Video Q & A:

Treatment

Question:

How can I relieve a migraine?

Expert:   Lawrence C. Newman, MD, Director, The Headache Institute, Roosevelt Hospital Center »

Want to cut down your dependency on migraine meds? Give biofeedback a go. Watch this to learn about it, and other non-drug treatment options.

Transcript: Sometimes, you can relieve migraine pain WITHOUT medication. Something as simple as lying down in a dark, quiet room can eliminate unwanted stimuli and ease your symptoms. While you’re there, apply a hot or cold compress to your head. The heat will relax muscles, while the cold can constrict dilated blood vessels and numb the pain. If you don’t feel nauseous, drinking coffee or another caffeinated beverage can reduce symptoms IF you drink it at the first sign of a coming attack. Another thing you may try is massaging your scalp and temples. Or, you can try the Chinese medical practice of ACUPRESSURE, which involves pressing on certain pressure points, located throughout your body. ACUPUNCTURE can also be helpful. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body, and some trials have shown that it DOES lessen headache pain. For a treatment that allows YOU to take control, consider learning biofeedback. It’s a non-drug therapy that’s been proven to reduce headache symptoms and PREVENT more attacks. Biofeedback teaches you how to control your own temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension AND blood vessel swelling, allowing you to, in effect, reduce symptoms YOURSELF. At first, biofeedback training involves using special equipment to track physical tension, but once patients master the technique, they DON’T need the equipment to get positive results. Children who get migraine headaches respond ESPECIALLY well to biofeedback; so it’s a great alternative to powerful drugs with potentially risky side effects. Talk with your doctor if you’re interested in any of these headache relief strategies. More »

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