If you are trying to deal with your migraines naturally, then you have probably already started a migraine journal. This allows you to track what happens in the hours or days leading up to a migraine. This can help you potentially identify your triggers. If you have started tracking your triggers or you are unsure what to look for, our list of the top migraine triggers should help.
We are also going to discuss a natural therapy that has helped many migraineurs in case studies. But first, we will help you to avoid some of the most common migraine triggers.
Physical or emotional overexertion can lead to the onset of a migraine. For now, we are going to focus on the physical side of things. You may already be aware than a large percentage of migraines begin with neck pain. This is especially true if exercise triggers your migraines. According to one study, more than half of the patients who reported exercise as a primary trigger had to give up a sport to reduce the frequency of attacks. Just be sure not to give up all activity because exercise is essential for improving blood flow and reducing stress hormones, both of which are critical when it comes to living with migraines.
#2 Sensory Overstimulation
Some people have expressed that bright lights, loud sounds, or strong smells are all migraine triggers. This makes sense because sensory sensitivities are also among the most common migraine symptoms. It can be challenging to avoid all situations that could lead to sensory overload, but here are a few tips.
- Wear the right glasses – Use sunglasses when outdoors on a sunny day. Wear lenses with anti-glare or a blue light reflective coating if you work in front of a screen all day long.
- Put on earplugs – If you know that you are going to experience loud sounds over a long period of time (for example, on a long flight), you may want to wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
- Reduce scents at home – You may have to give up wearing perfume or cologne and ask your family not to do so around you. Trade in strong-smelling cleaners and soaps for unscented, hypoallergenic versions. Cigarette smoke is usually the worst offender.
#3 Medication Overuse
Medication overuse is a common problem for people with chronic migraines and likely contributes to the frequency of migraine occurrence. If you suffer from migraines regularly, it can be tempting to overuse drugs that mitigate symptoms, such as over the counter pain relievers. Overuse of these medicines can lead to rebound headaches and increase the pain of your migraines.
Opioids have also been linked to a migraine condition becoming chronic. While it is unclear why these medications make migraines worse, it is vital to reduce or end the usage of drugs that are contributing to the problem. This may help you to gain greater control over your condition.
#4 Overconsumption of Caffeine
Overuse of caffeine can trigger migraines. However, caffeine withdrawal can also be an issue. The key is moderation. While a cup of coffee or tea in the morning may keep a migraine away, having coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks, and other sources of caffeine throughout the day can make migraines worse. It is also essential to check your medications to see if any of those contain caffeine, a common ingredient in over the counter pain relievers.
#5 Lack of Water or Food
Becoming dehydrated or experiencing a drop in blood sugar may both be triggers for migraines. Therefore, it is vital to drink enough water throughout the day and to avoid dehydration drinks like colas, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Avoid skipping meals, even if you are very busy or don’t feel hungry. It’s better to take a few minutes to eat a salad than to end up with a migraine.
#6 Sleep Disruptions
Whether it is interrupted sleep, not enough sleep, or jet lag due to travel across time zones, sleep disruptions are among the top migraine triggers. Lack of proper sleep can have a significant impact on the central nervous system and relates to depression, anxiety, and neurological conditions like migraines. It is crucial to address your sleep issues, especially if you are suffering from any of these related conditions.
Stress is the most common trigger. You can even experience a migraine in the aftermath of stress when hormone levels suddenly go back to normal. So migraines can occur when you get stressed and when finally get to relax. Work to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life. Then find positive coping mechanisms for stress management. Exercise is a particularly good option for migraineurs.
Finding Long-Term Natural Relief from Migraines
While avoiding triggers can help you to reduce the frequency of migraines, you have to go deeper to find a long-lasting solution. For some patients, this involves seeing an upper cervical chiropractor. A misalignment of the top two bones in the neck can lead to many migraine symptoms including the severe headache, neck pain, sensory sensitivities, inhibited brainstem function, reduced blood flow to the brain, and more.
If you are living with migraines, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, it makes sense to give upper cervical chiropractic a try. This specific form of care that involves precise adjustments of the top two bones in the neck may be just what you need to get the natural care you want.