Headache and Migraine

What To Do When You Feel a Migraine Coming On

  • Migraine pain

Migraines are headaches with more intense and potentially debilitating symptoms, as they can last anywhere from hours to days. People who suffer from regular migraines may feel a sense of hopelessness. Thankfully, there are several preventative measures you can take if you feel a migraine coming on! 

This article will discuss multiple ways of managing migraine pain and addressing the issue immediately — before it worsens. This information is essential for anyone that struggles with migraines, as we offer both short-term and long-term migraine treatment options. So why suffer through migraine symptoms when you can take action?

What Does a Migraine Feel Like?

Symptoms of migraines include severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation. This pain usually begins on one side of the head, around the eyes, or in the forehead. Migraines worsen with time, and the pain can escalate with movement, bright light, loud noises, and other external factors.

You’re probably wondering, what causes migraine pain? Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer. Migraines are very complex and still not fully understood. Knowing how to treat and manage migraine symptoms is typically more productive than determining an exact cause.

 

Migraine Symptoms

It’s important to note that migraines may feel different depending on what stage of the migraine you’re experiencing. Therefore, to effectively address your migraine pain, it helps immensely to understand the various phases and their identifiable symptoms.

Please note, not all migraines will follow all four phases.

Prodrome

The prodrome phase takes place one or two days before the actual migraine attack. You may experience seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as constipation, neck stiffness, mood changes, increased urination, and frequent yawning. Knowing these signs can give you a day or two’s warning of an oncoming migraine attack.  

Aura

Some people experience a migraine aura right before or during migraines. Auras are reversible visual symptoms that include vision loss, trouble with speaking, and optical phenomena like seeing bright spots. These symptoms build up over several minutes and are usually a more prominent indicator of an oncoming migraine than the prodrome symptoms. 

Attack

The symptoms of the actual migraine attack, which may last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, vary. However, the most common migraine symptoms include throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and less frequently, smell and touch. 

Post-drome

After the attack has ended, you may feel tired, confused, or euphoric. The former is more common than the latter. You may still experience a few of the symptoms in a way that’s much less intense, with sudden head movement potentially bringing the pain back for a brief time. 

 

Migraine coming on

Managing Migraine Pain

The key to managing migraine pain is to try and stop it before it starts. Using the information provided above, you may be able to determine when you’re experiencing the aura phase preceding the migraine attack. During this time, the best thing for migraine relief is to take an over-the-counter medication like Advil. Medication is the fastest way to get rid of a migraine when you feel it coming on. You can also take medication during a migraine attack, though it typically won’t be as effective. 

There are also natural ways of reducing the frequency of your migraines and the severity of your symptoms. The first is stress management, such as a long bath after a busy day or anything else that helps you unwind. Regarding diet, you should avoid skipping meals and be consistent with the times of day that you’re eating. 

 

It would be best to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, which means getting enough sleep without oversleeping. If you’re in the midst of a migraine, you may be wondering if it’s unsafe to fall asleep. It is safe to sleep with a migraine, but it’s wise to try and treat your symptoms before falling asleep. Otherwise, they may be worse when you wake up. 

 

Migraine Treatments

If you experience chronic migraines that don’t improve much with over-the-counter medications, you may need to see a specialist. They can offer information regarding other treatment options, including acupuncture, massage therapy, botox, trigger point injections, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. 

 

What Not To Do

You should avoid doing certain things when managing your migraines, as you could accidentally trigger a migraine or worsen your symptoms. For example, drinking lots of alcohol and caffeine can bring on migraines. The same is true for foods with strong smells.

Also, don’t take pain medication for more than 3 or 4 days. While over-the-counter medications can ease migraine symptoms, taking them too frequently can result in a type of rebound headache. If you feel the need to take these medications for more than a few days in a row, that’s a strong indicator that you need to speak with your doctor. 

 

Carolinas Pain Center Is Here To Help

There are ways of treating migraines on your own through over-the-counter medication and natural remedies. However, there are times where professional intervention becomes necessary, mainly if your migraines are overly frequent, severe, or resistant to medication. 

Our specialists at the Carolinas Pain Center can create an individualized personal treatment plan to help you manage your migraines and improve your quality of life. With our multidisciplinary approach, our services have changed people’s lives all across Charlotte and Huntersville, North Carolina.

If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call 704-500-2332, email info@carolinaspaincenter.com, or fill out our contact form. You can also find other educational resources on our website. 

Types of Headaches and Treatment Options

  • Migraine

What Type of Headaches Are You Experiencing?

The causes for migraines and headaches is not well known. Research suggests that the pain is due to inflammation, the trigeminal nerve, blood vessels surrounding the brain, and Serotonin levels. This article will give you more information about headaches and treatment options.

Head and Facial Pain

  • Facial Pain
Few things can be more excruciating than chronic head and facial pain. Simple daily tasks become unbearable chores. It can be impossible to focus on even the simplest mental task, and sleep becomes something dreaded rather than something restful. A thorough consultation can provide accurate diagnosis as to the cause, and a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to pain management can get you on your way to managing the pain and returning to a normal life.