As migraine sufferers will attest, a migraine headache can be caused by any number of factors, meaning that there is no one-size-fits-all remedy. Therefore, keeping an open mind and exploring some alternative treatments could actually be the key to becoming migraine-free. Fortunately, people seeking migraine relief have a wide range of treatments available to them, outside the realm of conventional medicine, that are clinically-proven to help reduce migraine frequency and severity.
Here are 5 alternative treatments that can help keep your migraine at bay:
1. Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy — Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT), also known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), is a non-invasive, manual therapy that relieves tense muscles, tendons, and ligaments to allow the body to work more efficiently. A number of studies have shown that the hands-on techniques used in OMT, including massage, soft tissue and muscle stretching, and joint mobilization, are particularly effective for preventing migraines.
2. Craniosacral Therapy — By using a gentle, “light-touch” to help release both emotional and physical imbalances that have been stored in the body’s membranes and connective tissue, craniosacral therapy allows the body to respond and relax. Practitioners trained in craniosacral therapy are able to feel and monitor changes in the body by placing their hands in the areas that are the source of dysfunction, following the body’s cues as it works to release the tensions that are causing pain. Over time this non-invasive touch helps decrease the symptoms of headache and migraine.
3. Acupuncture — According to a review of 22 clinical trials studying more than 4,000 migraine sufferers, acupuncture was found to be as effective as medication – and sometimes even more effective than medication – for preventing migraines.
4. Nutritional Supplements — People who suffer with frequent migraines often look to vitamins and/or supplements in place of prescription medication. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) have all demonstrated protective effects against migraines.
Although side-effects are generally milder than those from prescription medications, supplementing is not risk free. Make sure to buy from a reliable source and talk to your doctor about dosages and possible interactions with other medications.
5. Trigger Point Therapy — Sometimes headache pain can be caused or worsened by trigger points or a strain/sprain located in the neck. If this is the case, trigger point injections can be very effective in relaxing tight areas in the neck and back, thereby reducing the incidence and severity of migraines.
When it comes to migraines, symptoms vary from individual-to-individual, so prevention and treatment options may have mixed levels of success depending on an individual’s medical condition, history, and specific needs. Thinking outside-the-box when considering treatment options is the best approach when searching for relief from migraine symptoms.
This article appeared in Dr. Kaplan’s column on MindBodyGreen.com.