Since childhood, I’ve had headaches. I’ve never seen a doctor to find out what “type” they are (tension, cluster, Migraine). Each time they invade me (I feel it IS an invasion) they typically start on both sides of the back of my head. Gradually the muscles on the back of my neck and between my shoulder blades tighten. Throbbing turns into pain, disabling me for the remainder of the day. I begin to have a strong sensitivity to light and loud noises. I spend the rest of my day in a dark, quiet room. I try to nap. I gradually lower myself to my bed (so the blood doesn’t quickly rush to my brain!) and rest my head on two or three pillows to keep my head and neck elevated.
It isn’t easy to find a comfortable position. Once I do, I try to divert my thoughts to something that will calm me – my son’s laughter, my husband’s voice, my cats purring, well, you get the idea. (The mind/body connection is powerful and I often use it when battling MS symptoms). Changes in weather, hormones and stress seem to trigger my headaches – all things that affect my MS. Hmm.
I use a neck pillow filled with flaxseeds (sold online) and I microwave it for a few minutes and place it on my shoulders. Ahhhhh. The feel and smell somewhat help me.
After reading that a fast walk helps, I’ve walked at my own pace and this helped a few times. I’ve experimented with holistic medicine and dabbled some peppermint oil on my temples. It didn’t help. Something useful I learned at a local yoga studio are that gentle yoga stretches release tension (which also helps my MS). If nothing else, it feels good. But, I must confess what works best - my husband’s massages. His love (corny but true) combined with the intimate knowledge of where I hurt equals a head and neck massage to behold! When he’s finished, my headache subsides.