Mayo Health Care
Migraine Pain Relief: Causes, Treatments and Alternatives
Serotonin is a hormone that is technically called 5-hydroxyterpitamine and is produced and found in the pineal gland, blood platelets, the digestive tract, and the brain. Seroronin acts both as a chemical messenger that transmits nerve signals between nerve cells; and a substance that causes blood vessels to narrow. Changes in the serotonin levels in the brain can alter a person’s mood. Serotonin, based on some studies, also cause or trigger migraine headaches. Migraines occur mainly due to the constriction of blood vessels near the brain. Typically, migraine pain lasts from four to 72 hours.
Migraine affects about 15% of the entire U. population. Three times as many women as men have migraines. More than 80% of people with migraines (called migraineurs) have other members in the family who have them too.
Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache and they can have other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. A migraine is caused by the enlargement of the temporal artery, which is the artery that lies on the outside of the skull and under the skin of our forehead. When this artery enlarges, it stretches nerves around it and they in turn release certain chemicals. These chemicals are the cause of the pain that is called a migraine, and they also cause the artery to enlarge even more…more pain, more enlargement. Migraines are just a never-ending circle of agony. Prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce the frequency of attacks in over half of migraine sufferers. Mefenamic acid (Ponstel) and naproxen (Anaprox) are particularly useful for preventing migraines associated with menstruation. Beta-blockers are usually prescribed to reduce high blood pressure. Some, however, are also useful in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks and their severity when they occur. Propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren) have been approved specifically for prevention of migraine.
Others medications that have been found to be effective include metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), and nadolol (Corgard). However, regular headache pain relievers and other oral medications are probably going to do little to help. They are simply not absorbed the way they should be. However, a person with migraine could try some natural remedies such as massage, heat, a hot shower, relaxation techniques or any activity that helps puts aside the worries for the moment and relaxes the body. Another non-chemical method used by people to treat migraines is called acupuncture, a procedure that helps calm the temporal artery and the sympathetic nerve system. There are a lot of practitioners of Acupuncture. They are licensed, highly trained professionals that can be trusted by patients. When considering how to naturally prevent a migraine headache, you can try lavender or peppermint oil as a topical solution or inhaler. These can be put in a vaporizer or washcloth. Calcium and magnesium supplements also help relieve muscle tension.
Alternative medicines for migraine headache pain sufferers are available without the risks or adverse effects of the regular pain relief medications. Besides being more conservative than the medical establishment's methods of migraine pain relief, they're often just as effective, if not more so.
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