6 Alternative Migraine Treatments

Each year, an estimated 38 million US men,
women and children will fall victim to at least one debilitating migraine headache.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, more than 12 percent of the US population
suffers from migraines — and evidence suggests that number may be rising. There are many
ways to manage the pain of migraines, both traditional treatment methods and more alternative
methods. So what are some of these alternative treatments you may want to try? 1. Acupuncture
While unappealing to some, acupuncture may help treat migraines. However, acupuncture
has not been effective in all studies. Acupuncture is the process of inserting thin needles into
the skin in an effort to realign the body’s energy and relieve pain. Many patients also
use acupuncture as a way to relieve stress, which can be a major trigger for migraines. 2. Massage
It’s common for migraine patients to massage their temples, neck or head at the onset of
pain, but professional massages may do more than that. In a recent study, researchers
looked at the sleep patterns of migraine patients for 13 weeks. During weeks 5 through 10, these
patients received weekly massages. Researchers found that the massages helped improve sleep
quality and decreased migraine frequency in these patients. 3. Temperature Therapy
Temperature therapy is a tried-and-true way to manage pain as it’s happening. If you
feel a migraine coming on, it may be beneficial for you to try this therapy for yourself.
Place a heat pack on the back of your neck to alleviate pressure and tension, and ice
your temples. A warm bath may also help create the same tension-relieving feeling. 4. Caffeine
Coffee has been shown to have some health benefits, and it could save you some pain
when it comes to migraines. In some cases, migraine patients have reported that drinking
a cup of coffee at the onset of pain has stopped a migraine in its tracks. However, while caffeine
in moderation may help, be wary — caffeine can be addictive and can cause intense withdrawal
headaches. 5. Exercise
More of a preventative treatment than pain management, exercise could be the key to keeping
migraines away. When exercising, the body releases chemicals called endorphins which
can reduce your perception of pain. Exercise can also reduce stress, which is known to
be a leading trigger of migraines. 6. Diet Changes
If you still find yourself getting frequent migraines and no treatment has worked thus
far, it may be time for a diet change. According to the Mayo Clinic, some foods can trigger
migraines and removing them from your diet may save you a world of pain. Salty and processed
foods, along with some dairy products have been linked to severe headaches. Make sure to speak with your doctor for more
information and treatment options to help your migraines.

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