7 Hacks for relieving stress migraines

Our fast paced, demanding and hectic lives, as well as more screen time, can put a strain on our eyes and mental state, with the outcome being stress migraines. Here are seven hacks for relieving a stress migraine. 

Migraines are a common condition affecting up to 20 per cent of women and 6 per cent of men. Sufferers experience severe headaches with a throbbing pain felt at the front or side of the head. 

Stress migraines can come on at any time and can be moderate to severe, with worse cases being completely debilitating. However, there are a few things you can try to help relieve these stress migraines. Here, the health experts at MedExpress give their 7 hacks for relieving these migraines:

 

1. Rest in a dark room

Stress is one of the main causes of migraines, and relieving tense muscles may help calm tension migraines, the most common type of headache/migraine.

If you're suffering from one, you may also feel extra sensitive to light and sound, so try to rest, lie down or sit in a dimly lit, or even pitched black room, close your eyes and try to relax your back, neck, and shoulders.

Minimal movement is advised so the migraine isn’t put under any more stress, try to stay there for a few hours, or at least until your migraine has let up a little, if you fall asleep that’s no problem, and may also help. 

Read more: 8 Signs stress is making you sick

 

2. Get your caffeine fix 

This is a bit of a catch 22, as caffeine can help ease stress migraines, but may also trigger them.

Caffeine has been known to help ease tension headache symptoms by helping pain relief drugs work better and faster, that’s why caffeine is often an ingredient in pain medications.

See how you respond, and if you feel it's worsening the migraine then stay well clear of the stimulant. 

 

3. Try massage 

Massage can undo clenched muscles and help you relax, so it can be especially good for stress or tension migraines.

Have someone else gently massage your head, neck, and shoulder muscles, or do it yourself with a targeted massage.

Gently rub the painful spot on your head with your fingertips for several seconds working in circular motions. 

 

4. Treat with hot or cold compresses

Cold and heat can sometimes relieve the pain and muscle tension that come with migraines.

You can ease symptoms of migraines with heat by taking a hot shower and massage the shower head close to the affected areas of your head and neck, you can also try a hot water bottle, a warm towel, or a warm compress.

If you prefer cold, wrap an ice pack (or frozen peas) in a towel, then put it where you hurt, on your forehead, temples, or neck. 

 

5. Try the acupressure technique 

Acupressure techniques are a type of targeted massage which have been known to ease the pain of stress migraines quite instantly.

Place your thumbs near the base of your skull, find the depressions on both sides of where your head meets your neck, then press in and slightly upward with your thumbs until you feel slight pressure.

While pressing, move your thumbs in small circles for roughly 2-3 minutes. This should ease the pain. 

 

6. Neck exercise 

Neck exercises may ease stress migraine pain caused by holding your head in one position for too long, such as when we are at work staring at a screen.

Place your palm on your forehead, and using your neck muscles, press your forehead lightly against your palm. Keep your head upright, and your hand and arm still for resistance, this should ease some of the tension building around your temples and the front of your head. 

 

7. Try over the counter medicine

If your migraines are affecting your daily life and aren’t showing signs of improvement, it may be best to try over the counter medicine to fix the problem.

Migraine relief medications are safe and effective and can help treat the causes as well as the symptoms of migraines. There are several treatment options to opt for at MedExpress, the online pharmacy and medical care professionals.