Types Of Headaches Migraine Headaches Relief

Even a small amount of relief from headache pain is welcome in the midst of a migraine attack. Generally, the earlier you can detect a developing migraine, the sooner you can treat it. Discomforting though a migraine aura is, those who do experience migraine aura often learn to use it as an early warning device and start preventive treatment quickly. Of course, often a migraine aura only gives the individual a few minutes to prepare for the headache pain.

Whether you get advance notice of an approaching migraine or not, the following tips may provide you with migraine relief. Bear in mind that not everyone responds to natural tactics in the same way; what helps one person may not provide any relief for someone else. You may have to try several migraine relief strategies to discover what works best for you.

Massage and Muscle Tension for Migraine Headaches

Muscle tension can both cause and aggravate migraines. Gently massaging the face, neck and shoulders can relieve muscle tension in those areas, and hopefully relieve pain. Having someone massage your back, especially around your shoulders and neck, may also help. And some people report that a gentle but firm foot-massage helps.

Relief Thorough Self-Acupressure

Acupressure is based on the premise that gently massaging certain pressure points on the body provides pain relief. Pressure is applied to these points firmly, but without excess force; acupressure should not cause pain. If it does, stop applying pressure immediately. While the body has many acupressure points, two areas are of importance to headache sufferers.

At the base of the skull where the skull meets the neck are two points, which feel like small indentations. These acupressure points are about two inches apart, and, when gentle pressure is applied to them, pain-killing endorphins are released. Pressing gently but firmly on these points for one or two minutes activates endorphin release.

Another proven headache fighting pressure point lies in the fleshy area between the thumb and the forefinger. A gentle, circular massage on this area can also bring pain relief for migraine sufferers. Do not use this particular technique if you’re pregnant, however: manipulating this area can induce labor.

Niacin for Migraine Headache Relief

Niacin, or vitamin B3, is sometimes taken to relieve migraines. The vitamin causes blood to rush to the skin’s blood vessels and seems to relieve headache pain. The doses of niacin required for migraine relief are, however, quite high, and side effects such as flushing, nausea, heartburn and even liver damage have been known to occur. For this reason niacin supplements should only be used under the direction of a trained health professional.

Avoiding Sensory Stimulation

Sensory awareness often becomes painfully acute during a migraine. Sudden movements, for instance, should be avoided if possible. Many people find that lying down in a quiet, darkened room provides some relief. Bright lights, flashing lights, or any other intense sensory stimulation should be avoided.

A cold compress on the back of the neck may provide relief for some, while others prefer alternating the cold with heat. Or you can try using the cold compress while soaking your feet in warm water. A bath or shower may also help.


National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain. (nd). People with migraines.

Whole Health MD. (nd). Acupressure for migraines.