How do you cope with migraines?

women on a coach with a migraine

How do you cope with migraines?

Migraine headaches, described by many as an excruciating and intense pain, frequently accompanied by various secondary symptoms, are a bane for a significant percentage of the UK population. With their propensity to disrupt daily routines and lower overall quality of life, the need for effective coping strategies is paramount. But what does it truly mean to cope with migraines? Beyond just seeking relief from the immediate pain, it means reclaiming one’s life from the unpredictable shackles of this neurological condition. Here, we illuminate some of the tried-and-true strategies that migraineurs have adopted over the years.

Recognising Triggers:

The journey to managing migraines often starts with self-awareness. Each individual’s migraine might have its unique set of triggers, ranging from dietary choices like chocolate or cheese, environmental factors like strong scents or bright lights, to physiological elements such as stress or hormonal fluctuations. Documenting each episode and identifying commonalities can help in spotting patterns. Over time, this personal ‘migraine diary’ can become an invaluable tool, enabling sufferers to pre-emptively avoid or mitigate potential triggers, thus reducing the frequency or intensity of attacks.

Creating a Restful Environment:

The overwhelming sensory overload accompanying a migraine—be it piercing light sensitivity or the agony of even the faintest sound—makes the world seem hostile. In such moments, crafting a haven becomes essential. This means dimming the lights, ensuring a quiet setting, and possibly even using cooling pads or eye masks. For many, this retreat not only alleviates the immediate symptoms but also provides a much-needed mental respite, allowing them to recuperate in peace.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Pain Relievers:

While migraines are distinct from the more common tension-type headaches, certain OTC painkillers can still provide relief for mild to moderate episodes. It’s imperative, however, to use them judiciously, over-reliance or frequent use can lead to ‘rebound headaches.’ This is a vicious cycle where the very solution becomes part of the problem. Therefore, consulting with a healthcare professional about appropriate usage is always a wise decision.

Maintaining a Regular Schedule:

There’s more to this than meets the eye. On the surface, it’s about ensuring consistent sleep, balanced meals, and regular physical activity. But at its core, it’s about harmonising the body’s internal rhythms. Disruptions, like erratic sleep patterns or prolonged fasting, can sometimes be a precursor to migraines. By nurturing a consistent routine, one not only reduces potential triggers but also fortifies overall well-being, making the body more resilient against the onset of migraines.

With these foundational coping mechanisms in place, many find themselves better equipped to navigate the stormy waters of migraine episodes. However, as we progress into an era of medical advancements, there’s more on the horizon. One such promising development is the realm of vagus nerve stimulation.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) – A Fresh Perspective on Migraine


Vagus nerve stimulation involves delivering mild electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve that plays roles in multiple bodily functions. While VNS has historically been used for conditions like epilepsy, recent innovations have brought its potential in migraine management to the forefront.

gammaCore is a prime example. As a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator, it offers a drug-free option for those looking to manage their migraines, cluster headaches, and even menstrual migraines. The device is hand-held, portable, and specifically designed for patient use, making it a convenient choice for those in need.

But how does it work? The vagus nerve is a communication highway, sending signals between the brain and various organs. By stimulating this nerve, gammaCore can reduce pain signals, offering relief to migraine sufferers.

Studies have shown that VNS can reduce the number of migraine days for patients, reduce the need for medication, and improve the quality of life.

Living with migraines is undeniably challenging, but advances in medical technology are offering new hope. Alongside traditional coping mechanisms, innovative therapies like gammaCore’s vagus nerve stimulation present promising avenues for relief. For UK consumers exploring options to manage migraines, embracing a multi-faceted approach that includes both conventional and cutting-edge methods may be the key to regaining control.


Mount Sinai – Managing Migraines at Home

WebMD – Learning to Cope with Migraines and Headaches

Mayo Clinic – Migraines: Help for Headaches

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