According to the Migraine Trust, around one in seven people suffer from migraines worldwide, and the severity of a migraine attack can differ greatly. There is currently no cure for the disease, which is estimated to cost the NHS £150 million each year on GP visits and prescription drugs. It often remains undiagnosed and under treated, even though a migraine attack can leave people seriously ill for 72 hours.
Migraine sufferers need to find the treatment which works best for them – it could be a range of different medication and therapies. There may be no cure, but there are a variety of ways to manage migraines and ease the symptoms. However, with many specialist painkillers and treatments such as TMS causing undesirable side effects, you may want to seek alternative treatment or therapies.
If you suffer from migraines, here are a few ways to try and beat them and stop the disorder from having a negative impact on your life.
Avoid your triggers
Migraine is a personalised disease, which means each person has different triggers. An attack can be triggered by anything from feeling too stressed or eating a certain food, and if you can successfully avoid your triggers you can reduce the amount of attacks you experience. If you don’t yet know your triggers, keep a migraine diary to try and identify them.
There are different types of migraine, and botox has been found to help people with chronic migraine. Speak to your GP if you are struggling with coping with migraines, and you could be referred to a specialist headache centre where botox is a treatment option.
Certain types of migraine can also be prevented with chiropractic treatment. This manual therapy can reduce tension in the neck and reduce stiffness in the back, which can be caused by a migraine attack.
Acupuncture is a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) which can help migraine sufferers who haven’t found effective medication. A course of acupuncture can relieve chronic pain, including migraines, and you can sometimes have this treatment on the NHS.
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
Recently, a new type of treatment has become available which involves using a portable magnetic device. By sending magnetic pulses through the scalp, it can effectively reduce the symptoms of migraine. However, although TMS is an approved treatment for migraine, nobody knows if there are any long term side effects of this kind of magnetic stimulation.
If you need extra support living with migraines, contact your GP.