5 Ways to Deal With Migraines and Chronic Headaches
A migraine is far worse than just a headache. It is intensely painful, makes you highly sensitive to light and sound, and often induces nausea. If you suffer from migraines regularly, there are a few tools to help deal with them.
As with any medical condition, we urge you to first seek a doctor’s opinion and advice, even if you know how to research health issues online . Migraines are subjective, so it’s best to ask a professional about the impact these tools can have on you.
1. Migraine Buddy (Android, iOS): The Smart Migraine Journal
Migraines can be triggered by several causes, from how much you sleep to what you eat. This is why doctors encourage migraine sufferers to maintain a journal. Your job will be much easier with Migraine Buddy, a smart migraine journal built by a team of neurologists and data scientists.
The app encourages you to track several aspects of your headache. You can use it during the migraine or after it. Add factors like when it started and how long it lasted for, the pain level, whether you took any medication for it, where you were when it started, and so on. Migraine Buddy also automatically tracks your sleeping hours .
With all this data in one app, you will gain insights into what’s causing your migraines, and hopefully prevent them. The app also generates neatly formatted reports that you can share with your doctor.
2. Migraine World Summit’s Tools (Web): A Comprehensive List of Migraine-Fighters
The Migraine World Summit is a gathering of some of the world’s leading experts on this disease. It’s a good idea to sign up for this anyway, but what’s cooler is that attendees made a list of tools to fight migraines.
The list is divided into sections that target specific parts of the migraine experience, like battling an acute migraine attack or preventing migraines altogether, or factors like sleep, vision, hydration, and so on. You’ll find apps, books, exercises, advice, and a whole lot of other useful tips here. Remember, these are all advised by people who have been suffering from migraines themselves.
These are tips you might not see otherwise. For example, some clinical studies have found that the right dose of ginger can abort a migraine, so you might want to eat ginger sweets and candies.
3. Palouse Mindfulness (Web): Free Course for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Researchers have found that a particular type of meditation can help some migraine sufferers. The study also found that all migraine sufferers can safely practice this meditation exercise with no adverse effects. It’s called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
We’ve previously featured mindful meditation apps to improve your life , but MBSR is slightly different. Dave Potter, a certified MBSR instructor, created an eight-week course that anyone can take for free. You’ll find videos, practice sheets, yoga demonstrations, research material, and more.
The extensive FAQ section should answer any queries you might have. Potter advises that taking an MBSR course in person would be better, but this is still a good alternative.
4. Binaural Beats Therapy (Web, Android, iOS): The Right Sounds for Migraines
A few studies have suggested that migraine sufferers should listen to binaural beats therapy (BBT). You’ll need headphones for this one.
BBT plays two tones, one in each ear. The tones are similar, but at different frequencies. When your brain hears these two “similar but different” tones, it forms a third, imaginary tone of its own. This is called a binaural beat. BBT puts the mind in a relaxed state and helps in meditation too.
We’ve featured a few binaural beats apps for Android , but the internet is full of such free apps, so pick any that you like. Here are a few you might want to try.
5. Adult Coloring Books (Web, Android, iOS): Unproven Cure With Lots of New Fans
Adult coloring books are a new relaxation craze, but can they also help migraine sufferers? There are no studies about this yet, but a number of people on the internet have commented that it helps them.
You can try it out for yourself with Colorfy, a free coloring app for adults. It’s an offline app designed for grown-ups, so the pictures are more complex than what you’d find in a kid’s coloring book. You’ll even get mandala pages to relieve stress .
Apps haven’t worked for a few people, but actual coloring books have. You can grab one from Amazon, but if you want to experiment first, there are coloring sites for adults with free printables .
What Helps the Most With Migraines?
Migraines don’t have a cure, as such. But hopefully, the above methods can offer some relief, and maybe help you prevent them. In your experience, what helps the most when you have a migraine?
Image Credits: Maksim Fesenko/Shutterstock