Migraine headaches: 14 non-pharmacological treatments for migraine headaches

Filed in: Diseases & Conditions.

1. acupuncture

Photo of acupuncture.

In this traditional Chinese practice, an expert inserts small needles at specific points on your body. Small studies suggest that you can provide migraine pain and you can also decrease the number of Headaches. You should still continue with your other treatments, too.

2. Biofeedback

Photo of the biofeedback monitor. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s2-photo-of-biofeedback-monitor.jpg

Your body responds to pain with physical changes such as a faster heart rate, tense muscles or cold hands. In biofeedback, the sensors measure these changes and then send the information to you as a blinking light or a tone that you can hear. You learn to respond to comments and relax your muscles. Some studies show that it can often reduce headache Pain and how often you get migraines.

3. massage

Photo of the man receiving massage. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s3-photo-of-man-getting-massage.jpg

Although it has not been studied in depth, massage can reduce the number of headaches in some people, new research shows. It does not help with the pain once the migraine starts. Massage can also relieve stress, a common trigger of headache.

4. Vitamin and mineral supplements

Photo of supplements. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s4-photo-of-supplements.jpg

Research suggests that taking riboflavin (vitamin B2) and magnesium may help you get migraines less often, although it does not seem to relieve pain during a headache. Coenzyme Q10 can also lead to fewer migraines in adults and children, although you should usually take it for several months to make a profit.

Talk with your doctor before you start to make sure there are no side effects for you.

5. Relaxation techniques.

Photo of the woman meditating. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s5-photo-of-woman-meditating.jpg

Because migraines are often triggered by stress, relaxation training is a great idea. The methods include deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, in which you tense and relax the muscles in different parts of your body. With practice, this technique can improve the way you handle stress, which can reduce headaches.

6. Exercise

Photo of the woman on the treadmill. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s6-photo-of-woman-on-treadmill.jpg

Regular cardio exercise (workouts that make your heart beat) can make a difference. A Swedish study compared exercise with relaxation and a drug that prevents migraines. The cardio routine (40 minutes, three times a week) worked as well as relaxation or medicine to reduce pain and the frequency with which headaches occur.

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7. Spinal manipulation

Photo of the chiropractor. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s7-photo-of-chiropractor.jpg

There are some doubts about whether this technique, also called "adjusted" by a chiropractor, can help with migraines. But a small study found that it worked as well as a medication to prevent headaches.

There are some risks with this treatment, so talk to your doctor before trying.

8. Conversation therapy

Photo of the therapy session. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s8-photo-of-therapy-session.jpg

Cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing your thoughts and actions, can help you have fewer migraines. Getting therapy does not mean you have emotional or mental problems. You can give a fresh approach to situations that usually cause headaches. It works especially well when you also do other preventive treatments.

9. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Photo of TMS treatment. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s9-photo-of-tms-treatment.jpg

A doctor holds a device against his scalp to send magnetic pulses without pain in your brain. If you have migraines with aura, the TMS performed during the aura phase can shorten the duration of the headache and make it less intense.

10. Changes in diet

Photo of the food diary. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s10-photo-of-food-diary.jpg

Some people find that certain foods trigger their migraines. Some of the most common culprits are alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, canned foods, cured or processed meats, cured cheeses, cultured dairy products (such as yogurt), MSG and aspartame.

Write down your meals and snacks in a "food diary" to help you remember what you ate before a headache appeared. Then, cut these foods one by one to see if it helps.

11. Herbal remedies

Photo of a variety of herbs. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s11-photo-of-assorted-herbs.jpg

Feverfew can relieve pain, nausea and sensitivity to light during a migraine, and may help to have fewer headaches, but the research is varied.

Some studies show that an extract of butterbur herb can help prevent migraines. But the plant itself is toxic, so just use a commercially prepared product.

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Talk to your doctor about any herbal remedy before trying. It will let you know if it's okay for you.

12. pressure

Photo of a woman with headache. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s12-photo-of-woman-with-headache.jpg

Many people find that applying gentle pressure on the head, face and neck during a migraine may help relieve pain. Techniques to prove:

Press the line of your forehead and under your eyes. Rub your temples and jaw in a circular motion. Massage the base of your skull with a tennis ball.

A variety of bandages and headbands claim to relieve the pain of migraine. They are cheap and could be worth trying.

13. sleep

Photo of a restless woman. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s13-photo-of-restless-woman.jpg

Studies show that lack of sleep and migraines often go hand in hand. So reconsider your routine. Things to try:

Do not read, watch television or listen to music in bed. Do not take naps. Do not eat heavy meals within a couple of hours before bedtime. Do not use your phone, laptop or tablet at bedtime.

14. Maintain good habits

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Your lifestyle can have a big impact on how often you have your headaches. These tips can help:

Do not skip meals. Stay hydrated. Exercise regularly. Stay at a healthy weight.

Why try treatments that are not drugs?

Photo of the pills in the spoon. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/s15-woman-holds-pill-container.jpg

They can be a good option if:

Do not get relief with the prescribed treatments. You have problems with the side effects of medications. You have a condition that prevents you from taking migraine medicine. He just does not want to take medication.

Do your homework

Photo of talking with the doctor. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/14-non-drug-treatments-for-migraines-s16-photo-of-talking-to-doctor.jpg

If you want to try a new way to treat your migraines, your doctor can tell you how well it works and if there is any risk. She may know of an expert who specializes in these treatments. And she can verify that they do not have negative side effects.

Reference: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/migraine_treatments_no_drugs

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