Migraine: 9 Fast Ways to Soothe Pain

B.S. Dietetics, Dietitian, Health Professional
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When you have a Migraine attack there is no method that seems fast enough to soothe the debilitating pain. There are medications to abort the attack and following your physician’s orders regarding their use is essential. But, what if you are still waiting for the pain to subside? These nine tips may help ease your pain more quickly.


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Hit the lights!

Migraine attacks can make many sufferers more sensitive to the light. Heading to a dark, quiet room can help. Don’t forget that the light emitted from your phone, computer, or TV can also trigger more pain, so shut it down.


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Ice, ice baby!

Ice can be soothing when the pain is debilitating. Many Migraine sufferers have found that ice to the neck, face, and head can provide some comfort while waiting for medications to kick in. Sometimes refrigerated cooling masks for the eyes can help if the pain is behind or in that sensitive area.


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Caffeinate, stat!

For many people a quick dose of caffeine can help to head off Migraine pain. That is why some Migraine medications even contain caffeine. Be careful not to drink too many caffeinated beverages because they may cause rebound head pain and insomnia.


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Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Dehydration can trigger an easily avoidable Migraine attack. When you start to feel the pain sneaking up on you be sure to get enough water. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. We find ice water especially soothing during a Migraine attack because it serves two purposes¬ — hydration and cooling.


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Relax those muscles.

Muscle tension can add to the pain of a Migraine attack and some people experience tension headaches in conjunction with their Migraine head pain. Massage, heating pads, and simple stretches are all tools to help relieve this type of pain quickly.


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Try essential oils.

Some essential oils like peppermint can be very soothing when placed on the temples during a Migraine attack. There are also some combination oils specifically for Migraine that might be worth trying with your doctor’s approval.


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Try a jaw-release technique.

Many people with Migraine have more than one type of head pain. One type of pain can be caused by clenching your teeth, which you can do unknowingly when you have a Migraine attack. This can contribute to even more pain. Techniques specific to releasing those muscles can help relieve the pain. If you find that you are frequently clenching or grinding your teeth, talk with your dentist about a mouth guard.


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Have help lined up.

While we can’t always plan for a Migraine attack, we can be sure to have as much help lined up ahead of time as possible. That may come in the form of a friend who can grab your kids for a while, or letting your boss know that you may need some quiet while your medication kicks in. Having a little help can get you through the Migraine attack faster.


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Call your doctor.

If your Migraine medication does not adequately resolve your pain, the pain lasts more than a few days, or you have new pain that is different from your previous episodes, it’s time to talk with your doctor.