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NUNYA's avatar

Can you tell me how you help ease the pain of a Migraine or Cluster Migraine?

Asked by NUNYA (3207points) December 28th, 2009

I’ve had migraines since the age of 5 yrs old and was diagnoised with Cluster Migraines about 6 yrs. ago. I’ve tried many different medications and many different ways of getting relief from the horrible pain that they cause. There are days that I am totally disabled by them. The thing that seems to work best for me besides the pain medication is to go into a dark room that is quiet and use an ice pack on my head and try to sleep. Sometimes the Cluster Migraines that I get can go on for 4 days in a row. Other times medication will relieve them and I can continue on with my day. Sometimes I have to go into the ER and get a shot of a narcotic and nausea medicine. So I am wondering how others with Migraines or Cluster Migraines manage in their day to day life. Or if you know anyone with Migraines or Cluster Migraines, how do they help ease the pain? Thanks!

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18 Answers

lovemypits86's avatar

i work with load animals everyday and always have them. i eat a hersey bar and drink a doctor pepper and take an asprin. works for me

Cruiser's avatar

My son gets those and the warm compress over the forehead helps as does Ibuprofen. What really seemed to help would be when I do pressure point therapy on his head and neck. I can’t describe what I do as it would vary on the location of the cluster pain. He seems to get them when he is overstimulated from computer or video games but he is in a world of hurt when it happens.

NUNYA's avatar

@lovemypits86 Sometimes Ruffles Potato Chips and a Pepsi will do it for me. Thanks!
@Cruiser I can’t do the warm cause it makes it worse. I get them from getting overheated as well. So the summer months suck for me. No Sauna or Jacuzzi’s or even too hot of a shower will bring one on. But I have had people do the pressure points on me and it don’t seem to work. Done accupuncture and got nothing either. Better teach your son’s future wife how to fix ‘em. lol When it comes time for that. My son inherited them from me. :( Thanks much Cruiser!!! {hug}

SarasWhimsy's avatar

I get migraines and cluster migraines. Someone once told me to eat a Hershey bar and drink a can of Coke as fast as I could. That really works for me. (I think it’s just the caffeine though.) If I don’t get to that in time I take Motrin and lots of it, but that just takes the edge off. When they’re really bad (mine seem to get really bad every other year or so) I take Topamax (an anti-seizure drug) every day. That’s done wonders for me.

NUNYA's avatar

@SarasWhimsy I also drink a Mountain Dew sometimes and take an Excedrine. (Excedrine has caffeine in it)
I tried Topamax and it made me go into a seizure. I’d only taken it for about 1½ weeks. I’ve used Propranolol and Depakote and Nurotin but they didn’t work either. I’ve done Keprra and that is the closest thing to getting relief that I’ve used. I’m currently taking Amitriptyline daily and use Maxalt for the BAD ones. And also Toradol and Phenergan for the BAD ones.
You are the 2nd one to say Hershey’s bar. I’m gonna have to give that a try. I’m always looking for other ways to help. One never knows until ya try. So I will try it out.
Thanks for your answer!!!

gemiwing's avatar

Oh, ouch on the clusters. I get regular migraines and I can’t fathom the pain of a cluster.

For my migraines I take four double shot espressos and that helps almost immediately. I down them all at once at the first sign of trouble. For me that means when I start to have a blind spot.

Mine come from sinuses, have you had yours mapped and checked out thoroughly?

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

I’ve had chronic headaches along with migraines for most of my life, at least since the age of 7–8. I was prescribed Topamax for prevention, along with Maxalt (to take when I actually get a migraine) for them- the Topamax has definitely decreased the frequency of my migraines and the Maxalt (if taken when I first feel the signs of a migraine) gets rid of them within 15–20 minutes.

Things that help (but don’t get rid of the migraine) for me are: those stress relief/sinus pillows for your eyes, Tension Tamer tea, drinking a cup of coffee, and simply lying down in a totally dark room.

NUNYA's avatar

@gemiwing I don’t get the blind spot but I get a world that is shaking. My vision makes me feel like the world is shaking all around me. And my right cheek goes numb.
I have been to an eye/nose/ear doctor and had that all checked. My Neurologist and I finally came to the conclusion about 6 yrs ago that I will live with them for the rest of my life. I mean I’ve had them since I was 5 yrs old and they have gotten progressively worse. Especially after being pregnant and after giving birth! They seemed to have doubled on the pain level. So for now I control them with pain meds and just live with them. Sucks though. Thanks for your Great Answer!
@rockstargrrrlie I’ve heard so many people say that Topamax has worked. Darn it, I wish my body would have allowed it to work for me. But it made me go into a seizure. And the Maxalt is the only “FOR SURE” thing. But they are $25 PER PILL and that is so outrageous! But I’d pay a milllion if I had it, when I get the migraine!
Thanks for your Great Answer!

butterflykisses's avatar

Oh hunny!! I am so sorry you suffer this way. I have/had 3–4 a week with aura and seizure. I know for me my migraines are brought on by foods, by the weather and by stress. The stress sometimes comes from the headaches themselves and the worry of when I will have my next one. It was a very bad cycle! I have learned to break it it is a long process but can be done.

