Most people get at least a little busier during the holiday season. For the person who suffers from frequent migraines, this change of pace can be triggering. Migraines create sensitivities to any change in environment and routine. The increased activity and stress that come with the holidays could be a precursor to pain and other symptoms. Here, we discuss some tips for managing them.
Managing Migraine Pain
The best way to manage migraine pain is to get on top of it at the first sign of discomfort. Once a migraine starts, it can be difficult to stop it in its tracks. Early intervention could include one or more of the following strategies:
- Hot and cold therapy. Heat and cold work differently, which can have a synergistic effect on head pain. Ice works by constricting blood vessels, blunting neurotransmissions of pain to the brain. Placing an ice pack on the top, sides, or back of the head can interrupt pain reception. Heat, on the other hand, is relaxing. A heating pad can be placed on the back of the neck or shoulders to decrease muscle tension that contributes to head pain.
- Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is an amazing source of magnesium. Soaking in this salt lets the body absorb magnesium through the skin. This mineral is known for soothing tense, sore muscles. Its absorption can reduce muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, and skull that is involved in migraine headaches.
The light sensitivity that coincides with a migraine may be reduced by immediately putting on a pair of special eyeglasses that block wavelengths of fluorescent light. In a pinch, sunglasses can be worn. When there is time or if it is necessary, a person experiencing a migraine usually retreats to a dark room. While doing so, it is helpful to place a cold or weighted eye mask over the eyes.
Some people become sensitive to sound, some to light, and some to both. Sound sensitivity can be managed with earplugs or noise-canceling earbuds set to the lowest volume playing either white noise or another subtle sound.
Several remedies have been proposed to help manage migraine headaches. However, no tool is ideal for every person. Migraines are tricky. Strategies may work once and not a second time, which can increase the frustration of living with this problem.