If you get migraines, you know that they are way more than mere headaches. A host of other unpleasant symptoms can come along for the ride, like nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, even partial paralysis and changes in consciousness in extreme cases.
Those who endure these attacks regularly know that they can disrupt your life significantly. Migraine disease remains the seventh leading cause of disability worldwide. Here are five unconventional ways to treat this disorder and find the relief you need.
When you hear the word “Botox,” you might think of an anti-wrinkle regimen. While it’s true this stuff can smooth your forehead lines, it might also ease migraine pain when applied medicinally.
A typical migraine Botox treatment isn’t like what you get at the aesthetician, although your provider can certainly enhance your appearance a bit while performing the treatment. You’ll get anywhere from 30 to 40 injections, typically around your forehead, the sides of your head and your neck and upper back.
A newer technique entails treating the muscles around your jaw. Such injections can eliminate the teeth-grinding that often causes headaches and even minimize lockjaw. As a bonus, you could save your molars from cracking if they haven’t already suffered damage.
This treatment works by blocking certain neurotransmitters from reaching the nerve endings around your head and neck. Without neurochemical prompting, you get fewer attacks and less pain. Studies show that many patients cut their number of attacks in half.
Your migraine pain can sometimes stem from a nutritional deficiency. Other times, you might react positively to certain herbs that have reputations for easing migraine pain among natural health practitioners.
One supplement you should add to your daily repertoire is magnesium. When levels of this nutrient plummet, your body becomes more prone to releasing chemicals like glutamate that agitate your brain and make an attack likely. Many Americans fail to get sufficient intake through their diet.
You can find this nutrient in foods like nuts and seeds. You can also take a supplement. If you choose the latter route, start slowly and gradually increase your dose. Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea, especially if your body isn’t used to large quantities.
When it comes to herbs, many patients report considerable benefits from taking butterbur as a preventative. Other choices include turmeric with black pepper, white willow bark, Ginkgo Biloba and ginger. Herbalists also use ginger as an abortive treatment, as it can ease gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea associated with the disorder. Those who live in jurisdictions with legal cannabis report significant relief from its use.
Migraine patients often have comorbid conditions such as fibromyalgia, and massage can remedy the symptoms of both ailments. Part of the beneficial effect likely stems from lying in a quiet, dimly lit room while someone pampers and nurtures your body. However, it can also alleviate the muscle tension and spasms that make this condition worse.
You might even find relief with self-care using this modality. You can perform a migraine massage on your head using a peppermint scented oil, which some patients claim coax the muscles that tense during an attack to relax, easing pain.
If you go to a professional for treatment, please inform them about your conditions before they start. They might offer options like extra cushioning for your head pillow that can further increase your comfort.
Acupuncture has existed for thousands of years, and any treatment with that kind of staying power has to have some efficacy. Eastern practitioners claim that the practice works by balancing the flow of chi, or vital energy, throughout the body. Western scientists believe that manipulating the needles activates your nerve fibers, interfering with pain signals.
If you choose this unconventional way to treat migraines, please research their credentials — most states require these individuals to obtain a license to practice. Ask your friends and family members for referrals if they’ve used this treatment in the past.
Check with your insurance company if your budget is a bit tight. Standard treatments can cost anywhere from $70 to $100, but some carriers now cover this modality.
5. Electric Stimulation
A final unconventional migraine treatment might make you feel a bit like Frankenstein. Electrical nerve stimulation could help ease the worst of your pain.
The problem often lies in your trigeminal nerve, which runs along your jawline and forehead. One device called Cefaly is available by prescription to treat migraines. Check with your neurologist if you would like to give this treatment regimen a try.
If you don’t have insurance coverage, you can find transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units available over the counter. While these devices aren’t approved for migraine use specifically, you can apply them to any part of your body. They do double duty if you sometimes suffer back pain.
Treat Your Migraine One of These 5 Unconventional Ways
A migraine is much more than a headache. If you suffer from these attacks frequently, try one of these five unconventional methods to get relief.