Three Non-Drug Alternatives For Persistent Migraines
Regular migraines can be painful in ways that non-sufferers have difficulty understanding. Far more than a headache, migraines can be absolutely debilitating and shut your life down for hours or even days on end. If you suffer from regular migraines, you know that there is often not a single cause that can be easily identified and remedied. This leaves symptom management as the only real option, and the commonly prescribed drugs for migraines are not always perfectly effective.
While there are an endless number of purported alternative treatments for migraine pain, many have no real backing to prove their effectiveness. Here are three alternatives to traditional drugs that have proven effective.
Believe it or not, massage can a great way to help manage your migraine pains. While stress or tension is not necessarily the direct cause of migraine attacks, it can sometimes be a trigger. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends that patients suffering from persistent migraines spend at least some time every day on self-care and relaxation. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in 2006 found that participants who received weekly massage sessions showed reduced frequency of migraines and severity of symptoms.
Massage when combined with other relaxation techniques can be particularly effective. Studies have found that migraines are often triggered during relaxation periods following heightened periods of stress, leading to the possibility that fluctuations in stress levels are more likely to trigger migraine attacks. By combining massage with daily relaxation and stress reduction methods, you can help to keep your stress levels more consistent and avoid the fluctuations that may lead to headaches.
A visit to a chiropractor may be worth considering to help with your migraine pain as well. Chiropractors believe that some migraines are caused by misalignments of the spine, which regular visits to a chiropractor can help to cure. Studies have shown that patients who regularly visit chiropractors have had both the frequency and severity of their symptoms reduced over time, indicating that this type of care may be promising as a treatment for regular migraines.
Remember that not all chiropractors are the same, however, and it may be worth seeking out one that specializes in treatment for headaches. Since chiropractic care is a form of medical care, it is also wise to consult with your primary care physician or headache specialist first. This will help you to select a chiropractor that is best-suited to your particular needs.
While acupuncture is often seen as a somewhat fringe form of treatment, there is actually scientific evidence that it may be effective as a form of migraine treatment. A large meta-study of acupuncture research found that migraine sufferers who received acupuncture treatment had the frequency of their symptoms reduced by, in some cases, up to 50%. Even more interesting is the fact that the participants of some studies continued to have a reduction in their symptoms a full twelve months after completing treatment.
While acupuncture is extremely safe when performed properly, always be sure to choose a properly licensed practitioner. Skilled and experienced practitioners will be able to perform this type of therapy in a way that minimizes or eliminates any discomfort while also guaranteeing that it is performed safely.
Whatever route you choose to take, you should always consult with your doctor before embarking on any alternative therapies. By discussing the options you intend to take, both you and your doctor can work together to integrate the alternative you have chosen into a wider plan to treat and manage your migraine headaches.