Which product for migraine relief is best?
If you’ve ever experienced intense, pulsating pain in your head, you’ve probably had a migraine. Considered worse than headaches, migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Depending on the person, they may occur as often as twice a week or as rarely as once a month or year. Regardless of frequency, migraines are painful, exhausting and stressful.
There are many migraine relief products on the market, ranging from weighted blankets to compression pain relief masks. If you experience chronic migraines, especially those that prevent you from sleeping well at night, consider the Magic Gel Headache and Migraine Relief Cap.
What to know before you buy a product for migraine relief
Stages and symptoms
Migraines are usually accompanied by nausea and a sensitivity to light, and they tend to occur in four stages. Crash migraines, however, happen suddenly.
- Prodrome: For most migraines, the first stage is the prodrome stage. This occurs a day or two before the migraine itself. Some common symptoms of an oncoming migraine are major mood changes, fluid retention, neck stiffness and frequent yawning.
- Aura: Next is the aura stage, which can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. During this stage, people may experience weakness or fatigue, flashes of light, visual disturbances or temporary vision loss. Not everyone experiences the aura stage.
- Attack: The third stage, known as the attack stage, is when the actual migraine occurs. Common symptoms include throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of the head, sensitivity to things like light, smell and sound, nausea and dizziness.
- Post-drome: Finally, there’s the post-drome stage. This occurs after the migraine subsides and can result in the migraine sufferer feeling lost or confused. Sudden movements during this stage may trigger some pain, but most people just feel tired and washed out during this stage.
Left untreated, migraines may be long-lasting, intensify or become difficult to manage. The migraine relief product you choose depends on the stage and severity of the symptoms. Some products, like a cold compress, may help fight off a migraine during the first or second stage. Other remedies like over-the-counter medications may be necessary during the third or fourth stage to alleviate the symptoms.
Choosing the best migraine relief product isn’t always as simple as knowing you have a migraine coming on. The cause of the migraine matters a great deal, since certain products work better for some causes.
Migraines may occur for various reasons. Common triggers include:
- excessive caffeine consumption
- intense physical exertion
- prescription or OTC medications
- certain types of foods, especially processed or salty foods
Other causes of migraines include genetics, age and personal medical history. If certain members of your family are prone to migraines, there’s an increased chance that you may also get them.
If the cause is based on environmental factors like bright lights, a migraine relief product like a weighted compress or blanket may soothe the symptoms before they worsen, but if the cause is related to genetics or medication, it may be necessary to consult a physician for a long-term solution.
There are several treatment options when it comes to handling a migraine. One option, especially those with frequent or severe migraines, is medication. Certain pain relievers like ibuprofen and anti-nausea drugs can help relieve some of the symptoms of the migraine. Preventative medications also exist, most of which are available by prescription only.
During the early stages of a migraine or for mild cases, some of the following options may work:
- weighted blankets
- compression pain relief masks
- heating pads
- essential oils
Along with these migraine relief products, light exercise and a healthy diet may help prevent migraines from occurring in the future.
What to look for in a quality product for migraine relief
Blankets and pillows
Adjustable pillows, weighted blankets and heated blankets are popular migraine relief products for many reasons. Weighted blankets may trigger deep pressure stimulation, which helps with the production of serotonin and reduces cortisol. Serotonin is a hormone that improves the mood, while cortisol is a stress hormone. These changes can allow you to get more rest and potentially get past the migraine sooner.
Cooling pillows and memory foam pillows may also help alleviate some of the symptoms of a migraine. After all, heat and high body temperature are common triggers for migraines.
Most cooling pillows consist of cotton and are lightweight and airy. This allows them to stay cool without retaining heat. Other pillows, like buckwheat pillows, have a similar effect and can even go in the freezer to make them cooler.
Certain symptoms of migraines, like light sensitivity, may require a product that reduces or eliminates the light entirely. Eye masks and cool compresses are effective because they block out the light and provide some weight around the eyes. The best eye masks are made from polyester, silk, nylon or cotton and have foam padding inside.
Some eye coverings have gel that can be frozen or cooled. These products allow for additional heat reduction while keeping out the light. Some eye coverings may help reduce sinus pressure, fever or inflammation. This ultimately can help relieve the pain from migraines and headaches.
Essential oils like peppermint and rosemary can be administered directly or with a carrier oil or a diffuser. Some migraine relief products use essential oils to reduce the symptoms of the migraine. Most of these products work best when used directly on the temples or back of the neck.
One of the most popular essential oils for migraine relief is peppermint. It can help ease the pain, reduce tension and decrease the severity of the migraine attack.
Certain teas provide a soothing effect, just like essential oils. Chamomile, peppermint and ginger tea may help reduce tension and inflammation. Ginger in particular is a popular ingredient in alternative or holistic medicine. Chamomile tea can help you sleep, which is key when trying to recover from a migraine attack. If you’re also experiencing nausea, consider peppermint tea.
How much you can expect to spend on migraine relief products
The cost of migraine relief products varies widely since there are a number of options available. Products like weighted blankets and cooling pillows may cost $50-$300, depending on the brand, material and overall quality. Essential oils and aromatherapy products, meanwhile, cost $8-$20.
Migraine relief products FAQ
How can I prevent migraines?
A. There’s no surefire way to completely prevent migraines, but there are some ways to reduce their frequency or keep them from becoming worse. For many people, migraines are the result of things like a poor diet, dehydration, lack of sleep or constant stress. If that’s the case for you, take some time to make changes to your lifestyle to reduce the frequency or likelihood of migraines.
When should I see a doctor?
A. You should see a doctor if you’re experiencing a lot of pain, have uncontrollable vomiting, lose consciousness or the migraine lasts more than 72 hours.
What’s the best migraine relief product to buy?
Top migraine relief product
What you need to know: This combination ice mask and compression cap offers relief from persistent, chronic migraines that prevent you from sleeping.
What you’ll love: Comfortable and stretchy enough to contour to anyone’s head, the ice cap is designed to specifically target pain points to provide relief. The mask is versatile enough to pull down and cover the eyes, which blocks any light sources that could aggravate the pain as well.
What you should consider: It isn’t very fashionable, but it helps alleviate the pain.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top migraine relief product for the money
What you need to know: This roll-on stick uses therapeutic-grade essential oils like lavender, peppermint and coconut oil to provide quick migraine relief.
What you’ll love: It’s easy to apply and goes at the base of your neck or temples. The essential oils relieve tension and soothe pulsing pain. The oils also bring about a slight cooling effect. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in a handbag, which makes it convenient for on-the-go migraine relief.
What you should consider: The scent is subtle and may require frequent reapplication.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This wrap works for those who need to relieve tension, pain or sinus pressure, which makes it versatile and useful for migraines and headaches.
What you’ll love: The cap is reusable and has a Velcro closure for easy use and a customizable fit. It includes two gel ice packs to help you cool down and prevent the pain from worsening. Plus, the material prevents moisture or condensation from appearing. This wrap is convenient for those on the go.
What you should consider: If the ice packs become completely frozen, they may prevent the wrap from fully fitting around your head.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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