Migraine headaches, whether mild or severe, should not be ignored. It is not just a symptom, and the seriousness varies from person to person, making it difficult to understand.
On a scale of 0 to 10, 7 represents a severe headache. If you have a severe headache interfering with your daily activities, you should seek medical attention. The majority of headaches are mild. Ten of the hundred causes are serious, while the other 90 are self-limiting and do not require active intervention.
What Is Migraine?
A severe headache that also accompanies nausea, vomiting and sensitivity which usually lasts even up to a day or more is called a migraine. “The head region contains numerous structures within and around it that can cause referred pain to the head. Anyone suffering from a toothache, neck pain, sinus headache, or other ailments can present with headaches.
A person’s ability to predict when they will get a headache is known as an aura. Because it is a very general symptom, it necessitates a thorough understanding of how it began, how it progressed, and how many medications were administered. These are some historical considerations for determining the nature and severity of a headache,” says Dr. Sheela Chakravarthy- Director-Internal Medicine- Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru.
Pro Tip: Migraines are unique to each individual. They occur in stages in many persons.
Pain or pressure in your head can be a migraine or one of the many types of headaches. Differentiating one from the other is important so that you can treat it right and get faster relief. Knowing what your triggers are can also prevent unpleasantness and pain in the future. Read on to know more!
Types, Symptoms, And Causes Of Headaches
Identify the location of your headache and the nature of pain to be able to tell the exact cause. Here are the main types of headaches.
– Tension Headache
This is the most common type of headache where pain starts at the back of the head and creeps forward, on both sides of the head. Apart from stress, eye strain and hunger are other causes of tension headaches. They can also be chronic.
– Sinus Headache
Swelling in sinus passages or congestion can result in pain behind the nose, cheeks, and eyes. Sinus headache pain is at its peak when you wake up in the morning. Bending forward also exacerbates sinus headache.
– Cluster Headache
These are very painful headaches. As per the name, they occur in clusters, usually at the same time, and sometimes, up to several times daily, for months. Cluster headaches can be caused by high altitude, bright lights, or physical exertion, resulting from dilation of blood vessels in the brain due to serotonin and histamine release.
Symptoms And Causes Of Migraines
A migraine is often thought of as a severe headache, but it’s actually a neurological disease involving nerve pathways and chemicals. Headaches ranging in severity and length are just one symptom of migraines. The following range of symptoms are produced by changes in brain activity, affecting blood in the brain and the tissues surrounding the organ:
– Sensitivity to light, smell, sound
Migraines aren’t caused by anything in particular, but certain triggers such as:
– Gender–women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men
– Hormonal changes
– Genetics and family history
– Environmental changes
– Lack of sleep
OTC and prescription medicines can cure symptoms of headaches and migraines, and also prevent future episodes. Adopt these simple lifestyle changes to prevent headaches and migraines:
– Eat healthy and avoid food triggers
– Exercise regularly
– Practise meditation and yoga
– Sleep well
– Manage stress
How To Get Started
Expert studies reveal that yoga can offer natural relief to migraine. Yoga is a centuries-old technique that encourages holistic living through a variety of postures and breathing techniques. A few minutes of daily practise of these simple yoga postures will better prepare you for the next migraine attack. Following are some of the simple yoga techniques that offer effective remedies to migraine.
Pro Tip: Yoga is a side-effect-free technique that helps with treating migraine.
Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
This hand-to-foot position stretches every back muscle in the body.
- Stand with your feet together and your arms alongside your body.
- Equalise your weight on both feet.
- Breathe in and raise your arms aloft.
- Bend forward and down towards your feet while exhaling.
- Maintain the pose for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
- Maintain a straight spine and legs by resting your hands on the floor, beside your feet, or on your legs.
- On the exhale, move the chest towards the knees, lift the hips and tailbone, press the heels down, and relax and move the head towards the feet. Continue to breathe deeply.
