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Migraine

How to Win The Migraine Battle

Migraines are a neurological disease that affects about 39 million men, women and children in the United States and close to one billion people worldwide.

These headaches and the associated symptoms are considered among the top 10 most disabling illnesses in the world with an unknown cause. Providing relief require a breadth and depth of treatment that must include non-pharmacological remedies for both treatment and prevention.

A wide range of physiological and emotional triggers for migraine have been identified.

Despite the recounting of anecdotal reports and scientific research, the cause of migraines remains a mystery. Neuroscience suggests that a migraine results from abnormal activity in the brain, affecting the way nerves, chemicals and blood vessels communicate. A wide range of physiological and emotional triggers have been identified, including stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, agitation and enthusiasm.

There are a number of lifestyle activities that can mitigate migraine triggers and provide relief in both duration and intensity of the migraine episode. Trying them alone or in combination with medical management, may help improve general well-being.

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Before you become a sufferer or in an effort to prevent the next migraine, consider integrating these suggestions into your lifestyle.

  • See a physician for an accurate diagnosis. This essential decision will allow all other neurological conditions to be ruled out. The physician can establish a definitive diagnosis based the symptoms of migraine headache. The diagnosis is necessary for evaluating medical and pharmacological treatments.
  • Maintain a detailed headache diary. Use a diary to identify and examine triggers, track time between migraine attacks as well as the duration of each migraine. Tracking sleep schedule in the headache diary daily can be helpful. This can provide accurate information about changes in sleep patterns and provide additional data to support a comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Manage your diet. Dietary management that includes consistent meal times, adequate hydration and the avoidance of meal skipping can contribute to a reduction in migraine episodes, duration and intensity of attacks. It can also provide information about changes that affect migraine patterns.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is often recommended as a health promotion activity, but migraine sufferers tend to exercise less than the general population, as they fear it might trigger a migraine. In fact, the stress reduction benefits of the exercise can positively influence migraine prevention.
  • Utilize physical therapy and massages. Physical therapy helps migraine sufferers who frequently experience tension, stiffness and discomfort that are associated with migraines. Cervical region pain that occurs from trauma or sitting at a computer for long periods will tighten the area and can trigger migraines. Massage benefits for stress reduction and muscle relaxation, similar to physical therapy, can also have benefits that help reduce the potential migraine triggers.
  • Consider alternative relief options. Yoga, acupuncture and essential oils are other options to help mitigate triggers. Acupuncture promotes blood flow in the tissues, which can help reduction muscle tension and mitigate triggers. Yoga has been found to reduce the number of migraine episodes and lessen the intensity with the recommendation of engaging in specific yoga poses for 30 minutes, five times per week. And essential oils can promote an improved quality of life with anti-inflammatory and relaxation properties.

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