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07/20/2007 05:53:47 PM · #1
I get migraines, but I can generally smack them down with a dose of naproxen for the pain and meclizine (better known as less-drowsy Dramamine) for the vertigo/nausea and remain functional. However, today is DAY THREE of this migraine, and it's done a gonzo job of breaking through my usual OTC treatment. I've called my doctor, who had previously offered me a migraine prescription that I turned down at the time, to see if she'll be willing to just call something in for me. The receptionist was optimistic about that and I'm waiting on a call back. In the meantime, just in case they say I have to come in for an appointment and I'm left to suffer through more of this crap through the weekend, what works for you? I already know dark rooms and sleeping, but tomorrow is Harry Potter day and Sunday I have to move the rest of my stuff from the apartment to the condo, so there isn't much time for rest on the agenda. Caffeine is also out, since it's one of my triggers - years ago I wondered why I always felt worse after taking an Excedrin Migraine, and finally figured out that it had more caffeine than two cups of coffee - bad juju there. Any ideas?
07/20/2007 06:00:10 PM · #2
I get migraines occassionally and find that Nurofen Plus (Ibuprofen and Codiene) works well. (I would class most of my migraines as medium).It doesn't usually get rid of it completely but enough to finish work and go home and go to bed. I also find that the earlier you take your treatement the better it works. Two weeks ago I was driving home from holidays and I still had 250kms to go to get to my accommodation that night and I started to get the visual thing. I stopped the car and rummaged through my luggage and took my Nurofen plus straight away. I was able to get to my destination without being too bad (I had no other drivers in the car, only kids)and just went to bed straight away.

By the way, red wine such as port is really bad for migraines. I only have to had 1/2 glass and instant migraine later on.
07/20/2007 06:50:03 PM · #3
I've got migraines occasionally (I guess cyclically would be a better description), and I've tried a variety of home-grown remedies. Sometimes one will work, but not another, so here's the list.

-mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil (extract will work, but you need more of it) with vodka or other clear un-flavored liquor and rub it in tiny circles on your temples and across your forehead

-lavender essential oil in a carrier oil (almond, olive, jojoba, whatever) massaged on the forehead and temples

-valerian root capsules or tea (the tea tastes nasty) (and don't drive afterwards - valerian is a sleep and relaxation aid. If you can get it with kava kava and passion flower it works even better.)

-peppermint tea with honey

- a warm - not hot - bath with epsom salts and lavender or rose oil (or both)

- take a bath towel and soak it in HOT water, then squeeze the water out and wrap around your head at the temples. Conversely, sometimes a cold washcloth on the forehead helps.

- get someone to gently massage your shoulders and neck. sometimes a surprising amount of pain is caused by the tension in the shoulders that was caused by the headache in the first place - kind of a vicious cycle.

- by the same token, a full body stretching routine will occasionally help by releasing some of the muscle tension that builds up - especially when it's a multi-day headache

-if you can get to a chiropractor for an adjustment, that should help immensely without the need for drugs - but I should stress that you seek out a GOOD chiro

-an herbal remedy that works well for me is called Petadolex, but I don't know if you can get it OTC. I get it from my chiropractor. It's a bit on the expensive side, though not as much as some migraine drugs. It is the root extract of the butterbur plant, sold as a dietary supplement and "standardized for at least 7.5 mg of Petasin and Isopetasin". I expect it could be found at a good health food/supplement store (not GNC).

If you haven't had it done, try to find out if your migraines are being caused by your wisdom teeth (should you still have them). If they are, have them taken out, and you'll get rid of the migraines.

Also, other triggers for migraines are aged cheese (cheddar included), citrus, and chocolate (which really hoses when the migraines are related to your cycle!), so you might want to watch out for those.

I don't know if any of these will work for you, but you asked. :)

**ETA: if you are on the Pill and get migraines, make SURE to tell your doc - they can be a side effect of the hormones and a simple change in formulation may be all that's needed (or so I was told)

Message edited by author 2007-07-20 18:55:23.
07/20/2007 07:12:56 PM · #4
Strange that this thread comes up now... I have had a migraine for 2 days, and it's finally starting to subside (yay!) The combination of caffeine plus a long nap in a dark quiet room is usually enough to help get me back on my feet, but when that isn't possible (say at work), I have found that using some of the pressure points sometimes helps to relieve a bit of the pain. It's only a temporary fix, so I usually find myself cycling through some of the spots (forehead, neck near base of skull and hand between your index finger and thumb).

This link seems to have a bunch of the pressure points listed. Hope it helps a little and you feel better soon! :)
07/20/2007 07:20:30 PM · #5
my m-i-l has had terrible migraines her whole life. She has tried everything, including a mouth guard in case it was related to her jaw. That helped a bit, but she recently tried accupuncture and now she hardly gets them at all!
07/20/2007 07:35:15 PM · #6
Originally posted by frisca:

my m-i-l has had terrible migraines her whole life. She has tried everything, including a mouth guard in case it was related to her jaw. That helped a bit, but she recently tried accupuncture and now she hardly gets them at all!