- While inhaling, extend your arms ahead and upward and rise slowly to a standing position.
- Exhaling, raise the arms to the sides.
Pro Tip: This position should not be performed by individuals with lower back injuries, Spondylitis, cervical pain, or any other type of back and spinal issues.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
This bridge asana Instantaneously soothes the weary back.
- Lie down on your back.
- Fold your knees and place your feet on the floor hip distance apart, 10-12 inches from your pelvis, with your knees and ankles in a straight line.
- Keep your arms alongside your body, palms down.
- Inhale and slowly lift your lower back, middle back, and upper back off the floor; softly roll in your shoulders; touch your chest to your chin without lowering your chin, and support your weight with your shoulders, arms, and feet. In this stance, feel your bottom firm up. Both thighs are parallel to one another and the floor.
- If you like, you can interlace your fingers and push your hands on the floor to lift your body even higher, or you can support your back with your palms.
- Continue to breathe normally.
- Hold the posture for a minute or two before gently releasing it.
Pro Tip: The Bridge Pose relaxes the mind and lowers anxiety.
Shishuasana (Child Pose)
A child’s pose, often known as a resting stance, is an effective relaxing pose.
- First, start with the seated position. Bend forward and lower your forehead to the floor while keeping your hips on your heels.
- Keep your arms alongside your body, palms facing up, and hands on the floor. (If this is too difficult, place one fist on top of the other and rest your forehead on them.)
- Press your chest towards your thighs.
- Hold this position.
- Come up slowly to sit on your heels.
Pro Tip: The Child Pose relaxes the neurological system and efficiently relieves pain.
Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
The Cat Stretch pose increases blood circulation while relaxing the mind.
- Get down on all fours. Maintain your balance on your knees and palm.
- Maintain a perpendicular relationship between your arms and the floor, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and flat on the ground; your knees should be hip-width apart and straight.
- Raise your chin and tilt your head back as you inhale, pushing your navel downwards and raising your tailbone.
- Take deep breaths while holding this stance.
- Drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as you exhale.
- Maintain this posture and deep breathing.
- Repeat the position.
Pro Tip: This asana helps in increasing the spine’s flexibility.
Do During a Migraine Attack
Take a break and stop from whatever activity you are doing when your body signals the migraine attack and try doing the following:
- Switch off the lights: Migraines can cause increased sensitivity to light and sound. Relax in a calm, dark place.
- Attempt temperature therapy: Compress your head or neck with hot or cold compresses. Ice packs provide a numbing effect, which can reduce pain perception. Tense muscles can be relieved using hot packs and heating pads. Warm showers or baths may also have the same effect.
- Consume a caffeinated beverage: Caffeine, in small doses, can reduce migraine headaches in the early stages. Also, caffeine withdrawal headaches can occur if you use too much caffeine too frequently. Caffeine consumed too late in the day may disrupt your sleep, which can also exacerbate migraines.
- Rest well: Migraine headaches might keep you awake at night or prevent you from falling asleep. Similarly, a bad night’s sleep might set off a migraine.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Can Migraine Be Cured By Yoga?
A. Commonly, people use medication to alleviate their problems. However, yoga may be an effective strategy for reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches. Yoga reduces blood pressure and slows the pulse rate, allowing the body to recuperate from stressful situations like migraine attacks.
Q. Which Pranayama Is Best For Migraine Headaches?
A. Pranayama works on balancing the left and right lobes of the brain in the case of migraine headache and is considered the best remedy to work on the symptoms of migraine.
Q. Where Are The Pressure Points For Migraine Headaches?
A. Pressure points on the ears, hands, feet and other places such as the face and neck are used for migraine treatment.
Q. Is Migraine A Lifetime Disease?
A. Migraine is a widespread, genetic, life-long, and frequently debilitating ailment that primarily affects people during their prime working and parental years. There is presently no cure for migraines, however, there are some therapies available to assist alleviate the symptoms.