeinated beverages can trigger a migraine, so they avoid drinking them.

Another common trigger for many people living with migraines is strong smells. It can be such smells as foods, perfumes or even flowers. Other lifestyle habits that can reduce migraine frequency include following a healthy diet and getting a good night’s sleep.

Studies show that stress is the most common trigger. In one study alone, “50-70% of people had a significant association between their daily stress level and their daily migraine activity.” Additionally, it makes it even more challenging to prevent migraines when you consider the stress surrounding when the next one will strike. 

You may also be triggered by dehydration and a sensitivity to light and sound

Tip #1: Have a sounding board

Enduring chronic pain can be particularly challenging, especially if you’re trying to go it alone. Some migraine sufferers report that having a sounding board can make the pain much more bearable.

Consider these tips to ease migraine pain: 

  • Be open about your pain: Whether you talk with your spouse, a sibling or a close friend, find someone you trust and share what you’re experiencing. If you don’t feel comfortable using a family member or a close friend as your sounding board, find a local support group or a therapist.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: When you need to relieve migraine pain, there’s no need to endure the burden alone. Part of staying healthy is asking for help when you need it. You can always return the favor when you’re feeling better.
  • Create a long term support network: Sometimes you just can’t keep migraine attacks. Having a support network in place before pain begins can be helpful. Discuss your headache triggers as well as your long term plans for healing ahead of time with people you can trust.

tips to ease migraine pain

Tip #2: Take a load off

It can feel like severe pain causes time to slow down or stop entirely, but the clock keeps ticking during a migraine. When you start to feel better, you might think you need to catch up on everything you missed. Give yourself permission to take a load off first rather than adding to the stress and risking yet another attack.

Consider these tips to ease migraine pain: 

  • Be honest about your need with loved ones: Talk to your significant other or family members about taking on some of the household tasks. Talk with your kids to explain why you might not be able to attend every game or activity. Talk with your employer about working part-time or taking on a more flexible schedule that allows you to work from home.
  • Try to get comfortable: When you feel migraine pain approaching, the numbing effect of an ice pack can ease your pain. Try putting it on for 15 minutes and then taking it off for 15 minutes. You may also want to try using a heating pad and extra pillows to help you deal with associated body aches. 
  • Take it easy: Life with a chronic condition means you have to give yourself a break as part of your self-care plan. Dedicate 20-30 minutes a day to rest your body and mind.

tips to ease migraine pain

Tip #3: Develop a wellness routine

Feeling well can seem like an impossible request if you’re a frequent migraine sufferer. No matter how bad the pain is, developing healthy habits can help you live better – and longer.

Consider these tips to ease migraine pain: 

  • Eat right: Stay healthy with a plant-based, nutrient-dense diet.
  • Talk to your doctor: The best way to effectively manage your migraine pain and reduce migraine frequency is to visit your doctor for medical advice, so you can discuss a comprehensive pain management plan.
  • Explore different medication options: One of the benefits of discussing a plan with your doctor is there are medications that can make life much more bearable by easing migraine symptoms.
  • Explore natural remedies: Many migraine sufferers swear by remedies such as massages and essential oils to help them better manage their day-to-day stress.
  • Exercise when you feel good: Make the most of the days where you’re feeling well by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise.

tips to ease migraine pain

Tip #4: Maintain your sense of self

When your migraine reaches its peak, it’s easy to believe you might feel that way forever. However, it’s important to remember that you will feel better and you will soon be able to do the things you love again.

Consider these tips to ease migraine pain: 

  • Carve out time in your day to relax: Take a hot bath, enjoy a cup of herbal tea, take some time away from your digital devices or devote time to your yoga practice. Do your best to get the amount of sleep you need each night.
  • Focus on the future: Think about the activities and people you love to help you push through the pain. Look forward to living life fully again.

Want to try a yoga session specifically for headaches? Check out this video below: 

What is your best tip for other people with migraines? 

Tell us in the comments below!

What topics related to migraine pain would you like to see us explore?

Email us at info@painresource.com with your ideas.

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Updated in February 2019 with new information and resources

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