I have always wanted to try accupuncture, where does one go to find someone who knows how to do it and can be trusted not to hurt me?
07/20/2007 07:39:03 PM · #7
Originally posted by frisca:

my m-i-l has had terrible migraines her whole life. She has tried everything, including a mouth guard in case it was related to her jaw. That helped a bit, but she recently tried accupuncture and now she hardly gets them at all!


I agree with the acupuncture approach. My Sister in Law had major long-term migraines until she went that route. How to find a "good acupuncturist"? I don't know...

R.
07/20/2007 07:46:18 PM · #8
I don't know about home grown but if you do get a prescription, I recommed Zomig. It's white gold!

June
07/20/2007 07:48:10 PM · #9
Definitely try the pressure points...the one between the thumb and forefinger helps me when I feel one coming on. One thing I have found to work well is peppermint oil or other kinds of peppermint aromatherapy. I bought some peppermint foot creme and when my head starts to hurt, I can rub it in my palms and then cup my hands around my nose and mouth, inhaling the peppermint scent, and it helps. Beauticontrol sells a peppermint-scented detoxifying bath soak called Therma Del Sol that works really well too... put it on a hot washcloth and let it rest covering your whole face for five or ten minutes. It sounds crazy but it works for me. I've had migraines for a long time and am always looking for something that works that doesn't make me a zombie. Good luck!
07/20/2007 07:55:49 PM · #10
Find a good, non-scented cold cream and liberally apply it all over your forehead and cheeks, paying close attention to the bridge of the nose. Keep it off the temples and away from under the eyes. Then, run as fast as you can into a brick wall.
07/20/2007 08:03:19 PM · #11
I haven't read all of the replies, but I can tell you about my experiences.

My mother has severe headaches, which she calls "migraines". I know they started as true migraines, but over the years she has become dependent upon a plethora of pain killers, muscle relaxers and anti-depressants. Just for the record: She swears by Nubain injections as her panacea. At one point when she was really abusing these drugs I did some research and learned that excessive use of any painkiller (including over the counter) can cause "rebound headaches". It is my opinion that she is on a continuous cycle of addiction and withdrawal. I also know that she has a severe caffeine dependency, based on the fact that most of her meds contain it, and she has been known to drink a six-pack of diet Pepsi daily. Then there's the issue of the artificial sweetener (don't get me started on that).

That being said, I tend to get migraines every once in a while. They are usually linked to my monthly cycle. I have avoided doing much other than the occasional Motrin IB (See above for reason why). Now, I also have a caffeine addiction and when I try to go cold turkey I get a vice grip headache that is indistinguishable from a migraine. I have found that I can end one of these with a few sips of coffee.

Caffeine is in so many products that it's sometimes hard to avoid. Even "decaf" products sometimes have it. My first thought is to wonder if you haven't been accidentally ingesting caffeine and your headache is triggered by withdrawals. If so, a tiny amount of the stuff might do the trick. I hope you don't find this presumptuous, but it could be that simple.

My sympathies are with you and please be careful if you go to the doctor. They told my mom her meds weren't addictive, but I did the research myself and found out they really were.

As for home remedies, I sometimes find meditation helpful. Hope you feel better quick. I'll send some healing energy your way.
07/20/2007 08:03:26 PM · #12
Originally posted by Chiqui:

I don't know about home grown but if you do get a prescription, I recommed Zomig. It's white gold!

June


I agree Zomig is definitely a wonder drug. I used to get them so bad I'd vomit and concentration was impossible through the pain. Now I wonder how I lived like that.
No home remedy ever worked. My Doc put me on a half dozen different migraine pills and none of them worked until he put me on Zomig.
But I never tried acupuncture.

Sorry I'm not much help.
07/20/2007 08:06:26 PM · #13
cannibus. I hear it grows well in closets.

Message edited by author 2007-07-20 20:07:19.
07/20/2007 08:13:36 PM · #14
Love me my Imitrex 100 and my Frova.
BUT...I did find something that helps...called Migrastick. Basically, it's a very small roller bottle w/pure essential oil of peppermint and lavendar. (You can refill at home, lol!!)

Use this on your temples, the base of your skull in the back and your forehead. It really is amazing. Sorry you are feeling crappy, but I'm right there with ya this week!
07/20/2007 08:18:49 PM · #15
i bought this eye patch thingy that i freeze and when i get headaches and migraines i take a nap with it on. usually when i wake up the migraine is gone. Its a kind of herbal thing and you can probably buy it at any store selling herbal stuff.
07/20/2007 08:29:25 PM · #16
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Caffeine is in so many products that it's sometimes hard to avoid. Even "decaf" products sometimes have it. My first thought is to wonder if you haven't been accidentally ingesting caffeine and your headache is triggered by withdrawals. If so, a tiny amount of the stuff might do the trick. I hope you don't find this presumptuous, but it could be that simple.

