Migraines affect 1 in 4 households in the United States, and nearly 4 million sufferers are considered chronic, which means they have a whopping 15 migraines a month. These eye-opening numbers get more sobering still if you consider that every 10 seconds, head pain drives someone to an emergency room throughout the country. In the face of these staggering statistics, it makes sense to discuss ways to avoid migraines altogether, which is our goal here.
At Pain Medicine Consultants, as our name suggests, our team specializes in helping our patients overcome debilitating pain conditions that present serious quality-of-life issues. And migraines are one such issue that can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from these chronic and frequent headaches.
To help you gain the upper hand on migraines, we’ve pulled together a few lifestyle changes that may help you avoid the triggers that set migraines off in the first place.
The migraine mystery
One of the primary frustrations of coping with chronic migraines is that there’s no definitive cause for this neurological disorder, which means there’s no cure. While research is ongoing, we have found great success in reducing their impact through trigger management therapies.
The problem is that triggers vary from one migraine sufferer to the next, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing migraines.
The common migraine triggers
To give you an idea of the wide range of factors that can trigger a migraine episode, here’s a list of some of the more common culprits:
- Certain foods and food additives
- Hormonal changes
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Certain medications
- Weather changes
As you can see by this list, migraines can be triggered by many things, many of which are under your control.
Tailoring your lifestyle around migraine avoidance
Because your migraine triggers are unique to you, our first step is to identify these triggers so we can take the appropriate steps to offset them. The best way to do this is to keep a diary of your episodes so that we can pinpoint the likely suspects. What you eat, the weather, your stress levels, and more should figure into this diary.
To give you an idea of the power of something like food, the American Migraine Foundation reports that one study found that by eliminating up to 10 foods, 85% of patients were headache-free. Imagine that by cutting out something as simple as chocolate, you can live your life without being sidelined by painful migraines.
And the list goes on when it comes to lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce headaches. For example, relaxation techniques like abdominal breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, alongside biofeedback, can reduce migraine headaches by 45-60%.
How we can help with your migraines
Outside of lifestyle changes to avoid migraines, which we can help you set up, we also offer therapies and treatments that can help you further avoid these headaches, such as:
- Occipital nerve blocks
- Magnesium IV infusions
Between these treatments and the efforts you make to tailor your lifestyle around trigger avoidance, we can gain the upper hand on your chronic migraines. Simply contact one of our four offices to get started.