Top 10 Conservative Treatments for Migraine Control
Not everyone is a candidate for the Omega Procedure. Named after the final letter of the Greek alphabet, the Omega Procedure aims to be the last attempt at relief that chronic headache sufferers will ever need.
This means that one of the qualifications for the Omega Procedure, is that you must have tried and failed many conservative treatments to reduce your pain. Conservative treatments include, but are not limited to, lifestyle changes, trigger avoidance, and prescription medications.
We have explored some of these kinds of conservative treatments in past blogs, but today we wanted to give readers a more comprehensive list of conservative treatment options that many people may not have explored yet.
Before we get started, we would just like to note that this list could go on forever, so it is not meant to be a 100% complete list. We should also note that that we hear about new treatments all the time that work for some and not for others.
Migraines affect every single person differently. Every person has different triggers and different ways of coping. If one method does not work for you, there are many different options to try before considering surgery.
Top 10 Treatment Options
We’ll start in this section with the treatments we always list on our website, move into some brief descriptions of treatments we have covered in blogs, and end with some other ideas that we have heard more recently.
Look for hyperlinks throughout the article to learn more about all of these treatment options.
If you’ve seen a doctor about your migraines, prescription medication is likely going to be the first place they start. Since most doctors are trained in the “disease model” of handling any kind of ailment, their first goal is to attempt to “cure” it. However, up to this point no miracle drug has been found. Recently, this model of treating migraines has also contributed to the nation wide opioid epidemic with many doctors prescribing opioids for migraines. It is important to do your own research when it comes to medication. If you’d like to test your knowledge of migraine drugs, take this quiz.
Making important changes to your lifestyle can help those who are afflicted with migraines. This means making changes in your diet and putting together a good exercise routine (take a look at these four tips). Another important lifestyle change is making sure that you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can trigger migraines and cause stress, which can make migraines worse. If getting you’re not getting the kind of sleep you need, there is plenty you can do to improve your nighttime rest naturally.
There can be many triggers for migraines, and it may not always be easy to figure out what exactly is causing it. It could be food additives, drinks like coffee or wine, stress, or even something like a computer screen. If you’re having trouble figuring out what might be triggering your migraines, we’ve created a little self-assessment to help you out. Once you figure out what is triggering your migraines, the trick is learning to modify your exposure to or completely avoid them.
There’s no doubt that sounds and auditory stimuli have an influence on migraine; certain noises can serve as triggers. It stands to reason, then, that this might be a two-way street: the right kinds of music might actually help alleviate headaches and other symptoms. Browsing through music-streaming services like Spotify, or in music stores, you might even find playlists or albums specifically devoted to migraine relief. Alongside other treatments, then, it might be worth trying to take some deep breaths and putting on some calming tracks. It certainly never hurts to stop and give a favored song a listen.
With a condition as debilitating and unpredictable as migraines, there are any number of approaches that a person may try. Since the reasons people suffer from migraine attacks or develop chronic problems are not fully understood, individual treatment often becomes a matter of trial and error. In this sense, it is worth asking your doctor about Botox for chronic migraine, especially when other approaches aren’t working.
CBD oil has received a lot of praise recently from people touting its ability to alleviate and even prevent the pain migraineurs experience, and there are plenty of people who swear by its all-natural healing power. From the little research that exists, CBD oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression, and migraines. The research has also shown that CBD is safe, even in high doses and can help relieve some symptoms related to migraines.
This one might be a bit out there for some people, but there are just too many people out there who swear by this piercing to not bring it up. The theory behind daith piercing is akin to the theory behind acupuncture; there are certain areas of the body called “pressure points,” which, when stimulated, stimulate connected parts of the body, and thus, help heal them. Daith piercings don’t work for everybody, but it certainly has been effective for a number of people. It’s also, as one migraineur noted, a funky fashion statement.
Headaches are actually the third most popular reason that adults in America seek chiropractic care. The results of chiropractic care on migraine headaches have been studied in several clinical trials with favorable results. The evidence suggests that spinal manipulation improves migraine headache. A systematic review of 21 different studies found that patients who received chiropractic care for migraines once or twice a week for eight weeks saw a reduction in migraine symptoms. The primary outcomes that were improved by chiropractic care were migraine frequency, intensity, duration and quality of life.
When you think of prayer, you probably have a very individualized concept of the practice, depending on how you were raised and your current religious affiliations. Prayer doesn’t have to mean praying to a certain higher being, though – prayer for the intentions of this study was considered the “active process of communicating with and appealing to a higher spiritual power.”1 The results of the study included several types of prayer including conversational prayer, meditative prayer, ritual prayer, and intercessory (organized, regular) prayer. This study followed almost 100 people with migraines to monitor how prayer worked to alleviate migraine pain.
Migraines are difficult to manage. Since there’s no definitive cure—only a range of treatment approaches—and since symptoms and triggers vary from person to person, the migraineur needs as many tools as possible to take it on. Luckily, in the era of smartphones and devices, a number of special migraine apps have been devised to help patients track, treat, and learn more about their condition. In some cases, these tools serve as an important nexus for doctors and patients by making it easy to share important health information. What’s more, some of these apps are responsive and interactive, sending reminders, warnings, and headache forecasts to users. Since there are quite a few of these available for iPhone and Android users, it’s important to get a sense of what these apps do to figure out which app will work best for you. Follow the link to find the 10 best migraine apps on the market based on ease of use, pricing, functionality, and reviews to help you figure that out.
There are certainly more conservative treatments to consider when it comes to treating migraines. Leave us a comment below to tell us what has worked for you!
If nothing else has worked, it might be time to consider the Omega Procedure.
If you struggle with chronic migraine, the team at Migraine Treatment Centers of America is ready to help. The experts here employ the latest in technologies and techniques to minimize the severity and frequency of debilitating attacks. Learn more about what they do by calling (855) 980-7530 today!
- Tajadini, H., Zangiabadi, N., Divsalar, K., Safizadeh, H., Esmaili, Z., & Rafiei, H. (2016). Effect of prayer on intensity of migraine headache: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, doi:10.1177/2156587215627551