Migraine is an extraordinarily common neurological condition, affecting more than a billion people worldwide. Not only do many sufferers go untreated, but no treatment works for everyone.
If you struggle from migraines, you know what a challenge finding the right solution can be. Ask your doctor about what these trends might mean for you how manage your migraines:
- Medication Delivery
If you get migraines often, you’ve likely experienced one on the road. Trying to drive with a migraine is not just miserable, but dangerous.
Don’t take the risk. These days, you can get your migraine treatment delivered to your house. Some providers even offer free shipping.
If you go this route, remember that deliveries take time. Either ask for automatic refills, or set a calendar reminder so you don’t forget to order more medication before you run out.
For some people, migraines can be caused by poor musculoskeletal alignment. If yours are due to back or neck problems, ask a chiropractor for an assessment.
Chiropractic can be an alternative to prescription medication, or it can be paired with pharmaceuticals for people whose migraines can’t be adequately treated by one method alone.
In addition to alleviating your headaches, chiropractic work can improve your posture and strength. Plus, it’s non-invasive and poses no risk of addiction.
For those with a fear of needles, feel free to scroll down to the next suggestion. Acupuncture involves the strategic placement of needles on the body to alleviate pain. This traditional Chinese method has its critics, but it’s been practiced for thousands of years for a reason.
In fact, recent clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can be just as effective as preventative migraine medications. While most practitioners won’t recommend it alone, like chiropractic, it’s increasingly used to augment other treatments.
Probably the most controversial treatment on this list, psychedelics can alleviate migraines that don’t respond to other treatments. Of course, they’re also illegal in the U.S., so even getting into a clinical trial can be tough.
With that said, the FDA has proven willing to greenlight some studies. States like Oregon have even decriminalized some psychedelics, such as psilocybin. Although currently considered a treatment of last resort, research suggests they can cause full remission in some migraine patients.
- CBD Oil
Cannabidiol is a growing trend in at-home migraine treatments. While legal on the federal level and in many U.S. states, it’s not yet legal everywhere. As the tides shift, expect it to become widely available in pharmacies.
Although medical experts aren’t sure why CBD relieves migraines, they suspect it’s related to the compound’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Studies show that, in moderate doses, it can help control chronic migraines. However, it seems less effective at combating cluster headaches.
As with most cannabis-based treatments, CBD hasn’t been adequately researched. Your doctor may suggest waiting for more studies before you use it to treat your migraines.
For the most stylish migraine trend around, you can get a piercing that might help curb your headaches. It’s called a daith piercing, and it’s put in the fold of cartilage right above your ear canal.
Admittedly, there’s little scientific evidence that these piercings work, but that doesn’t stop people from getting them. Some hypothesize that piercings work for the same reason acupuncture does: applying or alleviating pressure on certain nerves.
Others point to the placebo effect. But at the end of the day, a treatment that works only because you think it will still works.
- Migraine Diary
Keeping a diary in and of itself won’t cure your migraines. But for diagnostic reasons, practitioners are increasingly encouraging sufferers to keep a headache log.
By keeping a diary, you can spot trends and identify triggers that might be contributing to your headaches. Then, you can make adjustments to your lifestyle to avoid or reduce those triggers.
For example, you might realize that you’re more likely to experience migraines on days when you get less than seven hours of sleep. If so, the solution might be as simple as changing your alarm clock or investing in a new mattress.
- Electrical Stimulation
Don’t worry, you won’t be strapped into an electric chair for this one. With this treatment, electrical stimulation is delivered through small nodes that are placed on your forehead. By buzzing softly, they stimulate neurons in the forebrain that are thought to be associated with migraines and cluster headaches.
The reason this trend is still emerging is its lack of availability. While the FDA has approved a device for over-the-counter purchase, it may be some time before you see it sitting on your local pharmacy’s shelves.
- CGRP Inhibitors
Scientists have found that calcitonin gene-related peptide (or CGRP for short) is a molecule that is heavily involved with migraines. A number of drugs have been developed to inhibit the release of CGRP, which seems to reduce the frequency and severity of some sufferers’ migraines.
The catch to this migraine treatment is that CGRP inhibitors must be administered via regular injection. The plus side is that the dose is required monthly at most, and can be injected at home through a prefilled syringe (similar to an Epipen).
Most people know Botox as a cosmetic treatment used to smooth out wrinkles. Besides its ability to tighten the skin, Botox can be used to treat chronic migraines. If other solutions aren’t working, your doctor might recommend this as an option.
Botox works by blocking nerve signals to your muscles, causing them to contract less. While Botox may not work as quickly as other solutions, it’s worth asking your doctor about if more common ones aren’t working for you.
One more word of caution about Botox: Always get it from reputable providers. Botox is actually bottled botulinum toxin, one of the most toxic substances known to man. A misdose could be dangerous or even fatal.
If your migraines aren’t responding to your current course of treatment, don’t give up. Do your research, and tell your doctor that you’d like to try something new. You never know what will do the trick for you.