Best Medicine for Migraines?


ORLANDO. (Ivanhoe) — Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.  They are considered the third most prevalent illness in the world. While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than four million people have chronic daily migraines, making it a debilitating illness for them. But new studies show that there may be ways to prevent that from happening.

Everybody loves a good massage, but did you know that they can also help with migraines? A recent study of migraine sufferers found that nearly 85 percent of participants who received massage therapy had a decrease in their number of migraines.

Also that sharp migraine pain may feel like needles are being shoved into your forehead, but acupuncture has been found to reduce the number of migraine days for people in a clinical trial. The participants in the trial had ten to 20 needles put into the skin, twice a week for five weeks.

Also working out has benefits. The University of Minnesota said that aerobic exercise done for 30 minutes, three times a week decreased the intensity of headaches.

Finally, doing nothing at all can also help. One study found that people who did spiritual meditation for 20 minutes per day for over 30 days along with taking medication had a decrease in migraine frequency and intensity.

In a recent study of children published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it was found that children were able to reduce their headache days by 50 percent or more when given a placebo, about the same as children who were given actual drugs.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #2373

BACKGROUND: Migraine is a condition, similar to a headache, which causes severe throbbing pain or a pulsation sensation in one’s head. They are usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to sound and light.  The pain of a migraine can last from several hours to several days; and, the pain can be so severe that this one may become disabling. 38 million Americans are affected by this condition every year; and while most people just suffer a migraine attack once or twice a month, 4 million people have chronic migraines daily.

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LIFESTYLE CHANGES: Although there are preventive and pain-reliever medications that exist to treat migraines, there are also lifestyle changes that one can implement in order to avoid this condition and/or make the episodes less reoccurring. These are:

  • Exercising. There have been studies that prove that aerobic exercise done for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, can decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.
  • Diet. Up to 20% of people who suffer from migraines have identified some food items to be the trigger of this condition. These vary from aged cheese, wine, dark beers, cashews, onions, chocolate, processed meats, dairy and wheat.  In order to avoid migraines, consume a healthy diet of whole foods, minimize additives, and avoid foods that you know trigger the episodes.
  • Sleep. Having a good and consistent night of sleep can help relieve head tension.


INTEGRATIVE THERAPIES: In addition to lifestyle changes, there are also therapies that can help alleviate the pain of migraines and the frequency of them. Mind/body practices like progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery have shown to be effective in reducing tension-type headaches. Manual therapies like Feldenkrais can decrease muscle tension and improve head and neck movements. Furthermore, massages and acupunctures are also effective for migraine pain and head tension. In order to recognize if the therapy is working, allow 3 to 6 months to assess the effectiveness.


* For More Information, Contact:

American Headache and Migraine Association

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