When living with migraines, half the battle is the inability to predict when one might rear its ugly head. Chronic migraine sufferers frequently experience stress and anxiety related to this dilemma because no matter the scale of planning, a migraine episode can always swoop in, just in time to ruin the day. But there are ways for a migraine sufferer to fight back. Never leave home without a strategically packed migraine relief emergency kit.
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Because everyone experiences a migraine attack differently, your migraine relief kit might be completely different from someone else’s. Generally speaking, kits can include medication, bottled water, ginger gum, a light blanket, a special pillow, an eye mask, emergency numbers, ice packs or supplements to help curb symptoms. In planning an emergency relief kit, it’s important to pick the items that are most effective in helping your unique reaction to migraine pain. Among the number of things that can fall into that category, we recommend including these 5 essential ingredients:
1. Essential Oils
Studies prove aromatherapy using essential oils like lavender, chamomile or peppermint can reduce the severity of a migraine. These essential oils can be purchased in the form of a travel-size stick and, when applied to the temples or forehead, may help sufferers to relax while curbing the influx of symptoms. Some studies suggest the best scent combinations include lavender and peppermint or nervil, lemon and marjoram; however, individuals are encouraged to experiment and select whichever scent(s) work best for them.
Use essential oilsfor massage after reading this article: Learn 14 Migraine Relief Massage Tips
2. Anti-Nausea Treatment
Nausea is a common migraine symptom that can dramatically affect ones ability to “power through” an attack. Every emergency kit should include some form of anti-nausea treatment to kick this symptom and allow more capacity to focus on managing pain. For mild nausea, Pepto-Bisol® or ginger candy might be enough to subdue discomfort but for more severe nausea, a stronger medication should be packed, such as Phenergan, Thorazine, Comprazine, Tigan or Reglan. An acupuncture anti-nausea wristband may also help to control queasiness.
3. Abortive and Rescue Medication
The last thing you want as a migraine sufferer is to be caught amidst a progressing attack with no abortive or rescue medication. Abortive medications generally consist of triptans, which target the chemical, serotonin to reduce pain. They are prescription strength and can be taken before or after symptoms occur as an attempt to stop the progression of pain. Commonly prescribed abortive medications include: Imitrex, Zomig, Relpax, Amerge, Maxalt, Frova and Axert.
Rescue medications are used when abortive medications fail to influence symptoms. Having them on hand gives you a plan-B for pain relief to help you overcome an unexpected attack. Rescue medications are typically a prescribed non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like: Indocin, Toradol, Orudis and Mobic. If you find that rescue medication must be taken often, consult with your physician about changing your abortive medication, as this is an indication it’s not working as well as it should be.
Be sure to pack a bottle of water and a light snack to eat with medication, as most drugs should not be taken on an empty stomach.
4. The Cefaly Device
If you prefer to minimize medication usage, a new neurostimulation tool called the Cefaly Device is showing promising affects on migraine pain. Its sleek, lightweight design makes it easy to pack and travel with, and studies suggest proper utilization can reduce pain, frequency and medication intake. The device is worn across the forehead and implements an electrode micro-impulse that targets the nerves associated with migraines to block pain signals.
5. Spoonk Mat
Acupuncture has long been a form of therapy used to treat a number of pain related ailments. More recently, research has uncovered promising results for acupuncture as a form of migraine treatment. But you can’t have an acupuncturist on-call 24/7! What you can do is purchase a Spoonk Mat for similar relief. The Spoonk Mat is an acupressure massage pad with 6,200 stimulation points. At the onset of migraine symptoms, sufferers can unroll this mat in a quiet place and lie down. The stimulation points target specific acupoints believed to help reduce pain.
Save your own day – pack wisely and fight back with a migraine relief emergency kit that includes these essential ingredients. Your kit should be stored in a location that is easy to reach, as some attacks can be so debilitating, even the simplest tasks seem impossible. Each of these essential items can easily fit into a travel bag and be taken to work, sporting events, family outings or wherever life takes you. By preparing for the worst, you can reduce the stress and anxiety caused by never knowing when an attack will strike and you may be able to ward off your next episode.
Image Source: Melissa Maples