Learning to understand your migraines and the best way to manage them effectively is essential for the migraine patient to achieve results.
1/Set a Goal for your treatment: A reasonable goal is to be free of migraine within 2 hours, with no return of migraine for at least 24 hours, though this may not be able to be achieved every time.
2/Recognize that Migraine is a Process: The figure below depicts the different phases of a migraine attack. The ideal time to treat is when the headache is early and mild in intensity.
The percentage of people achieving pain free status within 2 hours of treatment is almost double for those treating early (headache mild in intensity) vs treating later when the headache is moderate or severe.
3/Don’t overthink your headaches: Often people with migraine consider themselves to have many different type of headache: tension, sinus, hormonal etc. Most of the time however, they are migraine events, and should be treated similarly.
4/Observe Medication Use: Monitor the use of your medication to ensure that you are not using them too frequently. Most migraine specialists advise their patients to avoid using their acute medications more than 2 days a week.
5/Analyze a failed Migraine treatment strategy: If your migraine resists treatment, it is worth trying to understand why, common reasons for treatment failure are that the medication was used too late in the attack, and or the choice or dose of medication was not appropriate or was insufficient
Learning these headache management skills takes practice, but the rewards are significant for those patients who can become proficient in this undertaking.
Note: Information on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
References: Treating an Acute Attack of Migraine, Headache 2008, Cady