5 Strategies for Immediate Migraine Relief

Man suffering from migraine on a sofa

5 Strategies for Immediate Migraine Relief

Migraines can be incredibly distressing, often causing debilitating pain and disrupting daily activities. Finding quick relief from a migraine attack is a top priority for individuals experiencing these episodes. In this article, we present five practical tips that can provide relief during a migraine attack, helping to alleviate symptoms and restore a sense of well-being. Please always consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you can access the best care and management tools for you and your migraine.

1. Find a Quiet, Dark Environment:

During a migraine attack, sensitivity to light and sound is common and can exacerbate symptoms. Finding a quiet, dark environment can help minimise these triggers and provide immediate relief. Seek out a calm space, such as a dimly lit room or a quiet corner, where you can relax and find respite from external stimuli. We suggest speaking to your employer to explain how having access to a space where you can seek relief in a dark and quiet environment could be part of your workplace migraine strategy.

2. Try Over-the-Counter Pain Relief:

Over-the-counter pain relief medications can be a helpful option for managing migraine symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications. Speaking with your high-street pharmacist may really help you learn more about what options are available to you.

3. Consider Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation:

In recent years, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) has emerged as a promising migraine relief solution. Devices like gammaCore utilise nVNS technology to deliver a gentle electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve, helping to modulate pain signals and reduce the severity and duration of migraine attacks. This drug-free option can be used as part of a daily routine to minimise the chance of a migraine starting, and at the onset of a migraine to provide instant relief.

4. Apply Cold or Warm Compresses:

Temperature therapy can be an effective way to soothe migraine pain. Experiment with both cold and warm compresses to determine which works best for you. Applying a cold compress, such as an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel, to the forehead or the back of the neck can help constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Alternatively, a warm compress or heating pad can relax tense muscles and promote relaxation.

5. Practice Relaxation Techniques:

Engaging in relaxation techniques can help ease the intensity of a migraine attack and provide immediate relief. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and alleviate pain. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on calming your mind and body through these practices.

While every individual’s experience with migraines is unique, these five tips offer practical strategies for seeking relief during a migraine attack. Creating a calm environment, applying temperature therapy, practising relaxation techniques, using over-the-counter pain relief, and non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation, are all approaches that can help alleviate symptoms and enhance well-being. It is important to remember that these tips may only work for some, and consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended for personalised migraine management.


Charles A. Migraine. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(6):553-561. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp1605502
Mayo Clinic. Migraine. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201
Tassorelli C, Grazzi L, de Tommaso M, et al. Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation as acute therapy for migraine: The randomised PRESTO study. Neurology. 2018;91(4):e364-e373. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005857

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