Tips to Get Rid of a Migraine Without Medicine

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Many people are bothered by occasional headaches, and these can be troubling enough that you have difficulty performing normal activities. But if you’re someone who is troubled by chronic migraines, that’s a whole different level of suffering, and it can even be debilitating. There are some over-the-counter medications which can help relieve the symptoms of migraines, but there are also some home remedies you can try which can be fairly effective. One approach that has been used for years is applying ice packs to the neck or the head, and this is thought to impart a numbing effect on that area, so the pain sensation would be dulled.

Do ice packs really work?

It is known that using ice packs to treat migraines is an approach that has been used for at least 150 years. But is there any scientific reason why ice packs should be effective? Actually, there is. The cold from an ice pack will have the effect of constricting blood vessels and reducing the transmission of pain which gets sent to the brain. Instead of the body feeling pain, it actually transmits a signal to the brain which says it is experiencing cold.

A study conducted recently found that applying a frozen wrap to the neck when a migraine first crops up, could significantly reduce the level of pain experienced by an individual. Some scientists believe that a cooling agent applied to the neck cools the blood which flows to the carotid artery, thereby reducing inflammation in the brain, and lowering the level of pain felt by the sufferer.

migraine headache treatment, Northbrook chiropractor

migraine headaches, migraine treatment, northbrook chiropractor

Optimal usage of ice packs

It has been discovered through a great deal of research that the best way to use ice packs for treating migraines is to apply them for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It also makes a huge difference exactly where you apply the ice pack, and how it is administered. A body of research has shown that the very best way to apply cold to the neck is in the form of a frozen neck wrap, and this has the best chance of reducing pain and discomfort from migraines.

Some doctors recommend placing the ice pack either directly where you feel the pain, or at the base of the skull. Applying the ice pack for 20 minutes at a time should be followed by one hour without the ice pack, and then reapplying it for another 20 minutes. When you use this method, you should feel in succession the following sensations:

  • cold
  • burning
  • aching
  • numbness

When you get to the point where you feel numbness from having applied the ice packs, that’s a signal that you should remove the ice pack. If you were to leave the ice pack on longer than the numbness point, it could have a damaging effect on your skin. Also, during the burning phase, if you feel that the burning is too intense, you should remove the ice pack at that point. Some individuals feel cold more keenly than others, so this will always be a personal experience, and you’ll just have to monitor your own sensations during treatment.

Align Wellness Center also offers chiropractic care treatment for migraine headaches. If you are suffering from migraine headaches and would like to explore the non-invasive treatment options offered at Align Wellness Center call (847) 860-6599 or fill out our online form to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

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