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Rating Migraine Home Treatments

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Have you ever had a migraine? You’re not alone. I, along with 10% of the world’s population, suffer from migraines. It’s a severe headache that can last for hours or even days. The pain usually comes from behind one eye and can be accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and can even cause nausea. Migraine pain can be debilitating.

A migraine can put a pause on your day or make your routine extremely trying. Have you ever tried to work in front of a bright computer while half your face is throbbing? Maybe you work outside in the glaring sun while your head is pounding. I feel your pain.

Like most who suffer from migraines, I have tried many different treatments. However, if you are looking for a home remedy to soothe your migraine pan, these treatments exist and can be relieving.

Most of us are working, parenting, or on the go and need quick, easy, and of course, the best pain-relieving treatments for migraines. I have rated the most effective and convenient at-home treatments for my migraine pain.

Hot or cold 8/10

A cold compress to the head and/or neck can relieve a migraine. The remedy is soothing, refreshing, and convenient. A rag and cool water are all you need for this treatment. An ice pack can provide longer periods of cold than a wet washcloth. I prefer to use these sticky cold patches that stay in place and last for hours.

Cold sensations work well for some, especially those who have nausea. But migraine pain for others can be soothed better with heat. Try a hot compress if a cold one isn’t relieving your pain. This rechargeable mask gives heat and soothing pressure to the eye area and can relax your migraine away.

If you have the time, take a hot shower. I find that the heat on my head and body eases my migraine pain. As a bonus, a hot soothing shower can also relieve muscle or arthritis pain.

I find this treatment very effective but a bit impractical. I cannot always take time away from my day to fit in a midday hot shower, though when I do, it is a very soothing remedy for a migraine.

Peppermint 7/10

Peppermint essential oil can relieve migraine pain when you rub a diluted amount on your temples. But if you're sensitive to smells, like me, or if certain scents trigger your migraines, you might find any essential oil scent a bit strong.

I prefer to have a nice hot cup of peppermint tea or suck on a hard peppermint candy. You can keep a supply of tea bags at work if you feel a migraine coming on. In addition, you can store some peppermint candies in your car or bag. This is an easy and convenient way to get relief on the go.

This treatment gets a seven out of ten because it usually only provides a small amount of relief if I already have a severe migraine. However, coupled with another remedy, this treatment can soothe a migraine.

Neck massage 6/10

I suffer from occipital neuralgia. This is a type of neck pain that can trigger migraine headaches. In fact, it is often diagnosed because of the frequent migraines a person is experiencing. At-home treatments for occipital neuralgia include the application of heat, which we already know is effective for migraine headaches, and massage.

At home, I use an electric neck massager similar to this model. There are neck massagers at different price points that also provide heat. This home treatment is, of course, relaxing, and relatively easy, depending on which massager model is used.

I rated this treatment six out of ten because, since my migraines are triggered by my neck pain, it does take longer to get migraine relief once a migraine has already started. Frequent massage, or even massage therapy, would likely improve this remedy.

This method is also not very convenient as you can realistically only use an electric massager at home. Some offices may let you use a massager, but if you work outdoors or with people, like in a school or retail setting, it is not practical to whip out a handheld neck massager.

A cool, dark room, and plenty of time 9.5/10

When all else fails, time in a cool, dark, and quiet room always takes my migraine away. This form of treatment, however, is the most impractical. This remedy may take an hour, a night, or even longer. In addition, if you work full-time or have parenting duties, chores, or other responsibilities, you likely cannot easily take half a day or a full day in bed or on the couch with your eyes closed.

And even if you do have the time for a rest, you may have a baby, pet, or noisy neighbor to contend with, making a quiet space nearly impossible. When I worked in an office, I would have to take a sick day if my pain was so bad that I needed to be in a cool dark room.

However, this treatment always works for relieving my migraine pain. I often try to take some quiet time in the dark because it can mean the difference between a three-hour migraine and a three-day one.

This remedy scores a nine and a half out of ten, losing points for inconvenience.

These ratings are based on the many home treatments I have tried for my migraines. Your migraines are probably different than mine. For example, sounds, smells, or stress may trigger your migraines. As such, your migraines may be soothed by other home remedies not listed here.

For some, caffeine, yoga, or electrolyte sports drinks are effective. Some find relief in seeking out the treatment of an acupuncturist. As always, if your migraines are frequent and affect your daily routine, it is best to consult a physician for the best course of treatment.

Edited by Niko Balkaran.

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