Alternative treatments for migraines
For some migraine sufferers the most effective strategy against pain involves a range of therapies some of which are considered alternative or complementary.
One of the oldest non-prescription remedies is caffeine. Because caffeine is a vasal constrictor it shrinks dilated blood vessels that press against nerves and cause pain.
It’s been shown that people with migraine do respond well to small doses of caffeine. But caffeine withdrawal can actually cause a headache so go ahead and order that second latte.
There’s also emerging research about the role of dietary supplements in migraine prevention and control. There is some evidence that Feverfew and Vitamin B2 can prevent migraine attacks. There is also evidence that Magnesium can prevent migraine attacks. So there is quite a bit of these non-classic prescription medications that may help. While research continues on the use of these agents keep in mind the proper usage guidelines have not yet been determined.
Acupuncture for migraine relief
Another treatment that’s been around for centuries is Acupuncture. Proponents believe that acupuncture has a positive effect on bloodflow throughout the body and brain. For some people acupuncture has been very useful but it varies from person to person. Even acupressure, simple massage for the patients who have significant contractions in the back of the neck, which contribute to them contracting a headache can be of benefit.
Biofeedback treatment for migraine headaches
Biofeedback is a technique in which the patient learns how to relax deeply and actually control functions like blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. An electronic monitor gives the patient constant feedback during the learning process.
Another emerging form of treatment is the use of Botulin toxin or Botox. Botox acts by temporarily freezing or paralysing muscles. Most people today know Botox as a wrinkle reducer but it has been known medically to treat certain types of muscle spasms since the 1950s and now Botox is being evaluated as a way to treat chronic daily migraines.
Botox in a very unique way may work by blocking those inflammatory peptides at the nerve endings. A number of scientific studies are being conducted into using Botox but at the present time it is not FDA approved for the treatment of migraines.
Migraine treatment has improved greatly over the years, part of that improvement lies in our understanding of this debilitating condition.