How to Cope with Migraines
Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee
Keep a Regular Routine
We know: routines are boring. But unless a migraine is your idea of the good kind of excitement, it’s best to try to make your life more regular. Start by setting a regular bedtime and waking time. Getting adequate sleep is not enough: your body gets more rest if you’re keeping to a regular schedule.
It’s also important to keep to a regular meal schedule. If you’re missing meals, you can experience a headache because of low blood sugar or dehydration. Sticking to your routine ensures your body won’t experience these migraine-triggering stresses. And it will make you less tempted to enjoy migraine-triggering treats.
Use a Migraine Diary
How do you know which treats are likely to trigger migraines? Although many people will point to foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG) or alcohol or aged cheeses, the truth is that your migraine could potentially be triggered by almost any food at all. The only way to discover your personal migraine triggers is by keeping a migraine diary that includes what you ate and drank, what activities you engaged in, what environmental stimuli you encountered (don’t forget smells!), and when you experience your headaches.
A migraine diary is your best tool for identifying and avoiding migraine triggers.
Cutting down the stress in your life is often easier said than done, but you can do it if you’re committed to it.
Start by cutting out some of the activities that are filling up your busy days. Start with activities that are linked to migraines according to your diary, but make sure you’re reducing your daily commitments overall. Don’t forget to take breaks and make time for enjoying yourself every day.
Exercise can help you manage your migraines. Keeping your circulatory system healthy can help you avoid migraines, and while you’re exercising, your body releases endorphins that help control pain.
Unfortunately, many people find that exercise actually triggers their migraines. If your migraine diary links your migraines to exercise, don’t give up. Talk to your doctor about different exercises you can try. Also, work on warming up slowly, make sure you stay hydrated, and cool down properly.
Follow Your Treatment Plan (If It Works)
It’s important to follow all your doctor’s instructions when it comes to managing your migraines. Only following part of the plan won’t give you the benefits you’re looking for. Don’t spontaneously start taking other medications or herbal supplements without clearing them through your doctor. This can save you from many unnecessary surprise headaches.
Never Give Up
Many people with migraines just give up eventually and resign themselves to the fact that they’ll just keep getting headaches and will never get an effective treatment. This means you’ll not only have migraines, but also the feelings of powerlessness and maybe depression that can diminish the quality of life for people with chronic, untreatable pain.
But if your migraine treatment plan isn’t working, don’t be surprised. About 40% of all migraine sufferers are unhappy with their current migraine treatment. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with that treatment. Talk to your doctor if the treatment isn’t working. Talk about alternatives.
You should also consider talking to a neuromuscular dentist about TMJ. Temporomandibular joint disorders can contribute to your migraines and can be a barrier to what might otherwise be successful treatment. Not every migraine sufferer benefits from TMJ treatment, but some do, and that can mean a reduction in the frequency of headaches and the severity.
If you want to learn whether TMJ treatment might be the key to controlling your migraines in Nashville, please call for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Kent E. White. Dr. White is the only dentist in Nashville who has been name a Fellow by LVI, the world’s premier school for neuromuscular dentistry, where Dr. White was not only a student, he was a teacher, as well.