Migraine Sufferers Have Treatment Choices – A Neurologist Explains Options Beyond Just Pain Medication

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By Topic Insight Staff

Those who suffer from migraines are eager to seek out medications that provide relief. But did you know that there are other effective treatment options? Start a search online to discover non-medication migraine relief today.

The symptoms can be awful — the pounding pain and sensitivity to light and noise can effectively ruin your day. However, there’s no need to rely exclusively on medications to alleviate the pain. Read on for natural approaches to migraine attacks.

Many people suffer from migraines

Migraine headaches currently affect more than one billion people across the globe and are the second-leading cause of disability worldwide.1 Nearly one-quarter of U.S. households have at least one member who suffers from migraines.2 An estimated 85.6 million workdays are lost as a result of migraine headaches each year.3

Yet many who suffer with migraine dismiss their pain as simply a bad headache. Rather than seeking medical care, the condition often goes undiagnosed, even when other incapacitating symptoms occur alongside the pain, including light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.4

For some, medication has its limits

A migraine can be debilitating. Those who are experiencing one are often curled up in a dark room accompanied by only their pain. Attacks can last for days; life is put on hold. The sensitivity to light and sound, coupled with the unpredictability of the disease, causes many to forego work, school, social gatherings and time with family.

Numerous prescription medications are available for both the prevention and treatment of migraine. But for many people, conventional treatment has its limitations. Some people with migraine have a poor tolerance for certain medications. Many can’t afford the high cost of the medicines or endure the side effects. Others are pregnant or breastfeeding and can’t take the medications.

However, as a board-certified neurologist who specializes in headache medicine, I’m always amazed at how open-minded and enthusiastic patients become when I discuss alternative options.5

These approaches, collectively, are called complementary and alternative medicine.6 It might be surprising that a traditionally trained Western doctor like me would recommend things like yoga, acupuncture or meditation for people with migraine. Yet in my practice, I value these nontraditional treatments.6

Research shows that alternative therapies are associated with improved sleep, feeling better emotionally and an enhanced sense of control.7 Some patients can avoid prescription medications altogether with one or more complementary treatments. For others, the nontraditional treatments can be used along with prescription medication.

Danielle Wilhour, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.8

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