Headaches are a common health issue that most people experience at some point in their lives. However, for individuals suffering from chronic migraines, these headaches can be much more severe and have a significant impact on their daily lives, including work, relationships, and leisure activities. Chronic migraines can be extremely debilitating and can significantly reduce the quality of life.
What are Chronic Migraines?
A person is said to have chronic migraines if they have constant headaches for at least 15 days in a month, accompanied by migraine-like symptoms for at least eight days. The intensity and longevity of chronic migraines can vary from person to person and often result in decreased quality of life. In severe cases, chronic migraines can also lead to depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of Chronic Migraines
The symptoms of chronic migraines are generally similar to those of episodic migraines. However, they often tend to be more severe and persistent and may need ongoing treatment. They include:
- Intense throbbing headaches or pressure-like pain that last for days or even weeks
- Sensitivity to light, smells, and sound
- Visual disturbances (auras)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety and depressive mood
Living With Chronic Migraines
If you have been diagnosed with chronic migraines, there are several things you can do to ease the symptoms and minimize their impact on your quality of life. Below are some proven coping techniques for chronic pain:
Certain things can trigger migraine attacks or worsen symptoms. Common triggers include bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and various foods and drinks. If you know what triggers your migraines, try to avoid these triggers as much as you can.
Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a common trigger for migraines. Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. If you can, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Exercise can also help improve mood and sleep quality, further reducing migraine symptoms. Find an exercise routine that you are comfortable with and stick to it as much as possible.
Eat a Healthy Diet
According to research, magnesium deficiency is a common trigger for migraines. Patients are encouraged to eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and leafy vegetables. This helps offset the magnesium deficit and provides the body with other essential nutrients needed to maintain good health.
Stress is another common trigger for migraines. If you suffer from chronic migraines, finding ways to release stress is crucial to managing your symptoms. Some people find relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing highly effective in managing stress. You can also take a walk in nature, catch up with friends and family, get a massage, read a book, or take a warm bath. Whatever makes you feel at ease!
Keep a Migraine Diary
A migraine diary can prove to be an essential tool in managing chronic migraines. It helps keep track of your migraine attacks and identify potential triggers. That way, you can take the necessary steps to avoid those triggers and reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.
Applying a cold compress or ice pack to your head and neck can numb the muscles and reduce pain sensation during a migraine attack. On the other hand, using a hot compress or heating pad can help relax tense muscles and ease the pain, as well.
Join a Support Group
As with any other chronic illness, there are numerous in-person and online support groups for people suffering from chronic migraines. Finding a support group allows you to connect with others who understand what you are going through, share your experiences without fear of judgment, and learn new coping tips.
The Bottom Line
Chronic migraines are a severe form of headache that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. These headaches can be intense, throbbing, and persistent, and often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, and difficulty concentrating. If you are suffering from chronic migraines, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Our clinic uses ketamine as a treatment option for chronic migraines, and this medication has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of headaches in many patients. In addition to medical treatment, there are also various coping techniques that can help reduce the impact of chronic migraines on your daily life, including avoiding triggers, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, keeping a migraine diary, using temperature therapy, and joining a support group.
If you are struggling with chronic migraines, don’t hesitate to seek help and start taking control of your condition.