My sympathies are with you and please be careful if you go to the doctor. They told my mom her meds weren't addictive, but I did the research myself and found out they really were.


I've been bad with the caffeine this week actually, but hadn't had any at all for days. I know all too well that decaf is not the same as caffeine-free. Good thing I never acquired a taste for coffee. Blecch! Anyway, I'm sure this one is related to the caffeine, but probably less for the addiction and more because it aggravates my TMJ via the creation of muscle tension, which gives rise to the migraine. Between that and the high level of stress at work lately, I'm not surprised by it at all.

My doc called in a prescription for Imitrex, but rightly told me that since this is day three there isn't much point in taking it since it's supposed to be taken at onset and migraines rarely last more than three days anyway. But it's good that I have it for next time, because I have a feeling these are going to pick up in frequency once school gets thrown back into the mix. I haven't done the research on it yet, but I will. I don't tend to get addicted to things, so hopefully if it has any narcotic properties that tendency will hold true. Most of the pain and pressure has subsided since leaving work tonight (gee, between the three day migraine rule and knowing that work is a big honkin' ball of stress right now, who here is surprised?) and I'm going to just change into jammies and make myself some Tension Tamer tea (has peppermint in it) and chill out here at home. Hopefully that's that and I can enjoy my Harry Potter book tomorrow. :-)

Message edited by author 2007-07-20 20:30:52.
07/20/2007 08:37:37 PM · #17
Originally posted by Rebecca:


Anyway, I'm sure this one is related to the caffeine, but probably less for the addiction and more because it aggravates my TMJ via the creation of muscle tension, which gives rise to the migraine. Between that and the high level of stress at work lately, I'm not surprised by it at all.



Something that helps with the TMJ (and I know this from experience):

Get in the habit of pressing your tongue into the roof of your mouth to hold your mouth closed while consciously relaxing your jaw.

Sounds weird, but it helps by repositioning your jaw and taking the pressure off the jaw muscles. And if you can get into the habit enough while you're awake, you'll naturally hold your mouth in that position while you sleep, which helps alleviate the teeth grinding and jaw clenching while you sleep.

Sara
07/20/2007 08:52:03 PM · #18
I empathize totally with your pain. :-(

I suffered cluster headaches for 3 years or so and for the first 2 I saw every type of doctor there was searching for a diagnosis. I used to get these headaches every day at the same time of day for months at a time and I could feel them coming from a mile away. They nicknamed cluster headaches "Suicide Headaches" and let me tell you I was close a few times due to the horrific pain. For those who do not understand migraines can be completely incapacitating. I finally had and episode in the chair of an Ophthalmologist, seeking a diagnosis, and he knew right away what I had. My doctor was just down the street I drove over there and she was able to see the episode. I spent the next year trying everything in the book to stop or easy the pain, from oxygen to triptans.

Finally a colleague of my doctors had been trying things for his cluster patients and suggested a course of treatment. They put me on beta blockers. One was a high blood pressure medication and the other was an antidepressant. They prescribed a short course at higher than normal doses. It shocked my system into a kind of reboot and believe my when I say IT WAS A MIRACLE! It worked! I have been free of that pain now for about 6 years.

I hope the imitrex works for you and I feel for your pain.

Feel better and keep the lights off :-)

Message edited by author 2007-07-20 21:00:10.
07/20/2007 08:59:48 PM · #19
This is probably terrible advice, but I have gotten temporary relief from a couple of beers or glasses of white wine...OK, I'll admit it, I have been known to wipe out a headache with a vodka cranberry. Helps relax the muscles and relieve tension.

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' saracat, thanks for sharing that TMJ tip. Wish I had known it before I chipped my teeth so badly.
07/20/2007 08:59:55 PM · #20
Originally posted by rox_rox:

...Caffeine is in so many products that it's sometimes hard to avoid. Even "decaf" products sometimes have it....


It is amazing where you will find the caffeine, a bit off subject but years back I had massive and constant heartburn problems. One of the doctors told me to stay from spicy food, alcohol and caffeine including chocolate...I told him that was impossible cause chocolate and spicy food was two of my main food groups lol...(alcohol has never been an issue) it turned out to be an esophagus problem.

These links might help... consumers report and caffeine, where's it hiding.
07/20/2007 09:19:35 PM · #21
There's good news on the horizon. I understand that with the onset of menopause, your problems with migrains will stop.
07/20/2007 10:12:59 PM · #22
Originally posted by Brad:

Find a good, non-scented cold cream and liberally apply it all over your forehead and cheeks, paying close attention to the bridge of the nose. Keep it off the temples and away from under the eyes. Then, run as fast as you can into a brick wall.


