When you notice the first signs of a looming migraine attack, you might feel anxious, helpless, or even defeated. One thing that can help you regain a sense of control is reaching for your migraine toolkit.
What is a migraine toolkit, exactly? It’s a collection of things that can soothe migraine pain, help address individual symptoms, and just make you feel better during an attack.
You might have more than one kit: one to keep in the car for emergencies, one at the office, and one at home. Everyone’s migraine emergency kit is different. It’s all about collecting the migraine relief products you personally find to be helpful. Here are a few possibilities to consider adding to yours.
Ice Packs: Many people with migraine find cold therapy to be effective for pain. In the freezer, keep gel packs to apply to your head, neck and/or eyes.
Ice Roller: Keep this little gadget in the freezer and then roll over your face or neck for relief. If summer heat is a migraine trigger for you, you can even carry the ice roller with you for a quick cooldown.
Heating Pad: Heat therapy can also ease pain and relax tense muscles. Some people swear by a combination of heat and cold: keeping an ice pack on their neck while warming their feet with a heating pad or hot water.
Water: Dehydration can trigger a migraine attack or make one worse. A water bottle is always a good addition to your kit.
Essential Oils/Herbal Remedies: People have used certain herbs and fragrant oils to alleviate pain for hundreds of years, especially peppermint, lavender and rosemary.[i] If you find them helpful, add essential oils to your migraine relief kit.
Medication: If you’ve been prescribed medication to abort a migraine attack or relieve migraine pain, keep it accessible at all times. Your toolkit may also include over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-nausea medications.
CEFALY DUAL: As a drug-free, fast-acting treatment for migraine, CEFALY DUAL is an essential part of your migraine toolkit. In a clinical study, participants saw an average 59% reduction in migraine pain intensity following one hour of treatment with CEFALY. This relief continued up to 24 hours.[ii]
The ACUTE treatment is most effective when begun at the first sign of a migraine attack, so make sure your CEFALY device is charged and new electrodes are at the ready.
Acupressure Device: You may have heard that applying pressure to the LI-4 spot between the thumb and forefinger can relieve head pain. If this works for you, consider getting a special ring or clip that can maintain pressure on that spot.
Caffeinated Drink: Sometimes, a small amount of caffeine can help relieve pain in the early phase of a migraine attack. Depending on your preferences, and how you react to caffeine, you may want to add a soda, a few tea bags, or another caffeinated option to your migraine toolkit.
Green-Light Lamp: People with migraine-related photosensitivity may benefit from a lamp that emits narrow-band green light. In a darkened room, green light may soothe you and help you see without strain.
Sunglasses: If your migraine attacks are marked by light sensitivity, make sure you always have a spare pair of sunglasses in your kit. You may opt for standard polarized sunglasses or special sunglasses for migraine — whatever works for you.
Blue-Light Blocking Glasses: As most of us have increased the time we spend looking at screens, we’ve also become aware of the problems caused by the blue light our devices emit. Blue light can alter circadian rhythms and suppress melatonin production, disrupting sleep and causing other health problems.[iii] Blue-light blockers can help.
Extra Comforts: A favorite plush blanket. Your comfiest hoodie. Soft socks. When you’re in the throes of a migraine attack, small comforts can help you feel just a little bit better.
Your Support Team: What if a migraine attack strikes during the school day and you can’t drive to pick up your daughter? What if you’re unable to work and you need someone to cover your shift? In your migraine toolkit, keep a list — written or mental — of the people you can call for backup.