Treating migraines depends on a variety of factors, including how frequently they occur and the degree of pain experienced. Preventative medications do exist, although most have been developed to address other conditions. Often used daily for 3 to 18 months, preventatives include anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antidepressants, beta-blockers, and anti-inflammatories. Preventative treatments have been effective in reducing migraines even after use of the drugs are discontinued. However, patients must be vigilant about monitoring and reporting migraine activity to ensure a prescribed medication is effective. Numerous pain killers and anti-nausea drugs are available to take to help alleviate the symptoms of a migraine attack when one does occur.
Another approach to migraines involves mechanical pain relief, with common treatments including the application of a hot or cold compress or pressure to the region experiencing pain. Massage and reflexology also may be employed, as well as osteopathy and chiropractic treatment. Biofeedback, which teaches patients to control body functions normally thought to be outside of the brain’s ability to control, is another migraine approach that has garnered interest in the medical community.