Natural Ways to Alleviate Migraine Headache

If you suffer from frequent migraines, you know the heartache that comes with it and want to find ways to alleviate your migraine headache. Missing special events, leaving work early, or fighting through your daily tasks with excruciating pain is an all too common occurrence. In fact, over 14% of adults have suffered from a migraine over the last three months and more than 38 million people have experienced a migraine.

With such prevalence, numerous migraine prevention medications have hit the market. Although medications may work and can eliminate the frequency and severity of migraines, we see plenty of risks and side effects associated with medications.

Therefore, finding a natural way to alleviate a migraine headache has become increasingly popular. Many migraine sufferers have found great success using natural and holistic treatments for their migraines. If you are seeking alternative treatments for migraines, below are the best ways to reduce migraine frequency and pain.

Ginger

ginger and white cup

Ginger is a powerful root that is used to treat many forms of pain, including migraine headaches. It has no associated side effects, making it a safe and effective natural treatment.

A study conducted in 2014, found that ginger was a comparable treatment to the common migraine drug Sumatriptan. All 100 patients in the study found that both ginger powder and Sumatriptan worked and were willing to continue with either treatment.

The study also determined that ginger powder produced little to no side effects, making it a good natural alternative to medication with side effects. If you are taking a medication to help with one issue, but it’s producing other unpleasant symptoms, you likely won’t want to take said medication for the long-term. Ginger makes for a great alternative that gives you peace of mind.

Ginger powder is readily available online and in health food stores, is inexpensive, and effective.  It is one of the best ways to get rid of a headache without medicine.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be used to treat just about any ailment. This traditional Chinese medicine and practice use tiny needles placed in the surface of the skin to relieve health-related conditions such as migraines. Acupuncture can also treat conditions such as:

  • Low back pain
  • Anxiety
  • Neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Headaches
  • Painful periods
  • High blood pressure

When looking at studies that focused on determining the effectiveness of acupuncture on migraines, a few conclusions are drawn. They found that acupuncture does help treat chronic pain and migraines and is more than a placebo effect. Other benefits of acupuncture that play a role in treating migraines are:

  • It is safe with little to no side effects
  • Acupuncture can effectively control chronic pain
  • It can be combined with many other treatments safely
  • It is a good alternative for those who cannot or do not want to take traditional medications

They do, however, suggest that acupuncture alone may not solely be responsible for improved migraines and other factors may come into play.

Butterbur Herbal Supplements

Butterbur is an herbal supplement that is known to reduce the frequency of migraines. This herb should be taken at 150 mg for at least three months in order to see the effects of reducing migraines.

A specific extract from this herb is responsible for migraine pain reduction and it cuts the frequency of migraines in half. This is a huge deal if you suffer from migraines multiple times per month and can drastically improve your quality of life.

There are some risks associated with butterbur even though it is a natural supplement. Liver toxicity is rare, but still a risk, so you should take this supplement under the advisory of a licensed healthcare professional.

Use Diet to Control Migraine Headaches

green smoothie

Making changes in your diet can affect many parts of your body and solve a plethora of health issues, including migraines. Certain foods can trigger a migraine headache, while other foods can actually ease the pain from a migraine.

Foods to Avoid

  • Coffee and caffeinated beverages
  • Aged cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Processed meats
  • MSG
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Citrus fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Corn
  • Onions

Coffee is a complicated beverage for migraine sufferers. The caffeine in coffee can trigger migraines in some people. This is especially true if you are a regular coffee drinker and you skip your regular cup of coffee during the day. Suddenly eliminating that caffeine can begin the onset of a migraine.

On the flip side, caffeine combined can actually help to get rid of your migraine.

Foods to Eat

  • Rice
  • Cooked leafy greens
  • Cooked orange and yellow veggies
  • Seafood
  • Meat
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, poppy)

Other Dietary Tips

Always make sure you are drinking enough water. Never let your body get dehydrated because it is one of the most common reasons for developing a migraine.

You may also try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. By eating more frequently you never allow your blood sugar levels to drop. A drop in your blood sugar can trigger a migraine. Feelings of hunger can also trigger a migraine in some people. Therefore, eating more consistently can sometimes help prevent the onset of a migraine.

The American Migraine Foundation also suggests that people who are overweight are more prone to migraines. If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds and eating a balanced diet can stop migraine headaches.

Chiropractic Treatment

man lying on side

Some people also respond very well to certain chiropractic treatments for treating migraines.

Chiropractic spinal manipulative treatment has been studied in patients who suffer from recurring migraines. Research has found that some people can use CSMT to completely get rid of their migraine headaches.

Chiropractors use The Gonstead Method, which is a manual adjustment. Your chiropractor uses short forces in an attempt to fix the issues in the vertebra both posterior and anterior.

Other studies have also found that chiropractic adjustments to the upper cervical complex can also help reduce the number of migraines someone may have.

There is research on how chiropractic care can help people who suffer from regular migraines. Promising and continued research that suggests certain people find great success with treating their migraines through certain forms of chiropractic adjustment.

If you are nervous about what chiropractic treatment may feel like and don’t know what to expect, rest assured that chiropractic adjustment does not hurt or cause pain. It is a natural way to cure a migraine headache without side effects.

Guest post by Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor of Science. He completed his doctorate at Western States Chiropractic College and moved on to found Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab. He is widely considered as one of the best Wasilla chiropractors in Alaska.

Dr. Wells has made it his mission to treat patients with compassion and care due to a lack of patient and high-quality healthcare providers. His main goal is to improve his patient’s quality of life while maintaining professional effective treatment.

As a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians, his knowledge continues to evolve through learning and education in areas such as neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.