I also discovered a few of my food triggers. Cheese…is my biggest one, some brands of coffees..not all coffee but brands. (weird huh?) I can tell you better than the weather man when a storm front is coming or when pressures change in the air. A humidifer helped me a lot. Having it on at night beside the bed. Meditation works wonders!! Learning how to breathe right during a cluster or migraine headache also helps. (tummy breathing)

Stress isn’t just emotional, but physical too. Over doing it and not exercising properly to regulate heart rates and blood pressure can trigger them. It takes time to find your triggers, and as you can see there can be many. Keep a journal, write down everything you eat, everything you do and what the weather is like on that day. You may see a pattern develop. This can be a very handy tool for finding your triggers and presenting them to a doctor. You may have allergies too. This can give you better options for pain meds and relief.

The most important thing you can do is identify what is causing them before you can really treat them. Everyone is different and what helps one person may not help you. I know of a few people that had to move to an entirely different climate just so they could function. I take topomax as well, it takes care of about 45% of them…but everything else I mentioned helps alot too.

Good luck!! I know they SUCK! There are new proceedures being done that are looking quite promising and perhaps one day they will have a cure for all of us that suffer with these awful things.

john65pennington's avatar

Here is an answer from the King of Migraines. my first started at the age of 19, while i was a disc jockey at a local radio station. from that point on in my life, the migraines controlled me, not the other way around. i, like you, had tried every medication and trick in the book that was offered at the Vanderbilt Pain Clinic. biofeedback to magnets on my head…nothing worked. the fastest relief i have ever had came from a direct needle injection of novacaine over my right eye. this was dangerous, but it actually killed the migraine pain. i had both migraine and cluster headaches, some at the same time. the worst headches would wake me out of a dead sleep, usually between 2 and 3 am. my only recourse was a visit to the ER and pain medication and sleep. my headaches were actually on schedule…..every three days like clockwork. this was for the migraines, not the clusters. they were inpredictable. i suffered hell for many years. my dad had migraine headaches, so i assume he passed them on to me. here is the good news! at age 52, my headaches just stopped. have not had one since then. my dads also stopped at age 51. why they stopped? i have not a clue. this may give you something to look forward to. i was invited to give a talk at St.Thomas Hospital in Nashville on migraine headaches, since i been burdened with them for so many years. there may be something new out there that i have not tried. i hopy you find it, if it is. try not to get addicted to the pain medicene. its one of the bad side effects of having migraine headaches. let me know if i can be of any more assistance. john

Pazza's avatar

(dont know if this applies to, or will help anyone hear)
I went to the doctor late last year after a bout of dizziness which was accompanied by a severe headacke, loss of sight in the left portion of my left eye sight, and an intense sickly feeling, I’d never felt like this before and was so conserned that I rang my wife and asked her to book me an emergency apiontment with the doctor.

To cut a long story short, the doctor asked me a few telling questions, and then laughed at me, and told me I had a tyramine induced migraine.

I’d had a ton of chocolate, cheese, a night on the vino and a shed load of nutella over the previous few days.

The doctor said that the tyramine although a chemical required by the body (although not known for what purpose) causes the blood vessels to close when a tyramine overdose is taken, this caused the loss of sight in my eye, when the tyramine wares off the blood vessels expand causing the intense headacke. He also said that its hard to judge when your going to overdose because the chemical builds up over time.

john65pennington's avatar

Hershey bar and a Dr. Pepper? this sounds like something they would give you at the pain clinic at Vanderbilt. they are very aggressive and will try anything, i mean anything at Vanderbilt.

Have you tried Stadol? its a schedule II drug and you sniff it into your nose. it gives really fast relief for a migraine, but its very addictive.

Snarp's avatar

Once the pain hits it’s usually too late for me. Rest, closed eyes, darkness, a cool compress, and Excedrin help a little, but not a lot. On the other hand if I react to the aura and don’t wait for the pain, and immediately take Excedrin and try to rest my eyes, I can usually reduce the coming pain to a level at which I am still functional.

NUNYA's avatar

@everyone There are some very good answers here. Giving me and others some much needed information! Since having them since the age of 5 I really hope that mine will take the course of @john65pennington that would be a blessing! I don’t know what it is like to NOT have migraines. They still control my everyday life. I’ve kept journals as @butterflykisses has done. I did that for 2½ yrs and went over them with my Neurologist and they don’t have a pattern or a reason/trigger such as cheese, chocolate etc.
So I thank you all for the great information! I will put it to use and see what happens! [hugs] to you all!

philosopher's avatar

I get migraines too. Excedrin helps dull the pain and hot compresses. Sometimes laying down in quiet dark room. Reading too much, stress ,and allergies cause them.
I frequently got them when I was in college . Have you been doing a lot of reading ?

filmfann's avatar

A close friend at work gets them bad. He needs to get shots when they get bad, and the shot is hard on him as well.
He said one of the triggers for him is Chinese food with MSG. MSG is a salt based preservative. He has said that coffee sometimes helps him, as well as a relaxing cigar.

HighShaman's avatar

I’ve heard that the hershey bar is good….. helps a little .

I also have had clients tell me that massage of the neck and sides of the head , working around the head… help with migrains , also…

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t get Miograines very often, but when I do, Excedrin for Migraines usually works for me. If that fails, I reach for the oxycodone :-)

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