Natural Treatment For Migraines And Headaches

Headache is a term used to describe aching or pain that occurs in one or more areas of the head, face, mouth, or neck. Headache can be chronic, recurrent, or occasional. The pain can be mild or severe enough to disrupt daily activities. Headaches are a characteristic symptom of many conditions and management requires accurate determination of the aetiology.

Migraine is a common neurological disorder characterised by debilitating head pain and an assortment of additional symptoms which can include nausea, vomiting, photophobia, noise intolerance and occasionally visual sensory disturbances

Migraine attacks are characterised by throbbing, recurring headaches, typically affecting only one side of the head. Onset is sudden, and pain is usually severe. Visual, auditory, neurological, or gastrointestinal symptoms may appear 10 to 30 minutes before head pain or may accompany a headache. The duration may be from a few hours to several days.

What Causes Migraines

“Triggers” are specific factors that may increase the risk of migraine attacks. Triggers do not cause migraine but are thought to activate the process in susceptible migraine sufferers.

  • Dietary triggers: Skipping meals/fasting, sensitivity to specific foods
  • Medications: Overuse of pain medication or missed doses of usual medications may trigger
  • Changes in sleep patterns: Napping, oversleeping, too little sleep
    Hormonal fluctuations: menstrual cycles, contraceptive pill, HRT, peri-menopause, ovulation
  • Environmental: Weather and temperature changes, bright lights, odours/pollution, or factors such as air travel or high altitude
  • Stress: Periods of high stress, accumulated stress, reacting easily to stress, repressed emotions
  • Stress letdown: Weekends, vacations, ending a stressful task or project
  • Physical: Overexertion, injuries, visual triggers (eye strain, bright lights, computer screens)
  • Becoming over-tired or fatigued

 

Signs And Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of migraine include the following:

  • Aura preceding headache: irritability, restlessness, hearing or vision disturbances, numbness, weakness, or tingling sensations may precede head pain or may be present with headache
  • Severe, throbbing, usually unilateral headache
  • Headache accompanied by increased sensitivity to light and noise
  • Headache persists for hours and if untreated may last days
    • Pounding pain worsens with movement or bending
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Near-syncope (almost fainting), vertigo
    • Feet and hands may be cold and cyanosed (blue)
    • Scalp arteries may be prominent

How Can Natural Medicine Help?

Linda the Naturopath at Melbourne Naturopathy can provide natural treatment for headaches and migraines. She will use a combination of herbal medicines, nutritional supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes to provide symptomatic relief and treat the underlying causes.

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