There are 4.9 million migraine sufferers in Australia, with most suffering episodic migraines, not knowing when the next episode may be. As well as the general debilitating nature of migraine symptoms, the anxiety and anticipation of when the next attack might be, can affect all aspects of a migraine sufferers’ life. From regular medication to alternative treatments, most will try anything in order to prevent the next attack.
We have compiled a list of the most common preventative tactics that people use to prevent migraines.
The most common way that people try to control or prevent their migraines is through the use of daily preventative medications. These are prescribed by your General Practitioner or your Specialist and can include different forms of blood pressure medications, beta-blockers, anti-depressants or anti-epileptic medications. At the correct dosages, these medications have been shown to be effective for some patients at reducing their migraine frequency or severity. Results are inconsistent however, as these medications are not designed specifically for migraine sufferers. A lot of patients give up on them once the side effects overtake any perceived benefit of taking the daily medication.
‘Migraine Triggers’ are things that are guaranteed, or highly likely, to start a migraine for a sufferer. Migraine sufferers are highly sensitive to these things. Common triggers include; wine, strong foods, exercise, glare, strobed or flashing lights, skipping meals, or lack of sleep. By being aware of your possible triggers, and avoiding them, Migraine sufferers may be able to decrease the frequency of their attacks.
Most people, with very regular migraines, find it very hard to identify true triggers. This is because their migraine attacks are so frequent. In these cases, looking for an underlying cause is more likely to provide success.
Tracking the frequency, severity, duration, and nature of your migraines is one way to be able to be in control your symptoms. Having an awareness of the expected regularity of your attacks may help you to control other aspects of your life around that time, or to prepare your medication to treat the symptoms earlier. For example, a sufferer who knows that they experience a migraine once per month at the start of their period, may be able to manage their attacks by best preparing in advance. Again, if there is no clear pattern to your migraines then it is best to keep looking for a more likely underlying cause.
Treat the cause
Migraine is classified as a “Primary headache” according to the International Classification of Headache, this means that there is no known cause of these symptoms. This leads to the largely generic, and inconsistent, treatments that have been outlined above. More recent research has identified that a sensitised brainstem, and dysfunction in your upper cervical spine, can be a primary cause for migraine symptoms. In these cases, it is possible to receive treatment for the cause and not just the symptoms. Specialised treatment to the upper cervical spine, has been shown to be effective at treating and preventing migraines, in those that this cause has been identified. Once this has been treated, it is very possible to live a life free from headaches and migraines, as well as a life free from regular medication!
If you think that we may be able to help, give us a call on 1800 HEADACHE (43 23 22) and speak to one of our amazing team today. You can also book online at goldcoastmigraine.com.au