Published On: Mon, Sep 30th, 2019

Migraine Therapy: Inventive Ways to Avoid an Episode

A number of people worldwide suffer from migraine episodes. As it can prove disruptive to daily routines and plans, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. However, these throbbing headaches are a challenge to treat. 

With limited medical intervention possible, those suffering from it are left to simply ride it out. Also, migraines are still not completely understood other than the fact that some neurons and chemicals in the brain play a major role. Thus, it is no surprise that instead of a cure, preventive therapies for migraine are on the rise. Here are a few that you can try.

Common Treatments

There are two categories of conventional migraine prevention and treatment. Both of these are mentioned below:

  1. Preventive methods

There are a number of drugs that can help in preventing migraines. Most of these medicines were made to treat other health issues but their effects on migraine prevention were discovered and put to use. There are a number of preventive medications for migraine, some of them are:

  • Beta-blockers: propranolol, metoprolol, and timolol
  • Anti-seizure drugs: topiramate, gabapentin, and valproate 
  • Antidepressants: venlafaxine and amitriptyline 
  • CGRP Inhibitors: fremanezumab, erenumab, and galcanezumab-gnlm 

Some of these drugs may not work for some people and may also produce side-effects. Do not buy these drugs without consulting your doctor first.  

photo/ Robin Higgins via Pixabay

  1. Acute Treatment

These treatments aim at stopping or muting a headache once it begins. A group of one of the oldest drugs used for this purpose is known as ergots. Then there are Triptans, which were developed fairly recently and work just like ergots, but are more powerful. They block the pain pathways by inducing the release of certain chemicals in your brain. 

However, these drugs are not without some guidelines. People with high blood pressure, history of strokes, cardiovascular issues. There are many risks for pregnant women as well. 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation: It involves a small device called SpringTMS that is held to the back of your head. The purpose is to send split second pulses through the brain, which disrupts any abnormal electric conduction in the brain. It is effective in stopping the migraine as it starts. 

Transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation: This treatment involves a headband that has to be worn by the patient. If used for 20 minutes each day, it can help prevent migraines or you can visit here for more info.

Non-invasive vague nerve stimulator: There is a nerve in the neck called vagus. Using this device, which is wrapped around the neck, electrical stimulations are releases in the nerve, which act as pain relief. 

BioFeedback Method

This therapy focuses more on identifying the triggers than on treatment. It aims to make you aware of tense muscles, your reaction to stress. It is more of mindfulness techniques that can help you spot certain symptoms or precursors of stress like increased heart rate and sweaty palms. You learn how to calm down in such situations. Studies show that following this therapy, people involved had 55% fewer migraines. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique

PMR can help you calm down and relax in times of stress. It helps your body to stop a migraine even before it begins. You will learn breathing techniques and various other methods to relax when you feel a situation might lead to a migraine.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

A famous therapy used by psychologists to treat different disorders related to mental health, CBT is a tool that even you can use in order to know how your daily routine, habits and thoughts culminate into a migraine. You will also learn more about the reaction of your body during and after an episode and use that knowledge to manage the pain better.


Not much is known about the causes of migraines other than that there is an inflammation in the brain. Once the blood vessels in the brain are inflamed, other changes are triggers such as throbbing pain, photosensitivity, sound sensitivity, diarrhoea, nausea, reaction to different odours. 

Many studies are being conducted in order to understand the areas of the brain affected by migraine and what could be a trigger. While there is no definite cure, one of the alternative therapies mentioned above can surely help you in avoiding migraine episodes in the future.  

Author: Ravi Kumarr Gupta

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