Two Simple Steps to Lessen Migraines

Anyone who suffers from migraine headaches will certainly be interested in any treatment that will lessen migraines. Physical therapy can be very helpful, sometimes in conjunction with medications, sometimes instead of them.

Can Physical Therapy Really Lessen Migraines?

Migraine headaches (MH) are a specific type of headache that affect approximately 15% of the world’s population and are caused by environmental and genetic factors. Physicians use a mnemonic system called POUND to differentiate MH from other types of primary headaches:

  • P – Is the headache pulsatile in nature?

  • O – Is the duration between 4-72 hours?

  • U – Is the location unilateral?

  • N – Is there associated nausea or vomiting?

  • D – Is the intensity of the headache disabling?

Treatment and Pain Management

MH can be treated using different clinical pathways. Typically, they are managed with a medication called amitriptyline. However, this drug has its share of side effects. Thus, physicians and their patients may utilize physical therapy for a more holistic treatment approach.

Physical Therapy to Lessen Migraines

Physical therapy can be very effective, particularly in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches which have POUND-like symptoms. A physical therapist will recommend two simple treatments that have been tested in randomized control trials and have received a Level II in evidence ratings(Goncalve, et al.).

  1. Have patient increase water intake by 1.5 liters per day (Spigt, et al.).
  2. Have patient take 2-3 mg of slow release melatonin at night before bed (Lyon, Langer).

If you suffer from MH, let our team at 1 on 1 Physical Therapy in Asheville NC help you on your journey to better health and improved quality of life.

You could also consider your diet because certain foods are known to trigger migraines. References:

  • Goncalve, AL, Martini Ferreira A, Ribeiro RT, et al. Randomized clinical trial comparing melatonin 3 mg, amitriptyline 25 mg and placebo for migraine prevention. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2016; 87:1127- 1132.1

  • Spigt, M. et al. A randomized trial on the effects of regular water intake in patients with recurrent headaches.

  • Lyon, C & Langner, S. Consider melatonin for migraine prevention. The Journal of Family Practice MAY 2017 VOL. 66, NO 5

Shoulder Surgery Recovery; What to Expect

Shoulder Surgery Recovery; What to Expect

Shoulder replacement is a major surgery that necessitates extensive planning and recovery time. Some patients have the erroneous belief that they will be able to resume their normal activities shortly following surgery. However, depending on the surgery and its...

read more
Which therapy is best for you: Dry Needling or Acupuncture?

Which therapy is best for you: Dry Needling or Acupuncture?

Acupuncture and dry needling are two of the same practices, both using thin stainless steel needles to insert them into the skin. Both also claim to treat pain - however, you may not be able to distinguish between them just by looking at a photo. Despite similarities,...

read more
Managing Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress

Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by to-do lists is a bad idea. Here are some tips for managing holiday stress, so you can have fun this year, without the stress that has you worrying through the night! The secret to enjoying the holidays is to reduce holiday...

read more