How to Relieve a Migraine in Ways You’ll Enjoy

Quincy AdamMigraine Lifestyle

If you’ve ever suffered a migraine, just thinking about a possible cure for it should make you stand up and jump for joy. In fact, that may not be such a bad idea because several of the ways you may be able to relieve a migraine are cycling, swimming, dancing and, well, jumping for joy.

You probably want to know: Is it really possible to cure a migraine? Well, while some people seem to respond remarkably well to certain treatments, the answer is “No.” There is no known cure for migraines currently.

But research is ongoing, and around the world doctors, naturopaths, scientists, chiropractors, physical therapists and therapeutic massage practitioners are exploring treatments that may relieve the pain and disabling symptoms of your migraines as well as reduce, and possibly prevent, their frequency.

However, until a cure is discovered, here are some ways you may be able to alleviate migraine symptoms and have an enjoyable time doing so:

Break a Sweat

With as little as 40 minutes of light-to-moderate cardio exercise (three times a week for three months), you may notice your migraines starting to dissipate. Some of the best routines include: cycling, jogging, swimming, dancing and speed walking.

According to the results of a 2011 Swedish study, cardio may work as effectively as the anti-epileptic drug topamirate, and without any of the side effects.1 Cardio’s efficacy may be as simple as helping you to reduce stress. Exercise also releases endorphins that can help block your body’s pain sensors.

Get More Sleep

Given our busy lives as we try to juggle jobs, family demands and life in general, we tend to sleep less and sleep irregular hours. Your poor and irregular sleep habits may actually trigger your migraines. If you know you’re not getting enough sleep and also suffer migraines, putting yourself into a more regular sleep routine may be a prescription for preventing or reducing the frequency of your migraines.

Pierce Your Ears

While a Daith piercing will give you an opportunity to sport some pretty, new jewelry, migraine suffers take note: some people claim that piercing the midline external cartilage toward the front of the ear (near the opening of the ear canal) relieves their migraines. The results to date are anecdotal; there’s no research to support the claims. But if you like piercings, you may find that Daith works like acupuncture. And at least you’ll get some new earrings.

Take a Wrinkle Out of Migraines

When it comes to relieving a migraine, BOTOX® (botulinum toxin) has shown some real promise. While commonly used as an anti-aging treatment, the FDA approved BOTOX® as a migraine treatment in 2010, and research with chronic migraine patients appears both effective and well tolerated.2 This treatment requires 31 BOTOX® injections to seven locations on the head and neck, repeated every 12 weeks.

Pamper Your Mind and Body

Treat your mind and body well…you deserve it. And if you suffer migraines, stress-reducing treatments may help you reduce a common migraine trigger. Spa treatments and therapy could be your ticket to how to help your migraine dissipate—simply by reducing your stress, relaxing your muscles and helping to regulate vascular blood flow. In the process, you have permission to treat yourself like royalty with some combination of aromatherapy, yoga, massage, meditation and even chiropractic adjustment. Enjoy!

Migraines—for all their discomfort—are not life threatening in and of themselves. However, if you feel your headache is something more and possibly a symptom of a more serious medical condition, contact your healthcare provider.

1Varkey E, Cider A, Carlsson J, Linde M. “Exercise as migraine prophylaxis: a randomized study using relaxation and topiramate as controls.” Accessed April 4, 2016.
2 Dodick DW, Turkel CC, Degryse RE, et al. “OnabotulinumtoxinA for treatment of chronic migraine: pooled results from the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phases of the PREEMPT clinical program.” Accessed April 4, 2016.

BOTOX® is a registered trademark of Allergan.