LOL!! :D

I must say Vicks vaporrub can relieve it a bit, but there is absolutely no way I'd put that much on at once... the sudden drainage of tears might relieves some pressure, though, lol. When I've had extremely bad migraines, I'd probably seriously consider your suggestion. :)

I haven't read all the replies... this one caught my attention and I had to respond. But, here's my remedies:

Two tylenol + two asprin + caffiene

Ice pack for my head... try different locations to find where it helps (neck, forehead, pain-side of head, eyes, wherever)

two regular-type benadryl sometimes helps knock me out to get enough sleep to sleep it off. (this is btw, what I used for my very first serious migraine, only I also drank half a beer with it because I was in so much pain... don't take benadryl with beer, btw)

certain scents that have already been mentioned, lavendar, mint, chamomile, etc.

I've taken Valerian root a couple times, but be careful with it if you have stomach problems. It is an antispasmodic and interferes with digestion.

Back massage.

Long bath.

I also like to hide in some dark place where my children can't easily find me because noises and lights become sledge hammers in my head.

The doctor gave me a prescription for maxalt, but its expensive, so I don't want to use it if I don't have to. It works best if you take it before you are in intense pain. So the end result is I don't use it in time and therefore don't use it at all. So when I told him that he told me the two tylenol, two asprin, caffeine combination is pretty effective and much cheaper.

Hope you get some relief soon!
07/20/2007 10:20:45 PM · #23
Believe it or not, advil!

I used to get killer migraines when I was younger. The whole scooby-doo- vomiting, pain, light sensitivity, throbbing, pulsing, dizziness, sound sensivity. I baracaded myself in my cellar. Even the prescription migraine medication didn't work.

I tried advil one day for fun. It was a miracle. One second it was there, the next it just wasn't. Advil is an anti-inflamtory, so it helps treat the migraine, not just dull the pain.

Advil works best for some people and is less effective for others. Seeing you already suffer migraines, you have probably tried advil. The bottle says the safe dosage is two per time, but you can safely take 3.

If all else fails, I have an old chainsaw i'd be willing to sell. It might be best to combat the illness at the source by removing the ailing body part ;)

Originally posted by Rebecca:

I get migraines, but I can generally smack them down with a dose of naproxen for the pain and meclizine (better known as less-drowsy Dramamine) for the vertigo/nausea and remain functional. However, today is DAY THREE of this migraine, and it's done a gonzo job of breaking through my usual OTC treatment. I've called my doctor, who had previously offered me a migraine prescription that I turned down at the time, to see if she'll be willing to just call something in for me. The receptionist was optimistic about that and I'm waiting on a call back. In the meantime, just in case they say I have to come in for an appointment and I'm left to suffer through more of this crap through the weekend, what works for you? I already know dark rooms and sleeping, but tomorrow is Harry Potter day and Sunday I have to move the rest of my stuff from the apartment to the condo, so there isn't much time for rest on the agenda. Caffeine is also out, since it's one of my triggers - years ago I wondered why I always felt worse after taking an Excedrin Migraine, and finally figured out that it had more caffeine than two cups of coffee - bad juju there. Any ideas?
07/20/2007 10:23:06 PM · #24
I suffered with migranes since I was 7 yrs old (1969). All that was available was St. Josephs asprian for children. I failed the 3rd and 6th grade b/c of missing school with 3-4 day long migranes.

I grew out of the headaches as the docs said I might...then about 10 years ago (35 yrs old) they came back. The "new" medicine "advil" would usually take care of them if I took 2 the second I got a headache. However, for some reason, I was getting 3 to 4 headaches a week. I was taking too much advil.

I went to the doc and he gave me "Relpax". This works great. No side affects for me as long as I have food in my stomach. Kills the pain in about 20 minutes. But...I was still getting 3 or more headaches a week.

I poked around on the web and found that chocolate causes many people's migranes. I had been eating chocolate nearly every day after lunch and at times a little at night. I stopped all chocolate and guess what....NO HEADACHES ! Could it be "subconscience" and chocolate is not the culprit? Maybe...maybe not but if I eat a Hershey bar at night, I wake up in the am with a migrane. If I eat chocolate at lunch I get a headache by dinnertime!

I now only use my "Relpax" if I can't control my chocolate craving...about twice a month!!!

KS

Message edited by author 2007-07-20 22:23:39.
07/20/2007 10:29:03 PM · #25
I tried figuring out my trigger. I ate all the culprit type foods/drinks. But there was no consistancy with what I ate and when I'd get the headaches. One thing that I have found that is true with every single migraine I've had is that I get extremely thirsty right before my migraines. I can drink two gallons of water and still feel thirsty. I don't really know what that means, but I know that for me excessive thirst is a signal of impending migraine pain.
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